10 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 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-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 KMBC news 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 and mentoring support.
  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 and mentoring support one lunch hour each week.

What's New

Read Our Latest Newsletter

Holiday Schedule

Due to the holiday break, there are no reading sessions from Dec. 17-Jan. 10.

Volunteer Opportunities

Reading sessions have resumed at most of our partner schools. Students need reading and mentoring support now more than ever. Not on our current volunteer roster? There’s still time to join! We will be serving at least 100 additional students during the second semester.

Check out our reading session schedule. If you’ve been a Reading Mentor in a prior school year, simply email Volunteer Manager Hayley Rees at [email protected] to indicate your interest. No need to reapply! New to our program? It’s easy to apply online.

Follow us on social media for program updates: Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. And, watch for email updates!

New Ways to Get Books Into Children’s Lives

Check out this news story from Kelly Eckerman of KMBC 9 News about how Lead to Read KC is expanding our book distribution channels to get even more books into the hands of Kansas City children through our Reading Is Everywhere(SM) initiative. Learn more. Make a donation to support this initiative.

Read for 15 Kick Off

Lead to Read KC partnered with the 15 and Mahomies Foundation, The Rotary Club of Overland Park and the Kansas City Chiefs Ambassadors to kick off the Read for 15 program with our partner schools on Oct. 28. Watch this KMBC 9 News story to learn more.

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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