deutsch | english
Room to Read
Wood, Founder and CEO, launched Room to Read after a trek through Nepal,
where he visited several local schools throughout the developing country.
He was amazed by the warmth and enthusiasm of the students and teachers,
but also saddened by the shocking lack of resources. Driven to help, John
quit his senior executive position with Microsoft and set out to build a
global team to work with rural villages to build sustainable solutions to
their educational challenges. Founding Room to Read, John integrated
proven corporate business practices with his inspiring vision to provide
educational access to 10 million children in the developing world. His
innovative approach to non-profit management called for:
Scalable, measureable, sustainable results
Low-overhead allowing maximum investment in educational infrastructure
Challenge grants fostering community ownership and sustainability
Strong local staff and partnerships creating culturally relevant
The approach includes the
School Room Partnerships with villages to build schools.
Reading Room Establishment of bi-lingual libraries with donated
English books and local language books purchased in-country or
Local Language Publishing Room to Read sources new content from local
writers and illustrators and publishes high-quality local language
children's books to distribute throughout its networks.
Computer & Language Room Room to Read establishes labs to provide
students with vocational skills and employment access.
Room to Grow Girls' Scholarship Funds of long-term girls' scholarships
for young girls who would otherwise not have access to an education.
increase the likelihood for success and long-term sustainability, Room to
Read enlists community involvement and co-investment through the
Challenge Grant model: Villages usually 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 Room to Reads programs. Room to Read hires local
staff, who are personally vested in their nation's educational progress
and who are familiar with the language, conditions, customs and
governments and understand the specific needs of the educational system.
Results to Date
Since its inception in 2000, Room to Read has impacted the lives of
over 1.7 million children by:
Constructing 442 schools
Establishing over 5,160 libraries
Publishing 226 new local language children's titles representing over 2
Donating over 2.2 million English language children's books
Funding 4,036 long-term girls' scholarships
Establishing 155 computer labs
Awards, Honors and Press
Over the past few years,
Room to Read has received several distinguished awards, including The Fast
Company/Monitor Group Social Capitalist Award, the Skoll Award for Social
Entrepreneurship, and the Sand Hill Group Foundation's Social
In addition to these organizational awards, Founder and CEO John Wood has
been selected for several honors, including the Draper Richards Foundation
Fellowship, the Young Global Leader award from the World Economic Forum,
and Time Magazine's Asia's Heroes Award.