“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

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Posts Tagged ‘Reading’

UBER and #RideToRead

In honor of Read Across America Day (March 2nd) we’re partnering with our friends at Uber of Kansas City.  You can use the code RAAD16 to get your first ride FREE.  While in your first Uber ride, share using hashtag #RideToRead on social media and let everyone know you’re part of the community making a difference in 3rd grade reading scores!

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Please note that the code (RAAD16) is only good for people who are new to UBER (or those who create a new account). The code is active now through the end of April.


Leadership from Burns and McDonnell

imageIts always about leadership.  Two leaders who work at Burns and McDonnell, Doug Dietrich and Tom Anderson took the first step, engaging with some hungry readers in KC’s urban core with Lead to Read KC last school year.
Tom Anderson heard about Lead to Read at his church and he started reading at the Academy for Integrated Arts (AFIA).   Dietrich learned about Lead to Read while traveling from Boise Idaho to Kansas City on an airplane.  His destiny was to sit down beside Jean Rundle, founder of the program. The rest is history.   After getting the scoop from Jean he joined Tom at AFIA in the spring of 2013.

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Their leadership paved the way for  this year’s  volunteers from Burns and McDonnell  to take on Lead to Read in a big way.  Sept 11,  over 60 potential readers heard the Lead to Read story  at Burns and McDonnell HQ in KC. Over 50 READERS will join the team and start reading at Boone Elementary in early October, 2013.  Thanks to Tom and Doug for leading the way.


Why Lead to Read?

 

Why Lead to Read?

We started Lead to Read because we believe the single most important issue facing Kansas City is that an alarming number of children are growing up in this city without the ability to read. The graduation rates at our local inner city high schools reflect this reality. The percentage of students who drop out of high school between the 9th and 10th grade reflect this reality. The challenges facing the neighborhoods across the city as a result of crimes committed by teenagers reflect this reality.

 

The reality is, if you are in the 9th grade, but can’t read at the 9th grade level, but are stuck at a 3rd or 4th grade reading level, you can’t advance to get that valuable high school degree, the ticket to meaningful employment and/or vocational training or a college degree.

 

What will change the game for Kansas City? Increasing the number of students who actually make it through high school and have an opportunity to become contributors. That’s a fact. With a massive engagement in Lead to Read from the community… we can change the game. Please join us in reading at a local elementary school near you.

 

Gratefully:

 

Lynn and Jean Rundle

 

 

 


Reading Is Truly Fundamental by David Williams

With this being my 3rd year of participating in Lead to Read, I can’t help but smile thinking of the smiling young faces as we walk into the classrooms each week. But I also think about how the children’s reading abilities progress from the beginning of the school year to the end of the school year. I also think about some of the unfortunate stories, and the harsh realities of so many of the children’s home lives. Having grown up myself in the inner city of Kansas City Kansas, I thought I would easily be able to relate to their external environments. I found nothing was further from the truth. It seems that far too many children come from not broken, but shattered, homes. I listened to the story of the child that said he had to go to bed each night around 7:30 p.m., just so he had a spot on the bed. He said there would be up to 8 other children who had to sleep in that same room. He said if you were lucky you slept on the twin bed; if not, you slept on the floor. Another child said he virtually slept each night at a different home, depending on the day of the week.

Now don’t get me wrong, not all of their stories are so depressing, but again, far too many are. So as I sit here and look back on all those faces, the one thing that comes to mind is that all any of them want is to be noticed. They want us adults to show that we care. So for 30 minutes each week we, the volunteer Readers of “Lead to Read,” give them that personal attention. We show them we care, and by coming back week after week, we build trust. They feel special that their Reader is coming, just for them.

Having a 2nd grader myself and watching her reading skills develop, I take great satisfaction in knowing I can be a part of helping a child with not all the same advantages as mine, hopefully stand side by side with the same confidence as her, and to be able to go after the same job as her someday. Maybe someday these kids can speak to the generation after them about how they achieved success against all odds.

In order to achieve this, I revert to my title, “Reading is Truly Fundamental.” Too many of our children are told they are “the next great thing” when it involves sports. Parents will show up at a little league game, yet not show up at a parent-teacher conference. Maybe they are “the next great thing,” but if I can’t read a playbook, then what? How can I be a team player? If I can’t read a script or the words to a song, how can I get “the big part?” Now for the 99% who are just like you and I are, if I can’t read, how can I fill out the job application or create a resume?

So to those of you who have taken the time to invest an hour each week with Lead to Read, I say thank you. If you are already a part of Lead to Read, you know the smiling faces and the gratification I speak of. If you have taken the time to read this and you are not currently a part of Lead to Read, all I can say is there is a child out there who would love for you to show them you care!!!