La Jolla High to screen girls empowerment film

By Ashley Mackin

La Jolla High School will host a free screening of “Girl Rising,” a film designed to empower and educate girls through literacy, 6 p.m. Saturday, April 20, in Parker Auditorium, 750 Nautilus St.

Also screening in theaters across San Diego, “Girl Rising” tells the story of eight girls in Asia and Africa enrolled in the female education program of the nonprofit literacy organization, Room to Read.

Directed by Academy Award-nominated director Richard Robbins, the film explores the cultural bias, household economics and safety concerns that lead girls to drop out of school before their male peers.

After a six-year investigation by a team of ABC journalists on how to end global poverty, filmmakers came to the conclusion “that educating girls is the highest-return investment you can make in breaking cycles of poverty.” The documentary is the result of their investigation and research.

Rated PG-13, the film has voiceovers from Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Alicia Keys and Selena Gomez.

While tickets are free, seating is limited, so those interested must reserve their seats at

Room to Read, a 501(c)(3) aimed at creating gender equality and literacy in developing countries is partnering with the Community Education Committee of the La Jolla Cluster to screen the film.

Through contributions to Room to Read, 1,627 schools have been built, 15,082 libraries established, 874 books published, 12.8 million books distributed and 7.8 million children benefitted. There are 20,378 Girls’ Education participants.

On Wednesday, May 15, founder and board co-chair John Wood will host a fundraiser for Room to Read, at 6 p.m. at the University of San Diego Institute for Peace and Justice, 5998 Alcala Park. In addition to the keynote address by Wood, there will be cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, music, live and silent auctions, and VIP attendees get a signed copy of Wood’s book “Creating Room to Read.”

Tickets are $75 or $150 for VIP at

On the Web

■ ‘Girl Rising’ trailer:

■ Read facts about girls education at Room To Read: