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-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 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


Program Update

Although our program looks quite different this year, we’re thrilled to be in our tenth year of connecting Kansas City students with Reading Mentors to support the social, emotional and reading skills that are foundational for student success.

We partnered with Hoot Reading to develop a custom app, and with strong community support, we have launched our new digital reading and mentoring program in nine schools. And, plans are well-underway to provide summer school reading support. 

View the latest reading schedule here. Get a sneak peek at our digital program here

Follow us on social media for program updates: Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Virtual Lunch & Learn

We partnered with Vladimir Sainte, licensed clinical social worker and children’s book author, and Jefnah Kamal, licensed master social worker, for a virtual Lunch & Learn on Jan. 13. Check out our blog for highlights―or to view the slides and video presentation. 

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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