We are all about helping Tanzanians get better access to educational resources.
What We Do
At READ International we believe the joy of reading should be for everyone! By creating a space that captures young people’s imaginations and fosters a love of books, literacy can be fun! That’s why we work with Tanzanian volunteers from local universities to create safe, inspiring libraries in secondary schools across the country: changing the way Tanzania reads, one book at a time.
In Tanzania, most schools only have one textbook for every eight pupils, creating a significant barrier to learning. We convert disused school spaces into inspiring libraries and fill them with locally relevant textbooks and fiction, in both English and Kiswahili.
Teachers and pupils are engaged at every stage of the refurbishment programme and trained in how to look after, manage and use their new library. We also provide teachers with a tailored teacher textbook training programme, to help them use their new resources to improve literacy in classroom.
After each library is finished, our university student volunteers continue to engage with READ and our schools through coordinating reading campaigns, mentorship and top-up programmes. This helps them to develop project management, leadership and other employability skills, which give them the best chance of prospering when they complete their education.
Between 2005 and 2017, we have created 107 libraries and donated over 1.5 million books to secondary schools in Tanzania — reaching more that 750,000 pupils! To see our 107 libraries
Progress So Far
The change that we are seeking through our activities is for young Tanzanians to become confident and independent readers. Through our various programmes, we always aim for the following outcomes:
- School Level Outcomes: Energized culture of reading in schools; schools develop additional capacity to support reading; schools develop a sense of ownership of their libraries
- Student Level Outcomes: students develop leadership skills; students develop an appreciation of reading
Achievements to date:
- READ has created 88 new libraries in Government Schools, reached more than 750,000 students through libraries and books provision in the past 10 years and capacitated more than 57,123. It has donated more than 1.5 million books to these schools
- Energized culture of reading in schools: Over 90% of 87 libraries are opened every day of the week (with a small number opening on weekends) and lend books to students to take off-campus.
- Schools develop additional capacity to support reading: 100% of interviewed students report using the library for most of their reading or studying materials
- Schools develop a sense of ownership of their libraries: Schools with READ libraries hire librarian or library teacher who dedicated to maintaining the library.
- Students develop leadership skills: Library prefects in some schools are running the library with minimal teacher supervision and developing leadership skills.
- Students develop the skills required to ‘read to learn’: Analysis of examination results up until 2012 show that there has been a positive trend, an average 7% increase in pass rates, in the schools that have been part of the READ Library Refurbishment Programme; Interviewed students report that reading, and the availability of dictionaries, has helped them expand their vocabulary.
- Students develop an appreciation of reading: Book loan patterns indicate that students are engaging in independent studying. Students are borrowing up to 1000 books a month in 5 schools surveyed.
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The UK Trustees
The role of the READ International Board of Trustees is to stretch the organisation, support the development of its strategy, and scrutinise its implementation. To achieve this the Board consists of members who, as a group, have a range of competencies that contribute to READ International achieving its vision and mission.
READ is very grateful for the support and energy that our volunteers have brought us. They have played a key role in helping us accomplishing a lot in the work we do.