When a Child Reads, She Can Write Her Future

Being able to read and write is essential. Written words are gateways to knowledge and opportunity that are only accessible to those with the ability to decipher them. Despite the known benefits of literacy, 175 million young people in low- and lower middle-income countries are unable to read a single sentence. That’s one out of every four children.

Without a strong foundation of literacy skills, children are more likely to struggle throughout their education, live in poverty and see their potential hampered. In the areas where we work, numerous barriers prevent students from developing the literacy skills they need to thrive. These include a lack of educational resources, minimal exposure to age-appropriate books, insufficiently trained teachers and overstretched infrastructure. We evaluate the extent of these main barriers and work in partnership with local governments to assist schools to address the specific challenges they are facing and ensure students have what they need to develop strong literacy skills and a habit of reading.

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.

Drawing on Success to Author Change

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.

Training Teachers to Overcome Barriers

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.

Building a Strong Foundation for Education

Sustaining and Scaling Literacy Programs

Create 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.

Journey to Lifelong Learning

Top 10 Literacy Learnings

Room to Read is a leading nonprofit at work supporting literacy programs for girls, boys, & children in Asia & Africa. Learn more, donate, or get involved.
Room to Read is a leading nonprofit at work supporting literacy programs for girls, boys, & children in Asia & Africa. Learn more, donate, or get involved.

1.8x as Fast

Room to Read students read faster than students in comparison schools.

1.8x as Fast

Room to Read students read faster than students in comparison schools.

CHALLENGE

Room to Read has a challenge for you: Do Not Read This.

CHALLENGE

Room to Read has a challenge for you: Do Not Read This.

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