Room to Read, the pioneer organization in imparting quality education to underprivileged children and strengthening gender equality, is celebrating its 20th anniversary across the globe.
On the occasion to mark its 20th anniversary Sourav Banerjee, Country Director, Room to Read India remarked “I want to extend my gratitude to every member of the organization for their hard work and dedication and to all the funding partners for their support. As we set our strategy for the next five years, we are sharply focused on supporting system-level adoption and influence to build a path toward greater scale. We will continue to deliver high-quality programs at the school level and help individual girls succeed. Our aim for the next five years will be to more than double the number of children benefited in the past 20 years”.
An international non-profit with its headquarters in San Francisco, USA, and operations across sixteen countries of Asia and Africa, Room to Read’s two decades journey has only cemented its core belief that World Change Starts with Educated Children. Its innovative model focuses on profound, systemic transformation within schools in low-income communities during two time periods that are most critical in a child’s schooling: early primary school for literacy acquisition and secondary school for girls’ education. The organization collaborates with governments and local communities to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children and ensure girls can complete secondary school with the skills necessary to negotiate key life decisions. Since its inception in the year 2000, Room to Read has benefited nearly 20 million children worldwide.
Room to Read India is the organization’s largest area of operation, with current presence across nine states in the country. In India, the organization has benefitted over 4.3 million children and distributed more than 100 million culturally relevant age appropriate books. It hopes to reach over 10 million children by 2024, depending on government collaborations and fund availability.
Room to Read’s programs have shown high impact. Children going through its comprehensive foundational literacy program has been found to be reading three times faster and two times more comprehension/understanding by the end of grade 2, compared to other non-intervention schools. Similarly, Room to Read’s life skills inputs to girls have been proven to reduce girl’s school dropout by 20% while enhancing their skills of problem solving, decision making, relationship building and expressing agency over one’s life. These are significant achievements in view of the National Education Policy 2020’s focus on foundational learning and life skills.