Custom Projects

Custom Projects

Scaling to Maximize Our Impact

As Room to Read’s reputation as a thought-leader in the field of global education has grown, and evidence in support of our programmatic approaches has mounted, we are increasingly asked by governments, non-profits and investors to share or implement all or parts of our successful model in a variety of contexts. As a result, we established custom projects at Room to Read, a technical assistance arm that is set up to disseminate our knowledge in literacy in the primary grades and girls’ education to a wider audience, thereby, maximizing our impact.


Building the Capacity of Others to Scale

Room to Read's custom projects help organizations and governments implement and build capacity for effective programming in library services, reading and writing instruction, children’s book publishing, and girls’ education that is high impact and high quality. The challenging issues of illiteracy and gender inequality require interventions that are easy to scale and cost-effective.

The focus of custom projects is to offer technical assistance and share our expertise and resources with partner organizations through the provision of training materials, workshops, periodic support and monitoring, in an effort to maximize the quality of implementation and, in turn, replicate our work.

Custom projects are typically two to three years in length.

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Room to Read's Custom Projects Include:

Proven, research-based materials. Time-tested, engaging and easy-to-use, our materials are designed for new professionals and experts alike.

Planning and customization. Leverage our expertise to identify needs, customize our offerings, contextualize materials and train teams quickly.

Targeted training packages. Engage participants in training sessions using a set of easy-to-follow materials that are designed to ensure competency, confidence and success.

Smart monitoring and assessment. Learn how to monitor and assess programs for achieving results.

Custom Projects Highlights

Promoting Literacy in Cox’s Bazar (UNICEF and World Food Program) 

Project Dates: January 2018 – 2020 

UNICEF is funding a project in Bangladesh, where Room to Read will work with the Rohingya refugee community in Cox’s Bazar. This project will focus on assessing the literacy levels of children attending learning centers and design an intervention that includes the development of supplementary materials and story books as well as classroom-based assessment. The World Food Program is funding our literacy interventions in the host community outside of the refugee camp. 

Learning Materials and Teacher Training  

Project Dates: August 2018 – November 2019 

Room to Read is part of a working group helping the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to develop literacy instruction materials and teacher professional development materials for students in grades two and three. Additionally, we are part of a Master Training Team providing teacher trainings in Kampong Thom. 

Improving literacy skills and fostering a habit of reading for the nation’s children 

Project Dates: 2015-2018 

In 2015, we began a three-year partnership with Grenada’s Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development and Grenada Schools Inc., a local nonprofit, to improve early grade literacy. The goal of the project was to design a wide-reaching, cost-effective and sustainable program that builds foundational literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school students. The project impacted all 57 of Grenada's government primary schools by improving the country's Grade 1 literacy curriculum. In addition, we conducted library training for schools and our local partner. We also built the capacity of local authors and illustrators to create quality low-cost children’s titles in- country and published 13 original children’s titles. Through this partnership, we impacted an estimated 11,000 students and thousands more will benefit in the future as new generations of students enter the school system. 

Book publishing and teacher training  

Project Dates: 2018 – 2020 

Provide short-term technical assistance by training government on book selection and publishing, and potentially training of authors and illustrators. 

Bilingual storybooks in Hong Kong

Project Launch: 2022

Room to Read has launched a project that aims to address childhood literacy rates in low-income and/or migrant communities in Hong Kong who have little or no access to books.​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​Working with local authors and illustrators, Room to Read is creating bilingual storybooks in Chinese and mother-tongue languages for children from the Philippines, India, and Pakistan, now living in Hong Kong.

Scaling Up Early Reading Interventions (SERI) (USAID) 

Project Dates: 2015-2019 

The Scaling Up Early Learning Intervention Project (SERI) is a five-year USAID-funded project that focuses on literacy in government primary schools. This project has two components – the establishment of “model” schools whereby Room to Read implements our reading instruction program, and “partnership” schools to which Room to Read provides technical assistance to the state and local governments to implement the literacy program. The states of Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand are implementing both “model” schools and “partnership” schools through this project. More than 136,000 children in 1,360 schools are benefiting from this project.  


Early Grade Literacy in Madhya Pradesh (UNICEF) 

Project Dates: August 2018 – July 2021 

Room to Read is implementing our Early Grade Literacy Program in Madhya Pradesh within 10 demonstration schools and providing technical assistance for 512 primary schools. This will reach approximately 25,600 children and train over 1,024 teachers through 34 master trainers. 


