Lead to Read Kansas City

Lead to Read connects adult volunteers (called reading mentors) with kids in grades 1 through 4. The goal is simple: To inspire kids to love to read – and to let them know that someone cares.

In 2018, I joined the Lead to Read KC’s shared volunteer experience with Kellie Burke (pictured above). Once a week, for 30 minutes, we get to explore the world by reading books with our student. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing the student’s progress throughout the school year.

“I became involved with Lead to Read KC because thousands of students cannot read on grade level in our community,” said Pam Kingsley, Lead to Read KC site coordinator. “Literacy research about ‘what works and what doesn’t’ is clear: building social/emotional capacity significantly enhances academic achievement.

“Lead to Read checks both boxes by addressing the academic and the social/emotional needs of the students. Our children soar – and so do the volunteers! The deep satisfaction from a hands-on experience that changes a child’s life is priceless,” Pam said.

Since its founding in 2010, Lead to Read has grown to over 1,100 volunteers who read to students in over 50 classrooms in 17 schools. Volunteers provide more than 500 hours of individualized reading support each week. The program has also distributed more than 11,000 books since 2011!

Watch NBC Nightly News’ story on this wonderful program.

This is the easiest, most meaningful volunteer experience in Kansas City. Are you interested in becoming a reading mentor? Lead to Read is always looking for more volunteers – sign up today! Or consider a tax-deductible donation!