HARD is impacting the lives of those in poverty by bringing education to the people in the villages through establishing free elementary schools and adult literacy programs for our members. Education Provides Opportunity The literacy rate in the areas we serve is well below the already low national average, with some communities having less than 1 in 6 who are able to read and write. Many families in Bangladesh do not have access to basic education for their children because the cost to send their children to school is prohibitive (including the loss of earning children could bring to the family by working). The available government schools are often too far away from their village homes for small children to walk to. Nearly 48% of the population in Bangladesh is under age 19. Primary Schools HARD’s primary schools teach 5-7 year old students basic literacy, providing a catalyst for future schooling and life skills. School sites are housed in neighborhoods, and teachers are selected from local villagers with more advanced schooling. Adult Literacy Programs Adults without literacy skills are often taken advantage of by others in the village society. A generational cycle of illiteracy and poverty continues as these parents are also unable to help their children develop literacy skills and improve their future. HARD provides free adult literacy programs for its members at local neighborhood sites. University Preparations are being made to open HARD University in the near future. The university will initially house a College of Business offering Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) and MBA (Masters of Business Administration) degrees as well as a College of Education offering teaching degrees, a Masters in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), as well as an excellent K-6 international school as part of a professional learning community (PLC) model.