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Room to Read Partners With Twitter to Raise Awareness of International Literacy Day
Sep 07, 2010 (07:09 PM EDT)


SAN FRANCISCO, September 8, 2010 /PRNewswire/ --

- Viral Campaign Allows Users to Experience Illiteracy Firsthand

Room to Read (http://www.roomtoread.org/), a global nonprofit that empowers millions of children in the developing world through education, is partnering with Twitter (http://twitter.com/) to create a unique social media campaign to increase awareness of illiteracy on International Literacy Day, which celebrates the importance of learning around the globe.

On September 8, Twitter and Room to Read will spread an illegible tweet - symbolizing how every sentence looks to the more than 776 million people worldwide who cannot read or write. Users will be able to decode or "read" the indecipherable tweet and send the coded message through Twitter's hope140.org (http://www.hope140.org/) site to spread the word about the importance of reading and literacy.

"Both Twitter and Room to Read are driven by the desire to have a positive impact on the world. The collaboration between our two organizations throughout the past year, including this one around International Literacy Day, has given us something wonderful to focus on," said Biz Stone (@biz), co-founder of Twitter.

Room to Read (@roomtoread)(http://twitter.com/RoomtoRead) has established over 10,000 libraries, published nearly 500 original local language children's books, and distributed 7.4 million books in the developing world since it was founded in 2000.

"With the International Literacy Day campaign, we are asking the average Twitter user to experience, just for a minute, the disempowerment that one in five people in this world experience due to illiteracy," said John Wood, Room to Read Founder and Board Chair. "Room to Read is galvanizing a global movement to solve this critical issue and through Twitter's worldwide platform, we aim to not only raise awareness but to instigate action."

Through the hope140.org website (operated by Twitter), beyond the mechanism to send out the "illiterate" literacy-awareness tweet, the site will offer other ways for users to take action to combat illiteracy including making a donation to support the publication of one of Room to Read's locally published books for children in South Africa. All donations toward this campaign will be matched by a donor.

The International Literacy Day campaign marks start of a focused month-long engagement between Twitter and Room to Read that culminates with the launch of Twitter's Fledgling wine (@fledgling) (http://twitter.com/fledgling which was a year-long) first-of-its-kind social winemaking project between Twitter and the custom winery, Crushpad. The Fledgling wines, a Pinor Noir and a Chardonnay, will benefit Room to Read's literacy programs in India and will be brought to market with an exclusive launch event at the Crushpad Winery in Napa on September 25.

This campaign will also be supported by Twitter's promoted tweet platform and be extended via other social media sites such as Facebook.

About Room to Read (@roomtoread)

Room to Read is a global organization seeking to transform the lives of millions of children in the developing world by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Founded on the belief that World Change Starts with Educated Children, Room to Read works in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children and to ensure girls have the skills and support needed to complete their secondary education. Since 2000, Room to Read has impacted the lives of more than four million children in Asia and Africa and aims to reach 10 million children by 2015. Learn more at http://www.roomtoread.org.

About Twitter (@twitter)

Twitter was founded in 2007 and is a communication network valued for its real-time platform that connects people during breaking news, shared events, everyday conversation, and beyond. From social movements in Iran to a new level of connectivity at live events, Twitter has become the tool of modern communication.

SOURCE Room to Read