It was through his travels to far-flung locations like Vietnam, Nepal, Cambodia and Africa that Room to Read founder and Board Co-Chair John Wood became acquainted with children who never complained about having to go to school, because many of them were too poor to attend. Some could not even afford the most basic school supplies, like pencils, much less books or uniforms.
Frustrated by the continuous cycle of poverty and lack of upward mobility he witnessed in much of the developing world as a result of limited education, the former Microsoft executive channeled his small educational projects into the nonprofit organization Room to Read in 2000.
Wood will come to the Emelin Theatre on Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m. to speak about his new book, Creating Room to Read: A Story of Hope in the Battle for Global Literacy, hosted by Room to Read's Westchester chapter. Following his talk, he will be interviewed by Larchmont resident and former CNN anchor Kiran Chetry.
Creating Room to Read talks about the organization's challenges for the future; its changing mission and expansion across the world.
Since 2000, Room to Read has has opened over 1,600 schools and over 15,000 libraries; distributed over 12 million books including over 850 self-published original local language titles; and supported over 20,000 girls to succeed in secondary school and beyond.
According to an article by Nicholas Kristof in the NY Times, Wood has even Andrew Carnegie—who built over 2,500 libraries worldwide and was well-known for his support of education—beat by a landslide in the number of libraries he's built. Even more inspiring, Room to Read has self-published over 591 books in languages for which no children's books were available including Khmer, Nepalese and Zulu.
Room to Read Westchester Chapter will host “An Evening with John Wood” to celebrate the release of Creating Room to Read on Thursday, Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m., at the Emelin Theater, 153 Library Ln. Mamaroneck. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased in advance online at: http://roomtoreadwestchester.eventbrite.com/#.