roomtoread Hey cHEwY gum gums After a restful school holidays of playing Splatoon on Nintendo Wii U, catching up with friends and playing more Splatoon, I’m now ready for a jam-packed term 3. This is usually a busy period for authors and illustrators, who will travel to many schools and festivals, talking and doing workshops. This is because it’s book week in late August, so we’re in the spotlight hehe. One of the joys of travelling is seeing different libraries and how librarians get their kids pumped up for books. It’s something that we can take for granted, kids reading books. But for many around the world, books are hard to come by. As an author ambassador for Room To Read, I want children all around the world to have access to reading books. For those who came in late, Room To Read is a global organisation who bring the power of books to children in over ten countries, focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. They really do transform kids and people’s lives. Since 2000, Room To Read have;

  • constructed 1930 schools
  • established 17,534 new libraries in schools and communities
  • published 1,158 original picture books
  • distributed 15,641, 734 books distributed
  • given long term scholarships to 31, 636 girls

I really like how they get local authors and illustrators to publish books in their own language, to further foster the love of reading and creating books in communities. I know I wanted to be an author because I was a bookworm, so I can imagine what the sparks coming out for other kids. Nepal is one of the countries that Room To Read works with, and in light of this year’s devastation in that region, Room To Read ambassadors have dedicated this year’s World Change Challenge to get the children of Nepal back to school and reading. Room To Read hopes to raise $40,000 by 31st October. I know a lot of schools like to read for fun, but you can also read for fundraising too hehe. If schools are looking for a great, bookish cause around their own Book Week, then I can’t recommend this challenge enough. Fellow author ambassador and pal, Tristan Bancks has been a champion for the cause and has a fun video about some fundraising ideas and more information about the campaign. I remember going to a school where they had book busking, where kids would read out loud on the playground and kids would give them money in a hat. Now if only I had that when I was a kid haha.

So this term, I’ll letting librarians and keen readers know about the challenge, every dollar counts and I mean it because one dollar equals one book for a child in Nepal. Along with the other author ambassadors for Room To Read, we hope to raise some funds and awareness for an awesome organisation, spreading the love and power of books around the world!


About the author

I'm an author, stand-up comedian and teacher. My books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines and The Other Christy. I'm a massive Nintendo fan and love eating burgers. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram @oliverwinfree

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