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.

Get Schooled: Get in the Game!

Our fourth-annual Get Schooled fundraising event was a big success! MANY THANKS to all the donors, sponsors, event partners, attendees and volunteers who helped knock it out of the park! We are so grateful for the support of the Kansas City community. It was a wonderful evening.  Learn more.

Lead to Read KC in the news

Lead to Read KC is the KMBC 9 News Community Days Partner for June 9. Check out KMBC and KCWE for news stories throughout the day! And, Lead to Read KC was featured recently in The Kansas City Beacon and, KC Studio Magazine. 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 two dozen social service agencies, hair salons, barber shops, restaurants and retailers — making books more accessible to children outside of schools and libraries. Learn more

Royals Community Partner Games

You can take your friends and family to The K all season long while supporting the children Lead to Read KC serves. Go to royals.com/communitypartners, and enter the Lead to Read KC promo code Read2022! to purchase your tickets for any Royals Community Partner Home Game. You get a discount on tickets — and $3 from each ticket will be donated to Lead to Read KC! Win-win! 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
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