Creating Life-Long Independent Readers
Literacy has the power to bring the world together.
Give a Year of Reading Room to Read’s Literacy Program transforms primary schools into child-friendly learning environments that enable children to become life-long, independent readers. Give a Year of Reading: $50
As citizens of a global, interconnected community, we use literacy every day. We use the written word to celebrate our greatest wins and explore the deepest of sorrows. We use literacy to find our tribe and debate different points of view. Even in times of great divisiveness, we fight with our words more often than with our fists. Literacy is the framework through which we communicate, connect and expand our shared existence.
Yet nearly a billion people are unable to join the conversation because they cannot read or write. 750 million adults lack basic reading and writing skills. 124 million children and adolescents are not in school and one in four children in low-income countries cannot read.
For International Literacy Day, we asked:
What book changed your world view?
In the words of our Literacy Program Director, Christabel Pinto, books have the power to expand the boundaries of our world. Good stories allow us to take a few steps in somebody else’s shoes and, in doing so, to recognize our shared humanity and experience a world beyond our own. But children’s books are so much more than a learning tool — they delight, teach, engage, and challenge us.
When living in difficult circumstances, books can provide a respite from struggle and a window into possibilities beyond the here and now. In a world where differences are exploited to pit people against each other, books can be a means to understanding both ourselves and others better.
Room to Read's Global Book Collection, Volume I
When we give children stories that highlight different cultures and experiences, we widen their perspectives from an early age. That's why we're sharing the first volume of Room to Read's free digital Global Book Collection for all of the little global citizens in your life.Download the Collection
Room to Read is breaking the cycle of childhood illiteracy and poverty in a single generation.
Room to Read's innovative Literacy Program ensures primary schools have libraries filled with books in the children’s local languages, as well as teachers and librarians who are trained on how to engage a classroom of eager, young learners. By the end of grade 2, children in Room to Read's Literacy Program read 2 to 3 times as fast and read with 87% greater comprehension than their peers in non-Room to Read program schools.
The End of Impossible
With proven tools for teaching reading fluency and comprehension, we know how to solve the illiteracy crisis. We just need the capital to do it. Let’s reverse the notion that the end to these challenges is impossible.Give a Year of Reading Today
Learn more about Room to Read's Literacy Program
Books Best Suited for Emerging Readers
Beginning readers need books and instructional materials designed for their skill levels. Challenging or complex texts can intimidate students and discourage their practice. Unfortunately, books for early readers are often limited or nonexistent in the countries where we work.
To remedy this, we create local language materials that readers at various levels can enjoy. These books cover topics that capture children’s imaginations and make reading fun. Our goal is inspire children to read, expand their minds, and develop a lifelong love for reading and learning.
Educators Equipped to Get Kids Learning
A reading instructor who knows how to teach and nurture reading and writing skills is crucial for young students. That’s why we train early grade teachers and provide in-class coaching. The phonics-based instructional method we equip teachers with helps children learn to decode sounds and words in a logical sequence and build confidence in their budding skills.
We also train educators on how to manage a library and conduct activities that encourage students to read independently. Our local staff regularly monitor the library environment and provide feedback, so communities know how to sustain a high-functioning library long after our support ends.
A School that Provides the Right Learning Environment
Learning to read and write is challenging enough without also being encumbered by hot, dark or overcrowded classrooms. We help communities build or repair learning spaces so children have safe, child-friendly environments where they can focus on learning.
Our projects include building all-new classrooms to alleviate overcrowding, renovating existing school spaces to improve lighting, safety and ventilation, and establishing libraries where students can enjoy books. We also help procure child-sized furniture and provide direction on how to arrange learning materials so students can access them and read on their own.
Sustaining and Scaling Literacy ProgramsCreate World Change With your support we can scale faster and transform communities across the globe. Together, we have the potential to reach 15 million children by 2020. Transformational Giving
We design our literacy programs to create long-term, systemic change in the places where we work. That means working closely with communities to ensure activities in schools are sustained for many years after Room to Read intervention. We work with communities early in project planning and share costs to establish local ownership, as well as equipping them with the knowledge and skills to continue activities in schools and to source books themselves.
We also advocate for, and work in partnership with, governments to scale effective literacy initiatives in order to respond to a country’s need at the national level. To enable this, we use replicable interventions based on global research and best-practices for helping students in text-poor communities become fluent readers. The data from our project schools demonstrates to governments the kind of impact that is possible with well-designed materials and training. This helps us to work with Ministries of Education to promote widespread policy and curriculum changes that impact children beyond our program schools. These partnerships ensure that we complement national efforts, and sustain and scale programs nationally.