Young boy smiles up at his mentor


Lead to Read KC is making a statistically significant impact on the lives of Kansas City children. Our programs have been shown to improve reading proficiency, social-emotional skills and school attendance while reducing the risk of dropping out of school.

Program Evaluation

Lead to Read KC and the Urban Education Research Center completed a two-year evaluation to examine the Reading Mentoring program’s impact. The evaluation examined student reading achievement, attitudes about reading, and development of social skills. Key findings are below. Download the Executive Summary or request a copy of the full Program Evaluation Final Report by emailing

    Improved Reading Skills
    1. Participating Students Gain Key Reading Skills

    First graders made significantly larger gains in reading scores than control students. Second graders grew significantly more on sight word accuracy than control students.

    Increased Reading Enjoyment
    2. Program Increases Enjoyment of Reading

    Second graders in Lead to Read KC were significantly more likely than control students to grow in their enjoyment of reading.

    Increased Social-Emotional Learning
    3. Students Develop Key Social-Emotional Skills

    First, second and third graders in Lead to Read KC made significant gains in relationship and self-management skills.

    School District Report

    Kansas City Public Schools reported the following key findings in the KCPS Mentoring Annual Partner Report 2019-20 School Year.

    Improved School Attendance
    Improved Attendance Rate

    KCPS students in Lead to Read KC saw an improved attendance rate, with 62.1% showing a year-on-year improvement.

    Fewer Disciplinary Incidents
    Fewer Disciplinary Incidents

    KCPS students in Lead to Read KC received fewer disciplinary incidents, with 65.9% having zero incidents, and 33.3% having fewer incidents than in the previous year.

    Reading Mentors Survey

    Lead to Read KC conducts a survey at the end of each school year to assess the Reading Mentors’ experience and hear their feedback on the program. Here’s what mentors had to say about the 2022-2023 program:


    Report students' attitudes about reading were positively influenced


    Report students' reading abilities were improved


    Report satisfaction with the program


    Report developing a personal connection with their student

    The Last Word

    At the end of the day, stories often matter more than statistics. Consider the impact our Reading Mentoring program had on one student alum from Whittier Elementary:

    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.