Reading & Writing Instruction

We partner with governments to fill gaps in the curriculum for early readers. This includes developing supplementary instruction material, training educators and providing one-on-one support to teachers.

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Why literacy and gender equality?

We believe that World Change Starts with Educated Children and have committed to focusing on two key areas where we can have the greatest impact: literacy and gender equality in education.

Literacy is the cornerstone of all learning and fundamental for participation in today’s global society, yet 773.5 million people across the globe lack the ability to read and write. That includes every medicine bottle, employment ad and ballot form they encounter. Of all the illiterate people in the world today, two-thirds are female and over 90 percent live in developing countries.

Educating girls and women is widely acknowledged as the most powerful and effective way to address global poverty. Women who finish secondary school earn more money, have smaller, healthier families, and are more likely to educate their own children—breaking the cycle of illiteracy in one generation.

Room to Read partners with communities across the developing world to promote literacy and gender equality in education by establishing libraries, constructing classrooms, publishing local-language children’s books, training educators and supporting girls’ education. We believe all children deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential, and that investing in education now will pay dividends for generations to come.

Where we work

Room to Read currently operates in ten countries in Asia and Africa. In each country, we adapt our five core programs to suit the individual needs of the population in question, ensuring that each dollar spent has the most possible impact on the children we serve.

We employ local teams, which are personally invested in their nation’s educational progress and familiar with the challenges ahead. They speak the language, know the customs, and understand what it takes to implement each program successfully.

Literacy vs. poverty

If all children in low-income countries
left school with basic reading skills,

could be lifted out of poverty.

9.7 million checkouts

Over 9.7 million books were checked out from Room to Read libraries in 2012.

Healthier families

A child born to a literate woman is

to survive past age five.

A results-driven approach

We’re serious about changing the world. Our commitment to delivering high-quality programs and helping families across the developing world break the cycle of poverty means making sure that we are having the greatest possible impact on the lives of the children we serve.

Measuring Results

We make significant investments in research, monitoring and evaluation so we can be sure our programs are on target, and so you can see the effect your investment is having on communities across Asia and Africa.

Monitoring & Evaluation »

Looking ahead

We set big goals, and hold ourselves accountable to achieving them. Read about our plans for Room to Read’s second decade in Envisioning our Future: A Roadmap for Learning.

Download the PDF »

Working with partners

We forge strong partnerships with governments, local NGOs and corporations around the globe, which allow us to reach a greater number of children and be more cost-effective in our operations.

Our partners »

Join our global movement today! Invest in Room to Read's work across the developing world.

Libraries Established
Schools Constructed
Books Published
Books Distributed
Girls' Education Participants
Children Benefited

Less than 1% of US nonprofits have received eight consecutive Charity Navigator four star ratings. Our transparency and accountability place us among the best charities. See for yourself.

Our Financials »

See our work

Documentary filmmakers travel to Room to Read projects across Asia and Africa to tell the stories of children who are benefitting from our programs.

Browse films »

See our work in person »

You can change the world

Send a girl to school, start a library, or build new classrooms. We can help you run your own fundraising campaign with your friends and family, complete with your own microsite to collect gifts and track your progress.

Personal Fundraising »

Check out a great campaign »

Have questions?

Contact us online at

Global Office:
+1 (415) 839-4400
9am-5pm Pacific Time (US)
Mon-Fri, excluding holidays

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