Room to Read India's Literacy Program is the country's only children’s education program that develops both literacy skills and reading habits. Our Girls’ Education Program supports girls to finish secondary school and works with government stakeholders to advocate for girls' education.
Room to Read first launched its work in India in 2003. Since then, India has gone on to become our largest country of operation. When we began, our programs were limited to providing critical support by establishing libraries through our Literacy Program. Significant components of library management and reading activities were added later.
As part of a strategic planning process, Room to Read made reading and writing skills acquisition a global priority, based on the understanding that children can only benefit from a school library in meaningful ways if they have the skills to read. This led to the evolution of a comprehensive literacy program that focused on both reading habits and reading skills of children in primary school. The Literacy Program is currently operational in ten states in India.
In the years since the launch of the Girls’ Education Program in 2004, operations have grown to eight states. The program addresses gender inequality in India’s education system by supporting girls with the resources and support they need to successfully complete secondary school and negotiate key life decisions, working with their families and communities to create supportive environments for them and working with government stakeholders to advocate for the importance of girls’ education at the state and national levels.
Since 2015, Room to Read has initiated efforts to scale up its programs in partnership with local governments. Through specific projects, we have built systemic capacity to implement our programs across entire districts and states, leveraging government resources and systems. These projects have been immensely successful in benefiting a large number of children.