Room to Read | 2021 Annual Report


Room to Read is a learning organization, and we’ve learned a lot over the course of the pandemic. In 2021 we built on our knowledge from 2020, further adapting our programs to meet the changing needs of the communities we serve and refining our delivery methods to benefit more children. As COVID-19 continued to disrupt school systems around the globe, we bolstered our distance learning strategies. We developed additional TV and radio programming, added more book titles in more languages to our digital library, Literacy Cloud, and enhanced our approach to both virtual and, as schools reopened, in-person teacher trainings. We also found increasingly innovative ways to distribute more hard copy materials, including storybooks and educational worksheets. These initiatives helped to keep children engaged in learning while at home and prepared them to return to the classroom when schools reopened.

Explore just a few highlights of the creative ways we kept children learning throughout 2021:

DELIVERING BOOKS BY BOATS, TRAINS AND CAMELS IN INDIA We initiated a dynamic book distribution campaign in 2021 with “India Gets Reading at Home.” Mobile libraries were established on boats, on bikes — even on the backs of camels! These engaging, playful and highly effective transportation methods delivered captivating storybooks in local languages to children across nine different states to ensure that learning continued — no matter a child’s location — during pandemic- related school closures.

CAPTIVATING TELEVISION VIEWERS IN SRI LANKA In Sri Lanka, we partnered with the country’s premier education channel, Guru TV, in March of 2021 to deliver reading lessons and life skills lessons — including segments on financial literacy — in both Tamil and Sinhala to an estimated 1.7 million viewers across the country. Our life skills episodes were broadcast throughout the week, and our reading lessons were shown on a continuous loop on weekends to ensure the content benefited as many children as possible.


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