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Rina Madhani


Executive Director & Co-Founder

Start Lighthouse Organization


Rina Madhani started her career in education at Reading Partner where she witnessed the impact of community volunteers implementing an in-house curriculum to equip students with critical reading skills. She began a teaching fellowship with Blue Engine where she taught 10th grade English at a public high school in the South Bronx. Upon Blue Engine, she transitioned into elementary education where she taught for several years. Rina’s desire to begin Start Lighthouse was born out of her experiences as an educator in the South Bronx where she noticed that a lack of access to books was further perpetuating the educational inequities within our system. Rina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Global Liberal Studies from New York University and a Masters in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Start Lighthouse is an organization led by three women of color: Rina Madhani, Anya Morales, and Brittany Kramer. We launched in March 2020 as school and library closures made it increasingly difficult to get reading materials in the hands of all students. We sought to address the underlying issue that existed within the south Bronx: access. As an organization, we are committed to redistributing book wealth and helping children in the South Bronx community grow their libraries.

Since March, we’ve accomplished the following milestones:
975 brand new books collected for our customized literacy kits.
276 literacy kits distributed with culturally responsive texts, bilingual comprehension guides, and reflective activities.
385 families impacted through our community workshops and distribution events.
120 educators, administrators, students, and practitioners joined us for our two-day virtual decolonizing education hackathon.