Why Literacy and Girls’ Education?
Literacy is the cornerstone of learning, democracy and economic development. Yet 773.5 million people across the globe lack the ability to read and write—that includes every medicine bottle, employment ad and ballot form they encounter. And, two-thirds of the illiterate are female, despite the fact that an educated woman is more likely to educate her own children and end the cycle of illiteracy in one generation. Literacy and girls’ education are two of the most crucial steps on the path to global development.
Room to Read combats this startling reality by partnering with communities in Asia and Africa to train educators, establish libraries, construct classrooms, and publish children’s books in local languages. To fight gender inequality in education, Room to Read provides girls with mentorship, life skills training, tutoring and financial support.
And it’s working!
Why Room to Read?
After 14 years of learning and improving, we’ve designed programs with astounding results:
- The average impact of our reading and writing interventions are nearly 10 times greater than the average impact of 70 other similarly-focused literacy interventions.
- Among recent graduates from our Girls’ Education program, 74 percent went on to pursue tertiary education – a rate dramatically higher than the national averages where we work.
Here’s what one our alumna in Cambodia had to say: “In my mother’s generation, a girl could not study because she was supposed to be someone’s wife and just look after the kitchen. But for me, I can go anywhere and do anything.”
Not only are our programs effective, they’re also scalable. With a presence in more than 16,000 communities worldwide, we’ve benefited nearly nine million children (scaling faster than Starbucks)!
For just $100, you can provide literacy education for a child for a full year and help us reach our goal of benefiting 10 million children by 2015!
Room to Read is an award-winning, internationally recognized non-profit organization. Here are just a few recognitions that help set us apart from other organizations:
- We have received Charity Navigator’s highest rating for fiscal responsibility and transparency for 8 years in a row, an honor that less than 1% of their rated charities can claim.
- Recipient of Great Nonprofits’ Top-Rated Award in 2013.
- Recipient of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Confucius Prize for Literacy in 2011.
- Room to Read has been featured in the documentaries Half the Sky and Girl Rising, as well as covered by New York Times columnist Nick Kristof (you can see Kristof’s features here and here).
How can you help?
No gift is too big or too small when giving the gift of literacy and equality in education. Your donation to Room to Read will be used to ensure that students have the resources they need to become independent readers and successful students. For example:
- $25 will fill one library shelf with books
- $100 will provide a child with one year of comprehensive literacy education
- $250 will provide a year of support for a girl in our Girls’ Education program
- $500 will fill a grade 1 or 2 class with workbooks and teacher guides to teach reading
- $5,000 will establish a library in Asia
(There are so many ways you can get involved! Learn more here.)
Together, we can change the story for millions of children in Asia and Africa and for future generations to come. Your support is critical! You can help us reach 10 million children by 2015 by donating right now.