Empowering Students With Reading

Together, we're making literacy a priority in Kansas City.

Our Programs

We support the social, emotional and reading skills that are foundational for student success by advancing our literacy platform and mobilizing community volunteers.

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Reading Mentoring

Caring adults volunteer during their lunch hour to read one-on-one in the classroom with a student.

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Tutoring

Individualized online tutoring through Hoot Reading helps students master foundational reading skills.

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Reading For Life

We bring local authors to schools for interactive read-alouds focused on mental health and wellness.

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Book Distribution

We stock baskets of free books in places where children are often waiting with parents or caregivers.

The Challenge

Only 21% of third graders in Kansas City public and charter schools are reading on grade level. Children who are not reading by third grade are 4X more likely to drop out of high school.

The Numbers

Statistics from the 2023-2024 school year provide just one example of the meaningful, measurable difference Lead to Read KC is making in the community.

28 public and charter school partners for Reading Mentoring
1,428 students paired with a dedicated reading mentor
27,199 one-to-one reading mentoring sessions completed
754 students received individualized, high-dosage tutoring
1,702 children attended mental health-based author visit
34,661 books distributed to children in need across KC metro

Our Impact

Lead to Read KC is helping build a brighter future for Kansas City children by providing mentorship and addressing the challenge of low literacy rates.

The Latest

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“Reading with students within our community for the past decade has been one of the most rewarding endeavors that our employees have taken part in together. Thanks to Lead to Read KC, we’re not only able to help children sharpen an important life skill, but we’re also giving them the opportunity to interact with engineers who may inspire them to pursue careers in STEM down the road. It’s incredibly fulfilling to see this transformation take place and the confidence that’s built provides a spark that brings a smile to our faces! While it’s incredibly fulfilling for us, the bigger impact this program has on the kids’ education and future career prospects is what makes it worth every minute.”

JULIE PIERCE

Community Sector Executive, Henderson Engineers

The Blog

Get Involved

We need you! There are so many ways to be part of the solution to our community’s literacy crisis. Choose to give your time or resources to Lead to Read KC.