See a gallery of Rotary projects promoting basic education and literacy
A student looks on as her teacher checks an assignment in a temporary classroom in Sri Lanka, which served 200 students during construction of Randombe Kanishta Vidyalaya, a school in Ambalangoda. The effort was part of the Schools Reawaken project, which helped rebuild 22 coastal schools damaged or destroyed by the 2004 tsunami. Rotary Images/Alyce Henson
I f illiteracy were a simple problem, Rotarians would have solved it by now.
The issues are myriad: a scarcity of schools and learning materials, insufficient government spending on education, and cultural stigmas that limit education for women and girls, to name a few. And the problem goes far beyond the inability to decipher words on a page. In an increasingly complex world, poor reading comprehension condemns adults to the lowest rungs of society.
Rotarians, however, are committed to improving the situation. Rotary clubs worldwide have been carrying out thousands of literacy projects for decades. Basic education and literacy is one of Rotary's areas of focus.
Rotary's work in literacy has included rebuilding schools destroyed by natural disasters in Sri Lanka and Haiti, partnering with the Dollywood Foundation's Imagination Library to promote early childhood reading, and teaching students to read and write through the concentrated language encounter method in Brazil and Turkey.
Enjoy a gallery of Rotary literacy projects above. For more information: