HarperCollins announced yesterday that in conjunction with Room to Read, an international nonprofit organization devoted to providing educational opportunities to under-privileged children in the developing world, it has donated a large portion HarperCollins children’s books to help a new school library open in the Phongsaly Province in Laos, one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world. The new library, part of The Reading Room program, has been named in HarperCollins honor. It is located within the local Kindergarten and Primary School, serving 250 families across two villages, and will play a role in helping hundreds of children to do something their parents were never able to do – check out a book from their library, and embrace reading from a young age.

The organization is also currently establishing educational infrastructure in Cambodia, India, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Room to Read has built 221 schools, established over 3,300 libraries, published 100 new local language children’s titles, donated 2 million books, established 108 computer and language labs and funded over 2,300 long-terms girls’ scholarships. To date, these projects have impacted the lives of over one million children.