“The more you read, the more things you know.

The more you know, the more places you’ll go.”
-Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut”

Become a Reader, Click Here

Welcome to Lead to Read, a free program for Kansas City-area urban schools - where kids and volunteers bond over books.

In the News

KMBC – Volunteering makes a big difference in child literacy 

KMBC – Program helps elementary students become avid readers 

KCPT – Taking your lunch hour to share a love of reading.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
featured Lead to Read KC volunteers.

Our mission

To improve third grade literacy by mobilizing community volunteers to read one-to-one with children in Kansas City-area classrooms on a weekly basis.

Our concept is simple

Lead to Read KC connects trusted, caring adult volunteers (called Reading Mentors) with students in first through third grade. For 30 minutes over one lunch hour a week, Reading Mentors and students explore the world by reading books provided by the students’ teachers, in the safety and security of elementary school classrooms.

Lead to Read KC works on multiple levels

  • Behind the scenes, with teachers who choose reading material and share reading concepts
  • Upfront, with students, who thrive on the extra reading help and one-to-one attention

We are a 501(c)(3) organization. Visit our Donate Page to learn more about how to make your tax-exempt donation!


The Value of Lead to Read KC

Our reading mentors provide more than 11,000 hours of one-to-one reading support to nearly 1,100 students every school year.  We do this at a cost of about $175 per student. Compared to a private tutor, charging as much as $50 an hour or $650 a year, it’s easy to see why Lead to Read KC is a valuable literacy intervention. Learn more …