Caring relationships make a difference

Traci MurphyNov. 28, 2022

Every child who winds up doing well has had at least one stable, committed relationship with a supportive adult. Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University

Child reads book

As a fifth grader, it’s been a few years since Ian Smith has been involved with Lead to Read KC, but he has good memories of the reading buddies he read with while he was a Lead to Read student.

“The reading buddies I read with were all nice,” Ian said. “If there was a word I didn’t know, I’d give it a lot of tries, and they always encouraged me. That really helped with reading.”

Ian learned to read in Kindergarten and, by first grade, was in love with reading. Today he’s reading above grade level and loves reading so much that he can’t pick just one favorite book.

“It would be more like 50,000 favorite books,” he said.

We love that Ian loves reading and is reading above grade level – especially now when many students are not.1 But even students who say they don’t like to read benefit from time with our Reading Mentors.

Every Kid Is ONE Caring Adult Away from Being a Success Story.Josh Shipp

Research from The Search Institute shows that children who have strong relationships with caring adults are more likely to be engaged at school and motivated to succeed academically.2 

Supportive adult reads book with childBuilding relationships between students and caring adults should be the central mission of every school and educational organization.3 With a network of more than 1,000 trusted and caring Reading Mentors, it is part of ours.

You can help change the narrative for other students. Join us as a Reading Mentor. By spending just 30 minutes per week reading with a student in a high-need school, you can help a child build a better future. Visit our website to learn more!

1Literacy Crisis in America’s Schools Persisting Beyond COVID-19, with Students Making Some Recovery, Business Wire

2 What We’re Learning about Developmental Relationships, The Search Institute

3 Why Every Student Needs Caring Adults in Their Life, Tim Klein