Below is a re-post from Twitter's official blog from December 30, 2009. We are re-posting it here with permission by the author.
When Twitter announced The Fledgling Initiative in October—making and selling wine to benefit an organization called Room to Read, I was thrilled.
This past month, my enthusiasm and commitment increased dramatically when I had the chance to visit some of the sites where Room to Read works in India.
Teachers and students in Hardiwar gave me the warmest of welcomes. I was given the opportunity to help children read books in English and one group of students even invited me to sing a song for them. My performance of Itsy Bitsy Spider (see above—pit stains included), sent the kids into fits of laughter.
The schools in these areas face incredible obstacles but the community approaches problems with passion and vigor. One school was having trouble with a dangerous elephant so parents volunteered to take turns walking the kids to school and would even sleep there for a night or two. When I was little there were snow days but nothing like this. Seeing kids get excited about learning to read made my heart skip a few beats, and made me feel proud to work at a company that chooses to partner with world-changing organizations like Room to Read. Here are some of the photos from my trip and you can learn more about Room to Read at their web site.
-- Maggie Utgoff or @mutgoff, Twitter