POKHARA: At Room to Read, we talk frequently about milestones because we’re committed to a performance-driven culture. Today is a very momentous and proud day in our history as we celebrate another milestone: the opening of our 10,000th library!
I wish you could have been here to witness the festivities that took place at the Shree Janakalyan Secondary School, which is close to Pokhara and in the shadows of the majestic Annapurna Mountain range. Over 1,000 people turned up to celebrate the opening of the new 175 square foot free-standing library building, including the 400+ students who will now have access, six hours per day, to their new collection of brightly-colored children’s books, games, puzzles, posters, and many other educational tools designed to help make this library a living, breathing ecosystem full of children experiencing the joy of reading and learning.
This achievement was not just an achievement for me but it was an achievement for all of us -– for our staff that has worked tirelessly over these past ten years to enable us to reach this point, for our partners who work with us locally in this critical mission, and for our investors and fund-raising chapter members worldwide who have helped us to create a global movement to bring change to the world through education. I am not sure if you can see this in the photo posted above but this library is dedicated to all of YOU! The following is the language on the plaque that welcomes children into the library:
This “Trek to 10,000” that we’ve all taken part in over the past week has indeed brought us full circle, but it also starts a new chapter in our story. While it started as my story at the Shree Chandradoya High School in Bahundanda -- where, along with my father, I delivered 3,000 donated English-language books via a “donkey train” -– is now a story about how all of us together have cut the ribbon for our 10,000th library and the difference we’ll make in the years ahead.
Speaking of the years ahead, this morning’s ceremony also affirmed Room to Read’s commitment to literacy and gender equality in education for our future with the goal of reaching ten million children by 2015. And we’re definitely on track to get there! We’re currently opening, on average, 6 libraries a day in the developing world -– that’s 3,000 kids every day who gain access to a library with the tools that will help them become independent readers.
It’s been amazing ten years and our “year of tens” has only just begun. We’ve already opened our 1,000th school, and soon, we’ll be supporting our 10,000th girl in our Girls’ Education program!
Thanks for joining with us on this Trek to 10,000. We hope you’ll continue trekking with us as we reach even higher.
-- John Wood
Click here to read our News Release about the tenth anniversary, and 10,000th library.
For tweets, photos, videos and much more from the 10th anniversary trek, go to www.roomtoread.org/trektotenthousand.