September 27, 2007
In an onstage ceremony today at the Clinton Global Initiative, Room to Read announced a commitment to double the reach of its programs by building 10,000 bilingual libraries by the year 2010. The global literacy nonprofit established its first library in 2000 and will complete its 5000th library this fall. John Wood, Founder and CEO of Room to Read, and Erin Ganju, Chief Operating Officer, were congratulated onstage by President Bill Clinton.
Room to Read, which currently operates in six countries in Asia, and South Africa, committed to expand its geographic reach to 15 countries by 2010, including a launch into Latin America. The organization aims to expand into eight new countries on three continents including: two additional countries in Asia, three additional countries in Africa (starting with Zambia in 2008) and three initial countries in Latin America. The international NGO will expand its flagship Reading Room program to open 5,000 additional libraries in the next three years, bringing the total to 10,000 libraries.
The organization has also promised to self-publish over 3.5-million children's books in local languages across three continents. To date, Room to Read has published 1.5 million new, culturally relevant children's books in the countries in which it operates. The local language children's publishing initiative recently won one of six "Innovation in Education" awards from the Academy for Educational Development. The organization aims to expand their work with local authors and illustrators to publish 350 new and original titles, with 3.5-million copies printed by 2010.
Scholastic Inc. has agreed to provide at least 750,000 English language children's books to help fill the new libraries over the next three years. Goldman Sachs has committed one-million dollars towards the initiative in order to establish 450 libraries, train 450 librarians and teachers in librarian management and donate over 400,000 books to the libraries.
Room to Read founder and CEO John Wood said, "Participating in the 2007 CGI annual meeting will enable us to announce our ambitious plans, while providing other CGI Members with the opportunity to support an innovative, results-oriented approach to addressing the challenge of global education."
Room to Read
Room to Read is a leader in providing educational opportunities to children around the world. By leveraging public-private partnerships and building upon their track record of success, Room to Read is uniquely positioned to scale efforts to give more than 1.5 million children the lifelong gift of education. As a trusted leader in global education, Room to Read is known for dreaming big and executing with speed and precision.
Clinton Global Initiative
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) is a non-partisan catalyst for action, bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to global problems. In 2005, President Bill Clinton and the William J. Clinton Foundation launched the Clinton Global Initiative to help our world move beyond the current state of globalization to a more integrated global community of shared benefits, responsibilities, and values. The Clinton Global Initiative brings together a carefully selected group of the world's best minds and most distinguished problem solvers to focus on practical, effective measures that can be taken now. These leaders - from a wide variety of political, ideological, religious, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds - include current and former heads of state, top business executives, preeminent scholars, and representatives of key non-governmental organizations.
View the video online at video.clintonglobalinitiative.org/health_cast/player_cgi2007.cfm?id=3509
The commitment can be seen on the CGI website at commitments.clintonglobalinitiative.org/projects.htm?status=1&category=50&sort_by=visits