Girls’ Education in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan (IKEA) 

Project Dates: July 2018 – March 2021 

Room to Read is conducting a Girls’ Education Program demonstration and scaling project in the states of Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. The aim of the project is to reach 68,700 girls in the target states through both direct implementation and technical assistance. 


Promote Early grade literacy in Chhattisgarh (UNICEF) 

Project Dates:  November 2018 – December 2019 

Room to Read is expanding our Early Grade Literacy Program in Chhattisgarh to build off previous scaling activities within the state. 


Scaling school libraries and local book publishing (IKEA Foundation)  

Project Dates: 2014-May 2019 

Room to Read’s second custom project in Indonesia is focused on training local organizations on local book publishing and school libraries. This project, supported by the IKEA Foundation, scales the program initiated during a two-year project supported by individuals and local foundations convened by Credit Suisse. Working in the three regions of Indonesia (East Java, Bali and East Nusa Tenggara) Room to Read is training three local NGOs to establish, monitor, and sustain school libraries. These partners are establishing 145 libraries through this project that will benefit more than 30,000 children. Local book publishing is also a focus of the project. We are training five publishing and NGO partners on the book development process. Through this project, 60 new early grade storybooks in Bahasa Indonesia are being published and at least 420,000 copies distributed. 


Digital Library: More Reading, More Learning ( 

Project Dates: 2017-2020 

Room to Read’s three-year project, supported by, aims to support a culture of reading in Indonesia by creating a digital platform that combines literacy professional development videos and children’s stories. The goal of the project entitled Digital Library: More Reading, More Learning is to build a platform that will provide access to high-quality digital storybooks, videos to guide teachers in conducting effective reading activities with children, and support for local writers and illustrators to develop more culturally relevant and age-appropriate children’s books. Through the platform, by July 2020, the project aims to reach at least 2,100 teachers, 500 writers and illustrators, and over 200,000 students across a minimum of 15 districts of Indonesia. 

Developing and distributing storybooks in Arabic 

Project Date: 2017 

Room to Read’s custom project in Jordan worked with three local publishing partners and over 40 authors and illustrators in Jordan to develop 20 titles in Arabic and distribute 600,000 copies to neediest communities and schools serving refugee and Jordanian children. Room to Read worked closely with the Jordanian publishers Dar Al Yasmine, Jabal Amman and Majdalawi Masterpieces to increase their capacity to publish high quality children’s books. The publishers participated in and facilitated portions of the Room to Read’s workshops for authors and illustrators in Amman over the course of 2017. They worked closely with Room to Read during the book editing process, building their skills and understanding of best practices in book design. Books were distributed widely throughout the country. Every public primary school in Jordan received four copies of title. Books were also distributed to refugee camps, orphanages, municipality libraries and NGOs working in remote and underserved communities throughout the country. The project was generously supported by Dubai Cares as part of the UAE’s Reading Nation Campaign. 

Reading Materials (BEQUAL) 

Project Dates: April 2018 – June 2019 

RtR LA is supporting the development of national pre-service and in-service teacher training materials for Grade 1 and 2 literacy instruction as part of the BEQUAL project in Laos. As a result, RtR’s training methods and best practices will be implemented nation-wide with the roll out of a revised national reading curriculum.   


Improve early grade literacy among non-Lao speaking students (USAID and Save the Children) 

Project Dates: August 2018 – May 2023 

We are improving early grade reading skills for preschool, grade one and grade two children with a focus on non-Lao speaking students. This project is being implement in two southern provinces and will reach 65,313 children. 


Literacy initiative supports children in crisis in Lebanon

Project Launch: 2022

Millions of children in Lebanon have been out of school, and many of those children are refugees. To strengthen children’s literacy skills and reading habits in Lebanon and support the transition of out-of-school children into the formal school system, Room to Read launched a two-year project that includes partnering with Lebanese publishers to print and distribute 60 original Arabic storybooks to roughly 1,800 non-formal education centers across Lebanon.

The initiative also entails establishing 50 children’s libraries in non-formal education centers, benefiting approximately 50,000 children and supporting early-grade literacy development in coordination with local efforts.

Establishing and Managing School Libraries  

Project Dates: 2018-2019 

Room to Read’s custom project in Myanmar is focused on training the Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation on book procurement, library establishment and library management. Working in three regions of Myanmar (Yangon, Mandalay and Ayeyarwady), Room to Read is training our local operational and implementing partner, the Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation (MBAPF), to establish, monitor and sustain school libraries. The project will support the establishment of 20 libraries. 

