Today we celebrate Universal Children's Day, which commemorates the day in 1959 when the United Nations adopted the "Declaration of the Rights of the Child." It was the first time that the world promised children that we would protect their right to an education -- a promise that Room to Read is working hard to keep. All over the world there are children with mighty potential who need a school, a library, trained teachers, books, and a supportive community to realize that potential.
One such child was Philip.
Philip always has a book in his hands. Even in the morning before school, Philip reads as he takes care of his family's goats. However in Zambia, 53% of children from poor families like Philip's do not achieve even basic literacy skills. That's why Room to Read brings the Literacy Program to communities like his.
Children face myriad challenges when it comes to learning how to read, so Room to Read tackles literacy from every angle:
- Publishing books so that the children have age-appropriate, culturally relevant reading materials in their local language
- Establishing colorful and inviting libraries
- Training teachers and librarians to be more effective in the classroom and to guide children towards the habit of reading
Building or renovating school and library infrastructures
- Engaging with families and communities to establish a culture of reading
- Partnering with governments and communities for broader, lasting change
- With all of these interventions working together, eager readers like Philip have the chance to flourish as learners and thinkers.