Read International
Chapter 4: December 2010
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In our final issue of 2010 we have lots of great news to round off the year, including information on where you can buy our first ever book and an update on who we've found as our new Director! 

We'd like to say a big thank you to every one of you who has supported us this year, including all of our corporate and charity partners who have helped make 2010 so successful. 

2011 is set to be another phenomenal year for READ with a new Director, new partnerships, sending our millionth book to East Africa and plans for the biggest evaluation of our work in East Africa to date.

Take a look at our East Africa 2010 photo album containing the best of the amazing photos from the summer by clicking here. 

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of the READ Team!

This year, with your support, we will send our millionth book to East Africa!

To help make this possible why not make a regular or one-off donation and become a Friend of READ today by clicking on the button below.

1.   Our first book is available online!
2.   Naked calenders galore...
3.   Feedback floods in from East Africa
4.   Looking ahead to 2011
5.  Becoming the one-stop shop for books
6.   Meet the Team... Mark, the Chairman
7.   Rob wins a Beacon Prize

Our first book is available online!

Our first book has been published - the Read for READ anthology - and is now available to buy online on our long standing partner's website - Better World Books!

Launched at The British Library in October, it is a compilation of short stories from established and aspiring authors who won our Read for READ International Short Story Competition which began on World Book Day last March. Voting from the competition raised us almost £4,000 and we hope that sales from the anthology will raise us even more!

Click here to check it out and buy yourself or your friends and family a worthwhile late Christmas present - each copy will pay for 10 books to be sent to East Africa! Please note that although the price stated on the website is in dollars it will cost just £5, including postage, which will take 2-5 days rather than 2-5 weeks as also stated.

We look forward to launching our Read for READ Short Story Competition 2011 on World Book Day again in March next year.

Naked calenders galore...

Our student volunteer-led projects working out of 50 UK universities have come to the end of a fantastic term in which READ Book Project Dundee have raised an astounding £4,095! We are proud of all of their efforts.

Our student volunteers have been causing a stir across the country with Naked Calenders proving to be one of our most successful fundraisers of the term. We can't imagine why?! 

Volunteers have been receiving great feedback from their presentations and workshops in UK schools, who want to get more involved in our work and we are well underway in collecting hundreds of thousands of disused textbooks for our 2011 distribution.

With an updated version of our innovative Book Sorting App, developed in partnership with The British Library to revolutionise the efficiency at which we sort our books, there will be nothing holding back our volunteers in January to get the books sorted, ready to be sent in May!

Feedback floods in from East Africa

We are now beginning to receive feedback from our summer 2010 distribution of textbooks and series of school library renovations across East Africa. 

Pupils at Tanga Technical College in Tanzania have been using their new library, renovated by the girls at READ Book Project Newcastle this summer in the evenings as well as during the day so it sounds as though it is being well used! They have now got lighting sorted in the library to maximise usage and sent us photos just last week.

We have also received very positive feedback from the newly renovated library at Kasingirima Secondary School in Kigoma, Western Tanzania. They described the library as a 'Treasure house of knowledge' to which students could 'create a love for books' and 'gain knowledge on every day things'.

Joe, our man on the ground in Tanzania, is currently planning the coordination of the biggest evaluation of our work to date in which we will visit every school which we have distributed books to in the past.

Finally, Usborne books, award winning UK publishing company and provider of the 'best books in the world for children of all ages' will be adding 50,000 good quality books to our shipment this summer. We are thrilled to be working with such an established publisher. Thank you Usborne!

Looking ahead to 2011

Whilst we’re sad to be losing Rob as Director in 2011, we are hugely excited that we have recruited a new Director, Hannah Mitchell, who is passionate about the power of young volunteers to create change in their world and is experienced in the field of International Development and student volunteering. Hannah will be taking prime position at the helm of READ from the end of February 2011 to steer READ through our next exciting chapter.

In celebrating Rob’s achievements at READ we have been reflecting on our past successes and we would like to share with you our newly compiled 2005-2010 Press Archive - all in one place for the first time. Click here to view some of our successes captured both in the UK and East African news over the past five years.

On the horizon we look forward to more collaboration, working with the Independent Schools Association who will be promoting READ as Charity of the Year to a network of 300 private schools throughout 2011.

Our long-standing plan of taking our library renovation programme one step further into actually building them is also getting more tangible... so watch this space for some very exciting times ahead!

Becoming the one-stop shop for books!

Our dream of becoming the UK's one stop shop for disused book donations is getting ever closer as our partnership with Veolia, the UK's leading recycling and waste management company, flourishes. Since late September our six Book Bins on the streets of Westminster have collected a phenomenal 6,002 books and there are already plans to work together to roll this out across the capital and even the country! 

Remember, we can collect any book but we carefully sort the books we collect and only send those which are relevant to East Africa.  Any books which cannot be sent are sold online through our partnership with Better World Books or recycled to generate funding. This new initiative helps us collect more relevant books than ever before while increasing our income from book sales to fund getting them there!

Thank you Veolia! 

Meet the team... Mark, the Chairman

This will be the first of a regular slot in our newsletter introducing someone from the READ team so you can get to know us better. 

Mark Haggan (photographed), our Chairman of Trustees, joined us a while ago now, earlier in 2010, and has been celebrating in our series of successes since he came on board.

He has had experience as a trustee of student volunteering charities going back more than ten years to when he joined the board of trustees of AIESEC UK.  He is excited about the opportunity to become part of READ, constantly reaching new heights through developing new programmes such as “Read for READ” and providing opportunities to READ’s volunteers to both make a difference and to develop themselves. Find out more and meet the rest of the Trustees and READ staff team by clicking here.

We are very pleased to have Mark on board - he is a great asset to the organisation!

Rob wins a Beacon Prize

In October this year Rob was awarded a prestigious Beacon Prize for 'Young Philanthropist of the Year' for his work in leading READ to what it is today. 

This is a great achievement with former Prime Minister Gordon Brown describing the awards as the “Nobel Prize of the charity world”

"This is a celebration. It's a celebration of great people who are doing great things in very many parts of our country. It's a celebration of people who are by their example encouraging other people to do great things." The RT Hon Gordon Brown. 

To see a video in which Rob talks about winning the award for READ click here.

From all of the READ Team
To date we have sent 850,000 books
to schools in Tanzania and Uganda
READ Projects (trading as READ International) is a company limited by guarantee in England and Wales, company number 6317982. Registered Charity in England and Wales number 1128534 and registered charity in Scotland number SC041728 Registered address: 39-41 Coldharbour Lane, Camberwell, London, SE5 9NR
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