11 years of creating a community of readers, one lunch hour at a time.

Our Mission

To support the social, emotional and reading skills that are foundational for student success by advancing our literacy platform and mobilizing community volunteers.
Why? Fewer than half of Kansas City, Missouri third graders are reading on grade level. In many high-need schools, it’s fewer than 25 percent. Children who are not reading by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. Lead to Read KC is addressing this challenge. Learn more >
Watch this short video to learn more about Lead to Read KC's mission and the impact of our program — and how easy it is to get involved.

What We Do

  1. Recruit mentors icon
    Provide reading and mentoring support to students in first through third grade who attend high-need schools.
  2. School icon
    Provide individualized tutoring by certified teachers.
  3. GitHub icon
    Distribute books — and provide social-emotional support via author partnerships.

What's New

Read our latest newsletter.

Celebrate your birthday with Lead to Read KC

Do you have a November birthday? Click here to find out how you can celebrate with Lead to Read KC and get a sweet treat for yourself!

Lead to Read KC in the news

Lead to Read KC is helping reverse the trends of virtual learning’s effects on young students. Watch this KCTV 5 News story to learn more and check out other recent news stories. And, Lead to Read KC recently celebrated recruiting 1,000 Read Mentors! Learn more about this exciting milestone from KSHB 41 News or The Pitch. You can view all our media on our In the News page.

Reading Is Everywhere(SM)

We have expanded our reach to get even more books into the hands of young readers! Our community partners now include more than three dozen social service agencies, hair salons, barber shops, restaurants and retailers — making books more accessible to children outside of schools and libraries. Learn more

Our Impact: 2021-22 School Year


students received mental health-themed author visits


students paired with 696 Reading Mentors


schools served


books distributed


students received online personalized tutoring from a certified teacher


reading and mentoring sessions completed
Learn more >


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