Want to be an initiator of change for the future of Kansas City? There are opportunities all around the city to help our kids achieve 3rd grade reading proficiency. Help young readers practice their literacy skills, and learn new ones, by engaging with them on a one-on-one basis. Want to volunteer over your lunch hour? How about after work? More interested in a one-time event? Great! There are many opportunities to fit your interests and schedule.

JumpStart. By being a Jumpstart Readers Program Volunteer you will spend time in an early childhood classroom for one hour each week.  During that time you will read a pre-selected book, play a word game, and vocabulary bingo. Volunteers are asked to make a minimum of an 8 week commitment (1 hour per week). Jumpstart will provide training and materials as well as connect volunteers with preschool classrooms. 

Lead to Read KC. Lead to Read connects trusted, caring adult volunteers (called Readers) with kids in grades 1 through 4 from every walk of life. Once a week, for 30 minutes, Readers and kids explore the world by reading books provided by the children’s teachers, in the safety and security of an elementary school classroom. 

Literacy KC. Literacy KC volunteers support our adult students on their learning journeys. There are more than 225,000 low literate adults in the KC Metro area, and we want to help them achieve their goals and gain the practical and emotional benefits of reading! Opportunities range from tutoring in our Adult Basic Education classes and classes for English Language Learners, to leading math classes, teaching foundational digital skills, and assisting with our family reading program. Do you want to volunteer weekly? Over your lunch hour or after work? Great! They have opportunities for a variety of interests and schedules.     

Phoenix Family. HIKE Reading Labs give children who are struggling to learn to read the one-to-one attention they need to build their confidence and help them catch up with their reading. Reading sessions are relaxed and fun and by working together, you can help give a child the vital skills they need to read, grow, and succeed. Reading Labs take place during the after-school program, Monday through Thursday in three shifts each day: 4:30 – 5:45 p.m., 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., and 5:15 – 6:30 p.m.


Reach Out and Read KC. Reach Out and Read Kansas City volunteer readers create literacy-rich waiting rooms at pediatrician and doctor’s offices, read aloud to children, and model book sharing activities to parents.  This opportunity will not only enhance a child’s life but will also enrich your life as you see the delight that reading brings to each child. Volunteer reader shifts are available Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. –  4:00 p.m. and are flexible to accommodate your schedule. 

The Reading Nook. The Reading Nook connects volunteers with children in grades Kindergarten through 8th. Most of our children live in northeast Kansas City and are English language learners from Congolese refugee families. They are a joy to get to know! We meet on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month during the school year from 9 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Join them for one or both Saturdays. They provide ongoing training for new and veteran volunteers. 

Upper Room. The Upper Room’s Summer Academic Program is an opportunity to improve the educational outcomes of children in the Kansas City community. The program provides academic and enrichment opportunities for students entering Kindergarten – 8th grade (volunteers work primarily with 1st – 3rd grade students, unless otherwise requested). Students focus on reading with the help of certified teachers and volunteer tutors (that could be YOU)

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