Room to Read collaborates with communities and local governments across Asia and Africa to develop literacy skills and help young girls achieve the skills and confidence they need to succeed in school and beyond. Even before we sat down with the team at Room to Read in 2010, we admired their commitment to childhood literacy and gender equality in education. The organization’s track record since then has been stellar.
Some Erol Foundation grants seek to increase the scale of our impact: to expand the number of lives and communities positively affected by a project. Some grants seek to increase the depth of impact, i.e., how meaningfully and durably a life and an entire community is changed. Our relationship with Room to Read has allowed us to do both. To start, we made an initial one-year grant to support the establishment of school reading rooms and scholarships for girls. Then the San Francisco-based team came to us with the opportunity to support Room to Read in building new, country-specific programs. These programs started with a reading and writing Instruction program for primary school students in Vietnam with plans for a second program in India.
Room to Read’s successful model for literacy and life skills sets a high standard for impact. The instruction program creates proven near- and long-term impact in developing communities. Most importantly, it’s proven and readily scalable in new countries, setting the standard for rising opportunities for girls in developing countries worldwide.
Erol’s support focuses first on Vietnam, where young girls can receive instruction in reading comprehension, writing, listening and public speaking. Once the program is successfully launched and scaled, Erol’s executive committee hopes to continue supporting activities in new regions so that more children have access to the incredible opportunities in life made possible by literacy, learning and self-confidence.