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Room To Read

Giving children in Vietnam the literacy and life skills to succeed in school and beyon

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.

Our Commitment: Equality of Chances

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 in Vietnam

Grant Potential

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.


  • Take a proven, successful approach to a new country and cultural context
  • Achieve depth and durability in the Reading & Writing Instruction Program


  • Increase literacy and language skills for students in new regions
  • Build a trained network of teachers with the materials and skillset to continue to use this framework over time
  • Adopt and scale the approach through large organizations, governments and policy

Grants awarded


  • Initial grant to launch the Reading & Writing Instruction Program in Vietnam


  • Continue to train educators, provide supplies and build capacity for program expansion


  • Expand holistic Literacy Program in the Raipur district (India) and increase access to reading materials, educator support and improved school environments