Creating Room to Read: A Story of Hope in the Battle for Global Literacy By John Wood
- One in five adults in the developing world — almost 862 million people — cannot read or write.
- Most illiterate persons are female. In more than 20 developing nations, illiteracy rates amongst women exceed 70%.
- As much as 115 million children of primary school age are not enrolled in school.
- More than 226 million children do not attend secondary school.
- Many children who do enroll in school do not graduate with even the most basic reading and math skills because their schools do not have enough teachers, books or facilities to provide a quality education.
- Across the world many children miss out on their education because:
- They are made to work to help support their families,
- They are recruited into armed forces and become child soldiers,
- Their families do not have the means to pay for schooling,
- Discrimination and racism undermine their chance to receive an education,
- They face violence as they pursue their education. This is the case for girls in areas where they are threatened with extreme physical harm (eg. acid attacks) for the seemingly harmless act of attending school.
- In most developing countries, public school is not free. The costs of books, uniforms, and teachers’ salaries are borne by the students’ families.
- School fees and related costs are a common barrier to education. These charges are a greater burden for children from poor families, and disproportionately affect those who are racial and ethnic minorities, members of Indigenous communities and migrants.
- Girls are more likely to be excluded from school than boys when there isn’t enough money to go round. As many as two out of three out-of-school children are girls.
- Social traditions and deep-rooted religious and cultural beliefs are most often the barriers to expanding girls’ educational opportunities in undeveloped countries around the world.
- Educated girls and women are less vulnerable to HIV infection, human trafficking and other forms of exploitation, are more likely to marry later, raise fewer children who are more likely to go to school, and make important contributions to family income.
…….Sound overwhelming? Where do you begin? Where do you sign up to help? John Wood’s book, Creating Room to Read: A Story of Hope in the Battle for Global Literacy, is a rousing real life story of someone that set out to make a difference by creating an organization that helps build libraries for children in third world countries. He explains his vision, the story of his startup, and highlights his work with children and families. This book is motivational and inspirational.