Educational Institutions

Ready for Reading Inc

Fighting Poverty of the Mind and Spirit

Dorset, VT

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

2018

Founder/Executive Director

Betsy Dickey

Main Address

26 Paddock Farm Lane

Dorset, VT 05251 USA

Keywords

Literacy, education, Technology, youth development, preschool through adult programing

EIN

46-3894551

 Number

1532771523

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

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.

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

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

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Adult LIteracy

School Enrichment Program

IT Program - Computer Lab

Harmony Preschool

Youth Open Library

E-reader Program

Community Music Program

Basketball Program

Scholarship Program

Where we work

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

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.

RfR uses both quantitative & qualitative assessment. RfR has developed efficient methods for measuring efficacy and impact using the Koha Library Management System. RfR gathers baseline data through focus groups, patron profiles: age/gender/family relationships; tracks attendance, book preference, reading levels, activities and programs participation. Periodic tests administered to Library patrons measure improvements in reading, writing and comprehension skills. Literacy /IT Programs: baseline, mid-term, final test upon class completion. Partner program data is incorporated into overall evaluation of RfR’s impact. Assess RfR performance against yearly district, national objectives - ensure goals lineup with government’s development plans. The community and local staff provide ongoing feedback/community input and annual survey. But Numbers only tell part of the story. We collect anecdotal information to show "how" how acquisition of skills are changing lives. The ultimate impact is far greater than 1 person learning to read and write. The real measure is what people do with these skills and resources. How has it changed THEIR lives, families, neighbors, peers and the community as a whole.

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 August, 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.

External Reviews

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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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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?

No

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

No

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

No

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

No

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

No

Organizational Demographics

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/15/2020

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

Sexual Orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity Strategies

Last updated: 01/15/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data

done
We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
done
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

done
We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
done
We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.