Room to Read | 2021 Annual Report


One of our strategic priorities at Room to Read is to design our programs to have system-level influence in the communities where we work. Through partnerships with national and subnational governments, we can integrate and mainstream core elements of our literacy and gender equality work into teacher training, school counseling and other areas of government school systems, thereby creating long-term systemic change.

Here are a few highlights of initiatives that enabled us to scale our work in 2021:


We first began a long-term national library partnership with the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) in 2018 with the goal of incorporating our library model into Vietnam’s national library policies. The MOET, recognizing the effectiveness of our model, has since invested heavily in the rapid scale-up of the approach. From the formation of our partnership in 2018 to 2021, the MOET implemented 1,320 expansion libraries — libraries that use Room to Read’s design and programming but are completely led, funded and implemented by government partners. Room to Read is now working to have its library model integrated into the new national library standards and rolled out nationwide.


In preparation for Tanzania’s 2021 national curriculum review, our team organized two workshops with members of the Tanzania Institute of Education to advance the integration of Room to Read’s literacy development model into lower grade curriculum and the national syllabus. Room to Read staff led participants through a collaborative process to determine the teaching order for government textbooks and helped to identify gaps in the country’s curriculum. By supporting and enhancing national education systems, we are positioned to benefit more children across Tanzania.


Two years ago, Room to Read formed a national library partnership with the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports. The goal of the partnership was simple: promote quality library programming in primary schools across the country.

By the end of 2021, our team had successfully led a government working group to create a national library package based directly on our library model. The package included guidelines on library management, a suite of library activities, a guide to categorizing books based on the difficulty of the text — otherwise known as book leveling — and suggestions for enhancing community engagement around the initiative.


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