Woman leans in to read a book with a young student

Reading Mentoring

Thirty minutes of one-to-one student support each week

Lead to Read KC connects trusted, caring adult volunteers called Reading Mentors with students in first through third grade, providing students in high-need schools with 30 minutes of one-to-one reading and mentoring support each week.

Reading Sessions include every student in the classroom and take place during the lunch hour at one of our many partner schools.

Why It's Necessary

Third grade is when students make the switch from learning to read to reading to learn. This crucial time often determines future academic success, but only 21% of third-grade students in Kansas City public and charter schools is reading proficiently.

Lead to Read KC’s Reading Mentoring program has been proven to significantly improve participating students’ reading scores and sight word accuracy compared to control students. Learn more about our impact.


KC public & charter school third-graders reading proficiently

How It Works

  • Each student in the class is paired with the same Reading Mentor (or pair of mentors) each week
  • The Reading Mentor and student read one-to-one around midday for 30 minutes
  • Reading Sessions reinforce curriculum concepts and provide turnkey support for teachers
  • Watch the following KMBC 9 News story to learn more about the program:

“By helping develop strong readers, we impact the future of our community. We give students the foundation to thrive academically and achieve their dreams. Lead to Read KC is the most rewarding volunteering opportunity I have ever had. I also donate, to help ensure the resources are available to continue and expand this program.”


American Century

For More Information

Learn more about the program below or contact Reading Mentoring Program Manager Allison White at allison@leadtoreadkc.org.


Learn about our current partner schools.


See our Reading Session times for each school partner.


Find out what is required to become a Reading Mentor.


Still have a question? Read our Frequently Asked Questions.

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.