The idea and vision of Lead to Read has evolved as one critical solution to a problem that the program’s founders, Lynn and Jean Rundle, have seen as they lived and worked in the Kansas City area.
Some of the teens they have met through mentoring and tutoring couldn’t read fluently – and a few could barely spell.
On fun outings, as well as on job interviews, many of these very intelligent kids struggled to fill out the basic forms needed to rent sports equipment or apply for employment.
There had to be a way to help.
Both former teachers, Lynn and Jean believed that the problem wasn’t just that the kids weren’t reading; it was also that reading didn’t seem relevant to them.
After months of research, plus consultation with school principals, teachers, community groups and community members, Lynn and Jean developed Lead to Read. The program reaches kids early – in grades 1 through 4 – when they’re mastering basic reading skills. And with one-on-one help from trusted, caring adult volunteers, kids begin to experience the love of reading and learning.
In 2010, a handful of volunteers, along with Lynn and Jean, started to make that happen when they launched Lead to Read in several Kansas City-area schools. Sarah Gaikwad came on the team that summer now serves as the Director of Operations providing day to day leadership for the growing organization.
2016-17, the program has grown to over 900 volunteers who read to students in 48 urban classrooms. And the program’s growing fast! We need more volunteers for this spring semester to round out all of the classrooms requesting Lead to Read READERS. There’s plenty of room for you! Please join us.
Director of Operations: Lead to Read
Director of Reader Development
|Lynn and Jean Rundle
Co-founders of Lead to Read