Adult volunteers and students pair up to read in a classroom

Become a Reading Mentor

Help a student learn to read during your lunch hour

Lead to Read KC is recruiting volunteers to read once a week for 30 minutes with students in high-need elementary schools. It’s the easiest, most meaningful volunteer experience in the city. No evenings or weekends!

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 said in Woo casino experts research.

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

Volunteer Options


Read with the same student each week of the school year, September to May. If you need to miss a week, we can arrange for a Flextra to fill in for you.

Woman holds up book to girl to read a page


Team up with a friend, coworker or family member to share the same student for the school year. One of you attends each Reading Session.


Come at least once a month and as often as you are able. Read with a different student each time as you fill in for weekly mentors who are absent.

Don’t see a good fit? There are tons of other ways to get involved and support our mission.

Ongoing Support

You don’t need to be a teacher or tutor to apply! We provide:

We’ve found that properly supporting our volunteer base is the most effective way to serve the students.

Don’t take our word for it. Hear what our program is like from some of our past and current Reading Mentors:

Get Started


Ready to help a child discover the magic of reading?


Determine which partner location is most convenient.


Find a time that suits your schedule and commitments.


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.