“When you sell a man a book, you don’t sell him just 12 ounces of paper and ink and glue – you sell him a whole new life.”

-Christopher Morley

Become a Reader, Click Here


Make Sure Your United Way Donation Helps Support Lead to Read KC

It’s United Way time. Please consider directing your donation to Lead to Read KC.

Here’s how:

  • Click on the Donor Direct link if using an online form, or ask the United Way campaign manager at your workplace for a “Donor Direct Form” at the time of your pledge.
  • On the write-in section of the form, write in Lead to Read KC. Include the following address: 6022 North Strathbury, Kansas City, MO 64151
  • Include Lead to Read KC’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) 82-1256215. You must include this number on the form.
  • Indicate the amount of your pledge and then submit your form.  
  • Lead to Read KC will then receive the donation from United Way.

Questions? Contact Pauly Hart at: [email protected] or your local United Way campaign manager. Thanks!

Categories: Uncategorized

Lead to Read KC Receives Independent 501c3 Designation

Dear Community Partner:

We are pleased to announce that Lead to Read KC has received its own 501c3 designation, positioning us to even better serve Kansas City students who are living in compromised socioeconomic situations. Lead to Read KC will be expanding its board of directors to guide us in raising funds and developing our organization so that we can maximize our service to Kansas City children. lead to read kc, kansas city literacy, mentoring kansas city
lead to read kc, kansas city literacy, mentoring kansas city  


Recently, Lead to Read KC was among the literacy organizations that helped Kansas City earn The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s “All-American City Award” for its efforts to improve early literacy, an initiative promoted by Turn the Page KC.



Lead to Read KC began its reading crusade six years ago; we have served more than 2,000 students and engaged thousands of adults in improving third grade literacy. Working with limited funds and staffing, Lead to Read KC has been the boots on the ground in the city-wide effort to improve reading skills in our urban core. And along the way, we have developed a volunteer organization that has endeared itself to dozens of businesses and organizations in Kansas City.

Our commitment is real, our success is remarkable and with your help, our possibilities are endless!


lead to read kc, kansas city literacy, mentoring

Thank you for your ongoing support of Lead to Read KC. 

Together we are creating a community of readers, one lunch hour at a time.

Final Session for 2016-17 School Year

Below are the final reading dates for Lead to Read KC. As part of our end-of-year reading celebrations, we will

have books, ice cream and ice cream trucks in some locations. Stay tuned for details. We are already planning

for next school year, and we’re counting on you to join us! Please make note of your last day of reading, which

is also the date for your end-of-year reading celebration.

  • Banneker Elementary, Wednesday, May 3
  • Boone Elementary, Thursday, May 4
  • Crossroads Academy, Thursday, May 11
  • Garcia Elementary, Tuesday, April 25
  • Garfield Elementary, Wednesday, May 10 and Thursday May 11
  • Hope Leadership Academy, Wednesday, May 10
  • Indian Creek Elementary, Wednesday and Thursday, April 26 & 27
  • King Elementary Tuesday, April 25, Wednesday April 26 and Thursday, April 27
  • Longfellow Elementary, Thursday, May 4
  • Phillips @ Attucks, Tuesday, May 2
  • Troost Elementary, Wed May 3 and Thurs, May 4
  • Whittier Elementary Tuesday, May 9
Categories: Blog, blog

Welcome our School Engagement Coordinator!

fullsizerEllen Donaldson is our new School Engagement Coordinator. She will be working closely with teachers and volunteers to facilitate reading sessions. Her entire thirty year teaching career was spent in the Grandview School District educating first and second graders.  She has a  Masters Degree from UMKC in Reading Instruction. She taught more than 600 students how to read during her career as a elementary school teacher.  Ellen is excited to work with students, teachers, and volunteers to help improve third grade literacy in our community.  

If you need tips for reading with your student,  book title suggestions, or if you’re a teacher or site coordinator with questions – email her at [email protected]

Check out her first “Reader Tip Sheet” here!

