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Address:   111 Sutter Street
16th Floor
San Francisco, CA   94104
Geographic Area Served:   International
Year Founded:   1998
Website:   http://www.roomtoread.org
Phone Number:   (415) 561-3331

Mission Statement:

  Room to Read partners with local communities throughout the developing world to establish schools, libraries, and other educational infrastructure. We seek to intervene early in the lives of children in the belief that education is a lifelong gift that empowers people to ultimately improve socioeconomic conditions for their families, communities, countries, and future generations. Through the opportunities that only an education can provide, we strive to break the cycle of poverty, one child at a time.


  Room to Read has developed a holistic, multi-pronged approach to help children in the developing world gain the lifelong gift of education. The approach includes the following programs:
  • School Room — We partner with villages to build schools.
  • Reading Room — We establish bi-lingual libraries and fill them with donated English books and local language books purchased in-country or self-published, creating a colorful space with posters, games, furniture, and flooring.
  • Local Language Publishing — We source new content from local writers and illustrators and publish high-quality local language children's books to distribute throughout our networks.
  • Computer & Language Room — We establish labs to provide students with vocational skills and employment access.
  • Room to Grow Girls' Scholarship — We fund long-term girls' scholarships for young girls who would otherwise not have access to an education.

      To increase the likelihood for success and long-term sustainability, Room to Read enlists community involvement and co-investment through our Challenge Grant model. Villages often raise a significant portion of the overall expenditure in the form of dedicated space, labor, materials and/or small amounts of cash. These challenge grants act as catalysts for community building while also maximizing the local participation and expertise brought to our programs.
      We hire local staff, who are personally vested in their nation's educational progress and we empower them to make key programmatic decisions within their country. They are already familiar with the language, conditions, customs and governments and understand the specific needs of the educational system and work to ensure that we craft new solutions to existing problems.

In Their Own Words:

Room to Read is a dynamic, results-oriented organization. To date we have impacted the lives of over 300,000 children. Here are some of our stories:

"Your glorious help has changed our school, and inspired our students to improve their academic performance. The students at our school received some of the highest exam scores out of the Kaski district; the first time our school received such distinction. We are very grateful to you all." Udaya Karki, Principle, Harihar English School, Nepal

"My school just received a new library from Room to Read. We can read colorful books both in Khmer and English. I am learning about so many new places and animals now!" Grade 6 Student, Battambang, Cambodia

"On behalf of the teaching staff and students at the Le Ngoc Han Secondary School, I want to thank all of you in Room to Read for your generous gift of a computer lab. Your support will help our young generation face the challenges of the future." Dong Thi Bach Tuyet, Training and Educational Services, Tien Giang Province, Vietnam

"It is not often that you can make such a big impact in someone's life. For $250 a year you can make or break whether a young girl grows up working in a sweatshop or going to school." Lynette, Girls' Scholarship Donor, New York, NY

"The thing that makes me most proud is that Room to Read is able to mobilize all the stakeholders, parents, government officials, and teachers via our challenge grants for new school construction. At the opening ceremony, we are proud to see a beautiful new school with sufficient rooms, desks and chairs, library books, and a great deal of excitement in the students and parents." Dinesh Shrestha, Room to Read Nepal Country Manager



Total Income:   $11,546,374
Total Expenses:   $7,523,409
Amount Spent on Programs:   $6,834,596
Percentage Spent on Programs:   90.84%
Reporting Year:   2005

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