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Literacy is a worldwide problem, and one of the keys to breaking the cycle of poverty.
Estimated number of illiterate adults:
Percent of those adults who are women:
781,000,000– UNESCO Institute for Statistics
64%– UNESCO Institute for Statistics
Adults in the UK with below-basic literacy skills:
Children in Sub-Saharan Africa not enrolled in school:
1 in 6– Department of Education and Skills
Percent of the world's illiteratepopulation residing in Asia:
Average amount of school that most children in Latin America attend:
73%– UNESCO Institute for Statistics
5.4 years– U.S. Agency for International Development
At Better World Books, we are committed to the helping provide better lives and a chance for economic, social and political freedom through literacy. We believe that good education can break the cycle of poverty. And that's why we partner with these passionate non-profit partners to make some change for the better.
Better World Books sells books online to raise money for leading literacy charities. These charities then use the money to build schools, start libraries, provide scholarships and support learning around the world.
Our UK charity literacy partners are:
The National Literacy Trust is an independent UK charity dedicated to changing lives through literacy. They believe that society will only be fair when everyone has the literacy skills they need to communicate, to fulfil their potential and to contribute more to society. Learn more.
READ is an almost entirely student-volunteer-led organisation. They deliver collaborative, student-led initiatives to improve access to education across the world and increase youth participation in the global community. Learn more.
The National Adult Literacy Agency is an independent charity in Ireland committed to making sure people with literacy and numeracy difficulties can fully take part in society and have access to learning opportunities that meet their needs. Learn more.
Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. They develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school. Learn more.
Scottish Book Trust is the national agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing in Scotland. We develop award-winning projects that encourage people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to become literate, read for pleasure, write, and be inspired by books. Learn more.
The National Literacy Trust is an independent UK charity dedicated to changing lives through literacy. They believe that society will only be fair when everyone has the literacy skills they need to communicate, to fulfil their potential and to contribute more to society.
The National Literacy Trust supports professionals, including librarians, with the resources and information they need to promote literacy. They also work directly with individuals, delivering projects to help foster reading motivation and enjoyment; as well as influencing government policy and practice to make sure literacy issues are taken seriously at every level.
Find out more about their work at www.literacytrust.org.uk.
Together we are changing lives through literacy.
Jonathan Douglas, Director, National Literacy Trust said:
“Our partnership with Better World Books provides valuable funding for literacy as well as supporting library services. We are very grateful for the donations which help us to campaign to improve public understanding of the vital importance of literacy, and to deliver projects and work in partnership to reach children and adults most in need of support.”
National Literacy Trust is a registered charity, no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee, no. 5836486. Registered in England and Wales. Registered address: 68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL
READ International have been one of our UK charity partners since we launched in 2008.
READ is an almost entirely student-volunteer-led organisation. They deliver collaborative, student-led initiatives to improve access to education across the world and increase youth participation in the global community. Their flagship project is the READ Book Project. Through a community of student-run projects, they mobilise university students to collect disused textbooks, stationery and sports equipment from UK schools, colleges and universities.
These resources are then sorted by their volunteers to find the best quality, most relevant and up-to-date materials to be sent to schools in Tanzania and Uganda. Any collected books that are not suitable to be sent to Tanzania are sold online by Better World Books in support of READ. More information about this partnership and how you can donate your books can be found on the Better World Books at Your University page.
READ International's student volunteers also give presentations to school pupils to promote student volunteering, young social enterprise, recycling and global citizenship. Their operating model is simple and low-cost and makes best use of a large supply of motivated, enterprising, and enthusiastic voluntary labour. To date, READ Book Projects have donated over 1,147,241 textbooks to 1213 Tanzanian secondary schools and 31 libraries. Find out more about their work at www.readinternational.org.uk.
"We’re so excited about our partnership with Better World Books because it enables us to extract the most value from all the books we collect. This wonderful partnership allows books that are not suitable for schools in Tanzania to be sold online, generating much needed funding. Better World Books also use our sorting criteria in their own warehouse, sending any of their surplus books that could be used in Tanzania to us. Thank you Better World Books!"
– Robert Wilson, Founder, READ International
READ INTERNATIONAL Registered Charity Number: 1128534. A company registered in England and Wales No. 6317982 Registered Name: Recycling Education Allowing Development (READ) International
The National Adult Literacy Agency is an independent charity in Ireland committed to making sure people with literacy and numeracy difficulties can fully take part in society and have access to learning opportunities that meet their needs. According to the last international survey, one in four - that is, about half a million - Irish adults have problems reading and writing.
Since we were set up by volunteers in 1980, we have been a leading campaigning and lobbying force on adult literacy issues. We have been involved with tutor training, developing teaching materials, distance education services, policy making, research and campaigns to raise awareness of the causes, extent and responses to adult literacy difficulties in Ireland.
Many individuals and organisations have contributed considerably to adult literacy work in Ireland. For our part, we have put literacy on the political agenda and secured funding for the provision of adult literacy services. Currently there are 50,000 adults attending VEC adult literacy courses nationwide. This service is delivered by 1,500 paid tutors and over 4,000 volunteers. Find out more at www.nala.ie.
Room to Read has developed a holistic, multi-pronged approach to help children in the developing world gain the lifelong gift of education through four core programmes:
To increase the likelihood of success and long-term sustainability, Room to Read enlists community involvement and co-investment through our Challenge Grant model. Villages often raise a significant portion of the overall expenditure in the form of dedicated space, labour, materials and/or small amounts of cash. These challenge grants act as catalysts for community building while also maximising the local participation and expertise brought to our programmes.
We hire local staff, who are personally vested in their nation's educational progress and we empower them to manage programmes within their country. They are already familiar with the language, conditions, customs and governments and understand the specific needs of the educational system.
In the ten years since Room to Read was launched, we have established 10,000 libraries, published 400 local language children’s titles, distributed 8 million books, provided scholarships to 10,000 girls, and constructed 1,100 schools.
Find out more about their work at www.roomtoread.org.
Room to Read is a registered charity in England and Wales. Registered charity no. 1125803. Registered address: Room to Read, One Cabot Square, London, E14 4QJ.
Scottish Book Trust is the national agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing in Scotland.
Our programmes support children, families and adults to acquire fundamental skills, while providing educators with the tools to teach them in creative and memorable ways.
With your support we can:
Find out more about the work we do in communities all over Scotland at www.scottishbooktrust.com
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