Friday, November 6, 2009

Room to Read

I love to read. Ever since my grade 5 teacher read Roald Dahl's, The BFG, to our class, I've been hooked. I'm not even sure what is was about that particular story that captured my imagination, or why I hadn't inherited my parents love of reading before that, but The BFG was something special and sparked my (since then) life long passion for reading (and a compulsion for collecting books, I'm afraid).

I read every Roald Dahl book I could get my hands on after that and, when there were no more to devour, I turned my attention to the Choose Your Own Adventure books. Classics! I found it hard to believe they ever went out of vogue but, thankfully, I hear they are making a comeback.

I cannot imagine what my early years would have been like without all those fantastical stories. I am very fortunate that I never had to worry about it. They were, quite simply, always available to me. So no surprise that I am drawn to organizations and initiatives that are working to promote literacy and a love of reading to those who are not as fortunate.

Speaking of which, I recently became involved with the local chapter of Room to Read (, an incredible nonprofit organization committed to promoting and enabling global education. If you are not already familiar with this non-profit, allow me to enlighten you. Founded on the belief that education and literacy is critical to breaking the cycle of poverty in the developing world, Room to Read has established more than 700 schools, over 7,000 bilingual libraries with 5 million books, has supported over 3 million children by providing increased access to higher-quality educational opportunities and continues to support the education of nearly 7,000 girls who would have otherwise gone without.

I first learned about Room to Read through reading John Wood’s book, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World. He left his life as a corporate executive behind and co-founded the program with an equally inspiring individual, Erin Ganju, who will be speaking in Vancouver on Nov. 17th.

If you are interested in the event, or, better yet, would like to register, please click on the link:

I assure you, it will not disappoint.


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