Make Room to Read, Change the World

Uncategorized Posted Nov 17, 2011 by metropolis

How do you lift 171 million people out of poverty? Education.

That’s the message of Room to Read, a charity founded by John Wood, a former marketing director for Microsoft, more than a decade ago. With modest funds and 45 chapters around the world, Room to Read is making an enormous impact. To date they have helped six million children gain access to books, education and mentorship. They have built more than 12,000 libraries, opened 1,450 schools, published nearly 600 books in native languages and just recently handed out their 10 millionth book.

Girls who would be illiterate today are preparing for university to fulfill once unthinkable dreams of becoming teachers, doctors and lawyers. They will read to their children and break the cycle of illiteracy.

Thanks to our Partner Emeritus Barb Heffner, who now leads the group’s Boston Chapter, many of us at CHEN had the opportunity to support one of its fall events, held at Microsoft’s New England R&D Center earlier this week. It was inspiring and moving and thought-provoking. Our hats are off to the organization and its many volunteers.

To learn more, we encourage you to read Nick Kristof’s recent columns for the New York Times, including this one about an extraordinary young girl named Dao Ngoc Phung. You might just get the Room to Read bug and join us at an event sometime soon. We’d love that.