Together we are 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 mobilizing community volunteers to read with students in elementary schools.
Why? Fewer than half of Kansas City, Missouri third graders are reading on grade level. In many high-needs 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 KMBC's recent story to see how Lead to Read KC Reading Mentors are making a difference and how easy it is to get involved!

How It Works

  1. School icon
    1. Identify schools and students in need of reading support and mentoring.
  2. Recruit mentors icon
    2. Recruit, train and pair Reading Mentors with students in grades K-3.
  3. GitHub icon
    3. Provide students with 30 minutes of one-to-one reading support and mentoring one lunch hour each week.

What's New

Read Our Latest Newsletter


Join Us for Get Schooled!

Get Schooled is Lead to Read KC’s second annual fundraising event. This year, we’re “playing hooky” from hosting a traditional gala. Instead, Lead to Read KC is “ditching school” complete with house parties and a virtual campaign which will run from September 17 – October 4, when individuals and organizations can show their support. Join us! Learn more.

Program Updates due to COVID-19

In preparation for the possibility of distance learning at our partner schools during the 2020-21 school year, Lead to Read KC is piloting a digital reading-based mentoring platform to supplement our in-school program. This summer we’re piloting the program with students at Brookside Charter School, Citizens of the World Kansas City and Crossroads Charter Schools. After the unexpected break from the classroom, students will need their Reading Mentors’ support more than ever! And, we’ve created a reading resource page to encourage students to read at home. 

Community Read-Aloud Keeps Kids Reading

To encourage children to keep reading while they’re away from the classroom, Lead to Read KC partnered with KMBC 9 News to create a community read-aloud video. Don’t miss Mayor Quinton Lucas and other Kansas City VIPs as they read a super-silly book!

Our Reach: 2019-20


classrooms served


hours of one-to-one reading support and mentorship provided


schools served


books distributed


students paired with a reading mentor
Learn more >


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