Nepal Early Grade Reading Project (USAID) 

Project Dates: 2015-2019 

Room to Read is part of USAID’s five-year Nepal Early Grade Reading Project. We play a leadership role on the technical team and work with the project to develop teaching and learning materials to create a national approach to Nepali early grade reading instruction in grades 1 to 3. 

Strengthening the indigenous language storybook industry - Reach for Reading (World Bank) 

Project dates: August 2017 – August 2019 

This two-year project is in partnership with USAID and the Global Book Alliance, and it is Room to Read’s first project funded by the World Bank. The project will facilitate a public-private partnership to develop national quality guidelines and create and distribute storybooks in support of the existing government Read to Lead campaign (2015-2019). As part of this broader initiative in fostering systemic change, ~20-25 early grade storybook titles (Print and Digital Versions) will be developed in 5 languages: isiZulu, Tshivenda, Siswati, Xitsonga, Sepedi. 

Developing high-quality teaching and learning materials (USAID and RTI) 

Project Dates: 2016-2019 

Room to Read is part of USAID’s five-year early grade literacy project in partnership with the Tanzania Institute of Education called Tusome Pamoja. This includes sharing our expertise on the development of student and teacher materials for reading and writing, as well as local language storybooks.  


Improving reading for children in Rwanda (USAID and Chemonics) 

Project Dates: 2016-2021 

Room to Read is developing early-grade reading materials in Kinyarwanda, building the capacity of Rwandan book publishers to develop these materials, and building the capacity of Rwandan teachers to use these materials in classrooms as part of this five-year national Rwandan early-grade reading project called Soma Umenye (“Read and Know”) funded by USAID. Room to Read also plays a leading role in designing and implementing research to demonstrate results and identify best practices. 

Helping to Close the Children's Book Gap in Uganda

In 2020, our literacy team set out to identify gaps in the Ugandan book supply chain and strategize ways to close those gaps. We then partnered with the Reading Association of Uganda early in 2021 and together, we distributed 35,000 Room to Read storybooks, translated into Luganda, to primary schools across the country.

While the initial distribution of translated titles marked an important first step in closing gaps in available and accessible children’s books in Uganda, we know that young learners need stories developed in their own countries and in their local languages — stories that reflect their own cultures, histories and lived experiences — to develop a true lifelong love and habit of reading. To that end, Room to Read is currently collaborating with Ugandan authors, illustrators, book creators and publishers to develop our first ever collection of original storybooks in the country.

Program Offerings

Our services in literacy help governments and other organizations ensure that primary grade children develop reading skills and a habit of reading. By giving teachers, librarians, district level educators, families, and community leaders the tools and training they need, children can become lifelong, independent readers.

Literacy Program Offering

Instructional Design for Grades 1 and 2

  • Curriculum analysis
  • Scope and sequence of a foundational reading and writing program for children
  • Development of teacher and pupil books Professional Learning
  • Training for teachers and coaches in the implementation of effective reading and writing instruction Student Performance
  • Reading and writing assessments and tracking tools


Establishing School Libraries

  • Site Selection and library set-up


Managing School Libraries

  • Book leveling, creating a print-rich environment, check-out systems
  • Professional training for librarians and library management facilitators
  • Measuring effectiveness of library systems and services Reading Activities in the Library
  • Training for teachers and librarians
  • Incorporating library books into classroom instruction


Quality Books and Other Reading Materials

  • Building book development skills—story and illustration development, editing, and design
  • Cultivating authors and illustrators
  • Operations management for children’s book publishing

Our services in girls’ education are focused on creating an environment and support system for girls to complete secondary school with the skills they need to be successful and negotiate key life decisions. Working with school and district-level educators, mentors, parents, and other community members, we provide a guided program structure with life skills curriculum, training, and resources for engaging parents and communities to support girls as they progress through school.

Girls' Education Program Offering

Life Skills

  • Curriculum—grades 6 to 12
  • Professional learning: facilitating life skills activities


Family, School and Community Engagement

  • Facilitating parental workshops
  • Establishing and managing parent committees



  • Identifying girls who are at risk of dropping out of school
  • Training mentors to support girls to stay in school
  • Manager and facilitator professional learning

Room to Read Custom Projects Inquiries


Please note that at this time Room to Read is only able to consider projects that are funded for multi-year engagements.

“As a partner, we learned a huge amount about Room to Read's approach. Their model is sustainable and it has set higher quality standards for children's books and libraries in Indonesia—and inspires others to achieve the same standard.”

Amanda Casimira Program Manager, ProVisi Education, Indonesia