Categories: Blog

NO Reading on the following…

Boone Elementary

  • October 20th
  • October 27th
  • November 24th

Indian Creek Elementary

  • October 27th
  • November 23rd
  • November 24th

Troost Elementary

  • October 20th
  • November 23rd
  • November 24th

King Elementary

  • October 20th
  • November 23rd
  • November 24th

Longfellow Elementary

  • October 20th
  • November 24th

Garfield Elementary

  • October 20th (Thursday)
  • November 23rd
  • November 24th

Hope Leadership Academy

  • October 26th
  • November 23rd

Phillips @ Attucks

  • November 23rd




Categories: Blog

2016 Fall Launch boasts 899 Readers…

We are excited to have added many new Readers & community partners to the Lead to Read KC team this fall.

Across Kansas City we have 48 classes in 12 partner schools, bringing our actual total number of Readers to 899.  

We say, it’s one Reader at a time that makes a difference…can’t wait to have that 900th Reader officially launch!

Thanks to the following businesses and organizations for partnering with Lead to Read KC.

American Century Investments
Baker Sterchi Cowden Rice LLC
Black & Veatch
Bryan Cave
Burns & McDonnell
Caring for Kids
Central Bank of Kansas City
Chick Fil A
Colonial Presbyterian Church
Commerce Bank
Country Club Bank
Cremalab LLC
DST Systems
Freedom Fire
Freedom Works
Henderson Engineers
Husch Blackwell
Kansas City Police Department
Lead Bank
McAnany, Van Cleave & Phillips (MVP) Law firm
Miller Group
Service Management Group (SMG)
St. Peter’s Catholic Parish
Turn the Page KC
UMB Bank
Wagstaff and Cartmell

Want to have your business listed here?  Contact us to find out how.

Categories: Blog

Featured Reader: Lokesh Ravichandran

Lokesh Ravichandran, Staff Software Developer with DST, is the Site Coordinator for Garfield Elementary.  He has been instrumental in the growth and success of our team there.  Today at Garfield we have 120 DST Readers – many of whom Lokesh has personally recruited!


I am someone who believes that educating our children is the single most important thing we can do.  When our children are educated, it empowers them and in turn our community. It is something that I always tried to promote while living in India.  I was happy to find Lead to Read, an organization aligning with my volunteer interests right here in Kansas City!

Lead to Read KC’s vision of making sure local students have basic reading skills is a noble one. But what truly makes this an amazing organization is their ability to build relationships; showing students someone cares.

Readers get to see first-hand the impact they have on students. Watching kids start to love reading is what brings us back each week!

Lead to Read is bringing our community closer, making it kinder and more humane, all while helping our kids have a brighter future. I want to get as many people involved as possible with the program, because there are many more students to help, and I believe people are ready to get involved.

I Lead To Read because I can be involved in a program that makes a true difference.

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate…

Keeping up with Lead to Read KC’s growth is exciting and challenging! We are working as fast as we can, but we have to admit, some days it feels a little like Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory. 

We laugh, but the reality is our growth is out pacing our funding.  We have launched 899 Readers this fall compared to 300 during last year’s launch. If your company has a foundation that supports community organizations, please let us know who to contact. And if you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to sponsor: 

  • one student this year ($84)  
  • 10 students this year ($840)
  • 100 student this year ($8,400)
  • or your best gift…simply click here for your personal donation
    (Many companies will match your donation – be sure to check!)

Watch Lucy and Ethel below, and enjoy a laugh on us. Thank you for understanding our growing pains!

Categories: Blog

Direct Your United Way Donation to Lead to Read KC

As the United Way Campaign gets underway at your workplace, please consider directing your donation to Lead to Read KC. Thanks to our fabulous volunteers, Lead to Read KC is experiencing rapid growth, and with growth come increased expenses. So, when your corporate United Way campaign asks you for a contribution, please direct your donation to Lead to Read KC. Here’s how:

  • Ask the United Way campaign manager at your workplace for a “Donor Direct Form” at the time of your pledge, or click on the Donor Direct link if using an online form.

  • On the write-in section of the form, state that you want to give your donation to another agency, and list Lead to Read KC 6022 North Strathbury, Kansas City, MO 64151

  • Include Lead to Read Employer Identification Number (EIN) 82-1256215. You must include this number on the form.

  • You then return the form or submit the online form, including the amount of your donation, to the campaign coordinator at your company.

  • Lead to Read KC will then receive the donation from United Way.

Thanks for considering supporting Lead to Read KC through your United Way donation.If you have questions about directing your United Way donation, please contact Pauly Hart [email protected]

Categories: Blog