Ready for Reading Inc

Fighting Poverty of the Mind and Spirit

Dorset, VT   |  www.readyforreading.org

Mission

Ready for Reading seeks to empower the Rwinkwavu community through literacy, technology and life skills, enhancing academic, social, cultural and economic opportunities for both personal and community growth and enrichment. Ready for Reading has built and opened the 7,800 sq. ft. Rwinkwavu Community Library and Learning Center (RCLLC) located in an underserved rural area in Eastern Rwanda, Africa. With a population of 21,000 in a catchment area of 225,000, the RCLLC serves as a center of opportunity, hope and healing. As the first of its kind in Rwanda, RfR has created the educational component of a holistic prototype for rural development: health+education+economic opportunity.

Ruling year info

2018

Founder/Executive Director

Betsy Dickey

Main address

PO Box 388

Dorset, VT 05251 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

46-3894551

NTEE code info

Libraries, Library Science (B70)

Adult, Child Matching Programs (O30)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Imagine you couldn’t read.... street signs, type on a computer or send a text message, apply for a job, fill out a form, read instructions on your child’s bottle of medication, read them a story. What would your day-to-day life be like? This is the reality for well over half those in the Rwinkwavu area where learning to read and write is not an expectation or even a possibility There were no programs/infrastructure and trained staff to meet these challenges: - Stigma of Adult Illiteracy: For many illiterate adults, the shame they feel keeps them from getting the help they need. - 65% of Rwanda’s population under 25 - poor quality of education, lack of resources and trained teachers, no structured out-of-school programs for kids stuck in cycles of poverty, disease and violence . - struggle for gender equity in education, workplace, communities and families - no /Internet & IT resources - no hub for informal community gatherings, social, cultural and literacy events, meetings

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Adult LIteracy

Ready for Reading (RfR) provides Kinyarwanda ( mother tongue) English literacy classes and Computer and life skills training. Open Library and various literacy events encourage reading and self-improvement.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people

RfR's School Enrichment Program serves 160 students from Primary 4, 5 and 6 -in nearby schools. The Program builds English language literacy, computer literacy and key academic skills in order to improve national exam scores enabling students to gain entry in to the top Secondary Schools in the country.

Population(s) Served
Students
Economically disadvantaged people

Providing access to global information and ICT skills as a tool to improve academic, social, and economic opportunities for all ages to get hands-on ICT training to participate in the emerging job market, start-up businesses, find online educational opportunities and apply for university scholarships.
for various employment opportunities

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Ready for Reading’s Harmony Preschool is certified as an exemplary preschool by our partner Teach Rwanda. Teach Rwanda provides ongoing teacher training in international best practices curriculum being adopted by the Rwandan Ministry of Education. Forty children are thriving in a book rich, hands-on learning environment

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Before RfR opened the Rwinkwavu Community Library/Learning Center, the community’s children, had no structured out-of-school-time opportunities to learn or to play. This program offers youth books for all levels in Kinyarwanda and English and is supported by well-trained library staff. Staff organize read-alouds, educational games and other literacy activities, as well as structured youth classes such as reading clubs, leadership clubs, and debate clubs.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

RfR - Worldreader has provided over 200 titles; International and African in both English and Kinyarwanda - Classes of 80 students meet twice per week to improve English comprehension and literacy/ love of reading.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

formal music instruction, both contemporary and traditional dance and Ingoma drumming as well as community-wide music making of all ages in a variety of settings
Serves as a catalyst around youth development providing life skills and promoting discipline and core-values- results: emerging peer-to peer role models, increased youth attendance and reduction in the number of those who engage in risky health and social behaviors.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

RfR/Shooting Touch partnership: mission is to introduce Basketball to rural Rwanda and use it as a catalyst around youth development – mentorship program, coach training. This program coordinates and works in concert with the music program and our general youth development initiative

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Provide Secondary School and University Scholarships to students identified by local officials. Mentoring and support of students and communication with students schools and parents are ongoing in order to ensure the best outcomes.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Rwanda Bookmobile, an organization in Rwanda that shares our passion for reading and literacy and together created the Reading Riders Program. Each day trained, professional “storytellers on bikes” head out to schools armed with books and activities inspiring children to love reading, writing and learning.

We kicked off the Program in September with the arrival of a donated shipping container filled with 500 bikes at the Rwinkwavu Community Library/Learning Center. From this base of operation, bikes are being distributed to strategically located libraries across Rwanda creating a country-wide network of Reading Riders. We work with existing libraries and their staff providing ongoing training in our theme- based interactive curriculum to implement the program in their areas with the goal they become regional hubs. See link to newspaper article. https://www.newtimes.co.rw/featured/reading-riders-project-receives-donation-bicy

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Awards

Library of Congress Award Best Practice Honoree 2019

Library of Congress

Freedom Through Literacy Award 2016

Judith's Reading Room

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Ready for Reading breaks down barriers to literacy and education for preschoolers to grandparents with community-based programs and activities in a resource-rich space where they learn, engage, enjoy and thrive.

RfR believes literacy is a basic human right and the foundation for prosperity and in Rwanda, peace. RfR's aims to provide crucial resources, programs and build community, all important components in bridging the multi-generation education gap that exists in rural Rwanda.

Every day we teach children and adults in rural Rwanda to read and write, use a computer, and through creative storytelling, music, basketball and community events, instill the idea that literacy and reading are a powerful key to life-long learning, the cornerstone for a more productive, healthy, fulfilling and prosperous future; giving them the skills, self-worth and confidence to make sustainable change in their lives.

