HONOREE Tatiana Grossman

Tatiana Grossman is increasing early literacy in Africa by encouraging children and schools to start and support libraries. She is also developing digital teaching materials for classrooms without books.

When Tatiana learned at age 12 that 75 percent of children in some African countries could not read and lacked access to books, she immediately took action. She lead a solo book drive on the lawn of her community’s children’s library to collect thousands of books that now serve 62 schools and villages in Botswana and Lesotho. Fueled by her initial success and her successful collaboration with the African Library Project, she soon founded her own nonprofit organization, Spread the Words, to increase early literacy around the world by helping children create school libraries in impoverished communities, support the libraries they’ve started, and bring digital curriculum and textbooks to schools that need them.


Education and literacy are vital for developing independence, sustainability and growth. But 72 million children in the world do not have access to an education, and half live in Sub-Saharan Africa. 47 million youth in this region are illiterate.


Today, Tatiana and Spread the Words have established libraries serving 99 African villages and primary schools where before there were none. Now, she’s consulting with Silicon Valley engineers and digital content providers to provide African classrooms with the latest in digital classroom technology and free digital teaching materials.


Tatiana is using our Award to build a digital projector loaded with early literacy curriculum, textbooks, children’s books and instructional videos, which will be sent to classrooms in Africa. 13,000 children will have access to digital learning materials.

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