Mountain Mayhem: Making more “Room to Read”
The Aspen chapter of Room to Read gathered for a reception July 20, welcoming the organization’s founder and co-chairman of the board to town. Ernie and Lacy Fyrwald generously opened their home for the occasion, serving sensational appetizers and light bites from Chef Marco Porceddu.
Room to Read was founded in Nepal in 2000, where Wood and his initial network of supporters began taking donated books to rural communities. Today, it is a global organization dedicated to promoting and enabling education through programs focused on literacy and gender equality in education. They accomplish this through establishing school libraries, building schools, publishing local-language children’s books, training teachers on literacy education and supporting girls to complete secondary school with the life skills necessary to succeed in school and beyond. Room to Read is currently in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zambia.
Room to Read has received 10 four-star ratings from Charity Navigator since 2007, a recognition fewer than 1 percent of charities can claim.
The Aspen chapter was established in 2009 and continues to grow with its support team and fundraising accomplishments. Wood shared remarkable updates on Room to Read’s success at the reception, noting more than 10.7 million children have benefited from it since 2000; by 2020 they aim to reach 15 million children through their programs. Their Girls’ Education Program also grew from 31,733 participants in 2014 to 38,750 participants in 2015 and will reach 50,000 by the end of 2017.
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Pledges to act right in an effort to help stop community spread are not enough. We need a social shift and personal accountability. We need everyone — locals and visitors — to just say no to gathering.