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In just seven years, John transformed his side project into a successful nonprofit organization called Room to Read. Thanks to donations from publishing companies like Scholastic and the generosity of strangers, Room to Read has impacted the lives of more than a million children.

So far, John and his team have distributed almost 3 million children's books, constructed 287 schools, established 3,600 libraries and funded more than 2,000 long-term scholarships for girls in third-world countries. But they didn't stop there!

Room to Read has established local language publishing programs throughout the world so children can have access to culturally relevant books that are written in their native languages.

"We've had to literally find the Dr. Seuss of Nepal and the Dr. Seuss of Cambodia and give them a small amount of money to write and illustrate books that then are put in the hands of kids," he says. "By the end of this year, we'll have 250 original titles that we've produced that are all done by local authors."
FROM: I Walked Away from Millions
Published on April 03, 2007


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