Mountain Mayhem: Room to Read | AspenTimes.com

Mountain Mayhem: Room to Read

When John Wood left his senior executive post at Microsoft in 1999, his objective was to make a difference in Nepal's schools, after having visited the country while trekking there and feeling saddened by the lack of resources. With his fundraising skills, vision for social change and network of connections, he founded the non-profit Room to Read and set off on a path that continues to grow in the name of education. Room to Read's focus is to improve literacy and gender equality in education in the developing world. It's now 52 chapters strong, including one in Aspen, and operates in ten countries in Asia and Africa. Room to Read has reached 10 million children with quality education thus far with a goal to reach 15 million by the end of 2020.

The Aspen chapter welcomed Wood along with board members, supporters and friends for their second annual Cloud Nine lunch held Friday, Jan. 8, at the charming and recently remodeled restaurant, mid-mountain on Aspen Highlands.

Its supporters endorsed the program, with several sharing stories of their personal contributions to build libraries and schools through the organization. In 2015, the Aspen chapter raised the second most funds of all chapters in North America.

"Room to Read is very proud that the Aspen community has been such a generous supporter of our core belief that if you want to change the world, there is no better place to start than education," said Wood. He added that more than "10 million children across the developing world now benefit from our programs and have the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty that often ends when children gain literacy and achieve education. On top of that, I am very grateful to be a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute, which has helped me as a leader with introspection, inspiration and connections."

For more information and to take action, visit Room to Read's Aspen chapter online: http://www.roomtoread.org/aspenvalley.

Contact May with insights, invites or info: allthewaymaymay@hotmail.com

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