Creating Room to Read: A Story of Hope in the Battle for Global Literacy

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Viking, 2013 - Business & Economics - 290 pages
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The inspirational story of a former Microsoft executive's quest to build libraries around the world and share the love of books

What's happened since John Wood left Microsoft to change the world? Just ask six million kids in the poorest regions of Asia and Africa. In 1999, at the age of thirty-five, Wood quit a lucrative career to found the nonprofit Room to Read. Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “the Andrew Carnegie of the developing world,” he strived to bring the lessons of the corporate world to the nonprofit sector—and succeeded spectacularly.

In his acclaimed first book, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World, Wood explained his vision and the story of his start-up. Now, he tackles the organization's next steps and its latest challenges—from managing expansion to raising money in a collapsing economy to publishing books for children who literally have no books in their native language. At its heart, Creating Room to Read shares moving stories of the people Room to Read works to help: impoverished children whose schools and villages have been swept away by war or natural disaster and girls whose educations would otherwise be ignored.

People at the highest levels of finance, government, and philanthropy will embrace the opportunity to learn Wood's inspiring business model and blueprint for doing good. And general readers will love Creating Room to Read for its spellbinding story of one man's mission to put books within every child's reach.


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About the author (2013)

John Woodis the Founder and Board Co-Chair of Room to Read, one of the fastest-growing and award-winning charities founded during this century. A former Microsoft marketing executive, Wood left the company in 1999 to start the organization. He documented his decision and the creation of Room to Read in his memoir, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World. To date, Room to Read has opened over 1,600 schools and 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. Due to the work of Room to Read, over 7.5 million children in 10 countries across Asia and Africa have benefited via the lifelong gift of education and literacy. John has emulated his hero, Andrew Carnegie, by opening six times as many libraries. He describes his efforts thus far as 'total tip of the iceberg' and aspires to reach 10 million children by 2015.

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