Inside the Life Skills Evaluation
International education researchers from American University, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Dartmouth College led a rigorous study to see whether life skills such as perseverance and problem-solving can be cultivated and how these skills, paired with mentorship, impact girls’ lives.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the study included a survey of 2,400 female students and their parents in Rajasthan, India – half of whom participated in Room to Read’s life skills-focused Girls’ Education Program, and half whom hadn’t. When comparing these students, the two-year study found that girls who participated in a streamlined version of Room to Read’s typical seven-year program showed a measurable increase in grade progression, as well as problem-solving, decision-making, relationship-building and expressing agency over their lives. Program participants also exhibited a 25% lower dropout rate.
This study showed that with the support of a mentor and life skills curriculum girls are staying in school longer and cultivating leadership-oriented skills after just two years through Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program.