RoomToRead with Nicole Smith, January 25, 2021

Joe Teti called the meeting to order at 12:05

Our Treasurer, George Pearson, reported $1514.21 in hand.  While George was unable to attend, his report was acknowledged. George did want us all reminded to pay our $35.00.  Joe has previously sent out this notice and the address to respond to.

Minutes from the previous meeting have been sent out and posted to the Website.

Shan then introduced our speaker.  Nicole Smith directs the New Jersey chapter of Room to Read.  She is a volunteer with this Global Nonprofit celebrating its 20th Anniversary.  Ms Smith has served 10 years with the New Jersey Chapter.

The organization is active in 16 countries. There are 800 million illiterate individuals in the world with 2/3 of them women. Under the motto “World change starts with educated children” John Wood the founder, started the organization after a visit to Nepal.

A former Microsoft executive, Mr. Wood started a program promoting Literacy and Gender Equality.  His organization goal is to reach 20 million children with 20 million books. The program is operated with Social Mobilizers setting goals and life skills for girls. 

State chapter leaders such as Ms. Smith hold book sales and other events to raise funds for the organization.  She also reaches out to build visibility for Room to Read. Recently, RoomToRead has begun a partnership with the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity to extend its work into African American communities. Information on that initiative is available at this link: https://www.roomtoread.org/kappa-alpha-psi/

We will meet again on Monday, February 22, to hear from Bernie Flynn of Mercer Street Friends.

Respectfully submitted,

Elizabeth Yull, Secretary