RfR believes that collaborating with other like-minded organizations with particular areas of expertise allows us to provide high quality, innovative programming. We work with several partners and within the existing and new network of community and education initiatives integrating adaptable, scalable solutions.

Safe Community Space:

Before Ready for Reading opened the Library, there were no structured out-of-school opportunities for community children and youth to learn and play in a safe supervised environment. Now they are engaged by trained staff in story-time, games, book clubs, music, basketball, e-reader and school enrichment programs and school holiday camp and activities; catalysts around youth development.

- Adult Literacy classes in both Kinyarwanda, the mother tongue and English.

- Computer Skills and access to the Internet/Global information: When Ready for Reading arrived in Rwinkwavu there was no access to computers or Internet services. Without these skills, it is challenging for those in rural Rwanda to break the generational cycle of poverty and compete in the emerging job market, even on a local level. Now, Ready for Reading provides computer skills classes and access to global information in our computer lab. We work with community members seeking jobs and educational opportunities. Many of our graduates have gone on to get jobs locally and nationally and university scholarships in-country and internationally.

- School Enrichment: give Primary School kids the English, computers and STEM skills to compete to pass the National Exam and have the opportunity to attend the top Secondary Schools in the country.

- Preschool/Early Childhood Development: Curriculum is based on International Best Practices's Learning Through Play Philosophy. Our children are thriving in a hands-on book-rich environment. We incorporate this methodology and curriculum in our children's programs and activities.

Girls/Boys Clubs: – cultivates a new generation of leaders, storytellers, academic achievers, effecting change for themselves, their communities, and their world.

Women's Clubs: Through literacy and IT classes music, basketball, women build social networks, loan groups, share business skills, supporting one another and the rising generation of girls.

Community Outreach:

Ready for Reading not only provides the fundamentals of reading, writing, computer and life skills; we bring families and communities together as they bond through celebration days, literacy events and activities, music, dance and community performances in our 300 seat amphitheater. We lead literacy and reading events in schools and villages throughout the Eastern Province.

RfR consults large and small organizations, institutions and communities. It shares programming methodology and management, library set up, trains staff, establishes literacy programs and strategies, reading activities.

The Ready for Reading Team

The Ready for Reading Team is passionate about literacy, working tirelessly to level the playing field in underserved rural Rwanda. Without them the Library/Learning Center would be no more than a building with books and computers. Their dedication, compassion and commitment are the absolute key to our success as they continually strive to grow, find new ways to engage the community and reach more people.

Our all-Rwandan Team lives in the Community they serve and over half have been employed at RfR since the opening of the Library/Learning Center in 2012.

Our Model:

Our original vision was to give the people in the Rwinkwavu a while at the same time create a model that can be replicated by other organizations and institutions across Rwanda. We have consulted with local libraries, Youth Centers and social impact companies, locally as well as in other areas of Rwanda.

RfR's Rwinkwavu/Library Learning Center is recognized as a country-wide model and instrumental in their development in Rwanda.

In 2009, Ready for Reading set out to bring literacy and learning opportunities to the 32,225 children and adults in remote, rural Rwinkwavu. 10 years later we have built an 8,000-sq. ft. Library/Learning Center, stocked with 10,000 books, 50 e-readers and 25 computers and become a country-wide model.

• Through our literacy programs 916 adults have learned to read and write.
• 120 children a day thrive in a book rich learning environment, enjoying story time, games, youth clubs, music and basketball.
• Reading times have increased from 10 minutes in 2013 to 45 minutes in 2018.
• 596 people have graduated from our computer skills classes.
• 60 people use our computer lab each day.
• Sunday School Enrichment Program: Supports Primary 4,5, and 6 students in mastering English Literacy and IT skills - National Exams scores have improved from 0 /75 pass rate in 2012 to 65/72 in 2018.
• We estimate that for every new reader 4-7 people are positively affected
Become a country-wide model for Library/Learning Centers in Rwanda


In 2019 Ready for Reading was chosen as 1 of 15 Best Practices Honoree by the David Rubenstein Library of Congress Literacy Awards, given to organizations doing exemplary, innovative and replicable work for universal literacy. We are honored to be recognized from a world-wide field of nominees. It is a testament to the hard work and commitment everyone at Ready for Reading brings to their community and their country.

Ready for Reading consults with both large and small organizations, institutions and communities. For the past 2 years we have worked with Kate Spade’s “On Purpose Foundation” advising them in setting up a Sports and Learning Center in a rural area similar to Rwinkwavu, designed around around our national model.

As Ready for Reading heads into the next 10 years, we are energized to bring literacy and computer skills and the joy of reading to more people in the many underserved communities in Rwanda. We are growing our model of literacy education, working with the Rwandan government, social impact companies and other like-minded partners to continue to integrate adaptable, scalable solutions and empower Rwandans to be the authors of their own lives.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, other,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Ready for Reading Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Ready for Reading Inc

Board of directors
as of 11/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

David MIddleton

Ready for Reading

Term: 2018 -

Richard Dickey

Ready for Reading

Matt Melaugh

Ready for Reading

Allen Moore

Ready for Reading

David Middleton

Ready for Reading

Elizabeth (Betsy) Dickey

Ready for Reading

Lesley King

Ready for Reading

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/13/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/15/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.