KMBC Cares for Kids logo

Lead to Read KC is proud to be a part of KMBC Cares For Kids! We appreciate the ongoing support and excellent media coverage the KMBC 9 News team has provided for our mission.

KMBC 9's Sports Anchor LenJennings practices sight words with student

Our Mission

Lead to Read KC’s mission is to support the social, emotional and reading skills that are foundational for student success by advancing our literacy platform and mobilizing community volunteers. Together we create readers, one lunch hour at a time.


When it comes to purchasing books, Lead to Read KC has buying power. We can purchase diverse, inclusive books at a significant discount.

$10 buys a new book for a student
$50 provides site words flashcards for two classrooms
$100 helps bring an author visit to a school
$250 sponsors a student for one year of Lead to Read KC

Lead to Read Board Member Ben Bravence reads with student

Why We're Needed

Reading is the foundation for all other learning and is essential for a future workforce.

Grade when students switch from learning to read to reading to learn


Third-graders in KC public and charter schools reading proficiently

Likelihood of dropping out of high school if you can't read by third grade


Youth in the juvenile justice system that are functionally illiterate
Reading Mentor points to word on page for student

What We Do

We are the boots on the ground with four key programs that directly impact students by providing:

  1. Reading mentoring for students in first through third grade who attend high-need schools
  2. High-dosage, one-to-one tutoring by certified, experienced teachers
  3. More than 60 free community book distribution sites to encourage reading outside of school
  4. Mental health and wellness support via author partnerships and school visits

For More Information

We invite you to explore our full website to learn more about our partners, family resources, organization updates and more!