A new place to learn

Adequate schools are often scarce in developing countries—especially in rural areas. Due to the scarcity of government funding in developing countries, the government schools that do exist are frequently older buildings in severe disrepair with a dirt floor or tin roof. Although these structures can be unsafe for children, they continue to be used because the community lacks a suitable alternative.

Overcrowding is also a serious issue throughout the developing world, where it is not uncommon for 80 or so students to be expected to study in a classroom built to hold 40 or less.

Room to Read partners with communities to construct bright, safe, child-friendly schools so all children have the opportunity to pursue a quality education and to reach their full potential.


Challenge Grant Model

Room to Read shares project management responsibilities with each partner community. Through our Challenge Grant, community members are expected to co-invest in the project by providing cash, materials or “sweat equity” (donation of labor). This model sets the stage for long-term sustainability, and gives the local community both a high level of visibility to the project’s progress and a real stake in its success.


In addition to adding new classrooms, our school construction team also repairs and renovates existing buildings to improve lighting and ventilation, add restrooms, reduce outside distractions and make interiors more child-friendly. These improvements to the learning environment have been shown to have a positive effect on children’s education and are good investments in the long-term health of the schools we work with.

A school for everyone

Once construction is complete, the school is owned and operated by the community or local government, and they are solely responsibility for upkeep and administration.

We equip each school construction site with a school library so that children in the new space have access to the resources they’ll need to succeed.

Invest in our work »

Literacy Program Schools
Children Benefited
Charity Navigator Four Start Rating

Less than 1% of US nonprofits have received nine 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

See all offices »