Why We Do It

It’s simple. Children who can read proficiently by third grade will be more successful in school.

  • In Kansas City public and charter schools, only 21 percent of third graders are reading on grade level. (Source: SchoolSmartKC)
  • Students who can’t read by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. 
  • Eighty-five percent of youth in the juvenile justice system are functionally illiterate.

“If we can reduce the dropout rate by helping kids improve their reading skills, lives will be transformed and our city will be positively changed,” says Jean Rundle, co-founder of Lead to Read KC.

“When children and caring adults bond over books, it sets the stage for developing the social, emotional and reading skills necessary for academic and personal success,” says Pauly Hart, Former Executive Director, Lead to Read KC.

Reading Mentor and student

Lead to Read KC is dedicated to improving the social, emotional and reading skills of children attending high-need schools. Launched in 2011, Lead to Read KC has diversified our program to serve our students and community in new ways. Our program now has four key areas of focus

  • Reading and Mentoring 
  • Tutoring 
  • Reading For Life Author Partnerships
  • Reading Is EverywhereSM Community Book Distribution Initiative 

Learn more about what we do.

Want to help? Here’s how.

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