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July 16, 2008



I'm glad to learn about Room to Read and the good work it's doing.

One organization in Boston is the Boston Adult Literacy Fund (BALF), which has run literacy classes for adults and families since about 1989. In fact, a close friend of mine asked that a special birthday be recognized by gifts to BALF rather than personal gifts. (This ploy is used increasingly by celebrants of b'days, marriages, bar mitzvahs, etc. A no-brainer, seems to me.)

Looking forward to part 2 of Room to Read.


Yes, I think tackling world illiteracy is a better way to establishing world peace than the methods we have been using. I read an article in O about people building schools in Afghanistan. A woman was quoted in the article saying, "Educated children do not grow up to be terrorists." I agree, that giving children the power to become adults who read, so much more information and points of view are available to them. And self-sufficiency for some of these developing countries will lead them to change their status from third world to second world.


Our San Diego county library has a rather impressive literacy program available to adults who may need help learning English or adults who never learned to read well enough or sometimes never learned to read at all. I am tutoring my third student now--we meet twice a week for an hour and a half--his improvement is inspiring both to him and to me, a retired high school English teacher.

Bix l. DiMeo

I have a small foundation that I run. It honors my wife who was an avid reader and who lost her life to cancer. You can go to Susanstory.com and see what it is about. I need help with local groups who are working with literacy as their focus. Any help? I am in NJ. Thank you so much, I have been giving grants since we set this up and I am looking to do more


My book club read John Wood's book a while ago and we were so taken with the cause that we recently had a wine tasting fundraiser to benefit Room to Read. It is a fantastic organization. Wood's book was inspiring; it illustrated the power that grass roots organizations can have. In the long run, there are many benefits to America supporting global literacy including national security.

Jim Casion

A truly inspiring story. When individuals, businesses, or systems reach a point of clarity and focus, you can create transformational ways of effecting our community, nation or the world at large. This appears to be such a case. However, I don't believe that his good work can be expected to solve all the nation's or world's woes. America has tremendous literacy issues. What community does not have a chapter of "Literacy Volunteers" ? Further the literacy issues of the Western hemisphere are legion. Haiti, a very close neighbor of the US is the poorest county in the Americas if not the entire world. What have we as Americans done?
We admire, praise and thank Mr. Wood for his tremendous accomplishments. Where are the other "Mr. Woods", who need to look beyond themselves, and make a commitment to reclaim some small part of their community, country, or the world? Thank you Mr. Wood for your inspiration. Now it's our turn.


Read Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson. He and Mr. Woods ought to get along well.


I agree that global literacy is highly important, and I commend John Wood for his work. We must not lose sight of the great literacy problem that still exists in the US. Local public libraries across the nation have offered literacy services to their communities for years ... often without receiving kudos and recognition for their hard work: English as a Second language classes, GED test preparation, tutoring for students, and the crucial work done in every story hour offered by children's librarians ... that "playtime" disguises exercises in letter knowledge, vocabulary, narrative skills, phonological awareness, print awareness, reading motivation. Hooray for all the dedicated literacy workers!


This is a good addition to Sir Hillary's projects of building school houses in Nepal, another part of the world that needs educational help.

Lee Klare

The reading programs in America are good, the problem I run into is the parenting and kids. The parents don't have time for the kids because they are too busy living their own lives and the kids have no direction. The input they do get is from poor music, television and advertising, that tell them they don't "need no education". Yesterday in the news in California, the high school drop out rate was announced to be 24%, one in four students. That is apalling. How do we get parents and kids to wake up? I wish I knew. Of course if we aren't smart enough to figure this problem out, then I guess we will get reading programs from other countries when we finally do figure out that literacy is important to one's future, as well as a nations.


World literacy enables populations to both create and take advantage of economic opportunity. Economic opportunity is the foundation for political stability. Everyone should have the opportunity to learn to read, to learn and contribute.

Karl Leopold Metzenberg

Of course, I agree! May Wood have an even bigger effect globally than Winfrey had in the U.S.!

Betsy Eubanks

Reading is absolutely the key to civilization. Any effort spent promoting literacy, here and around the world, is worthwhile. Thanks for writing about this effort.


Hear hear. Yes, our support of global literacy is vitally important, and I will pass on the word about Room to Read. Their website is informative and touching. I await your Part 2.

Jack Abrams

Is it possible this program can be of vavue in American communities?
Jack Abrams

Jo Anne Brooks

I have not read John Wood, but I will. Just completed "3 Cups of Tea" and I am in total AWE of Greg Mortenson. The book -- for me --was riveting! I totally agree, education, education, education! and READREAD> ...JB


I see you have a shelfari account, you might like Bookarmy, the site that i'm on it has great forums and groups too!

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