Lead to Read KC
6022 N Strathbury Ave
Kansas City MO 64151
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 651-0470
Mission Statement
Lead to Read connects trusted, caring adult volunteers (called Reading Mentors) 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.
 
In Kansas City, less than half of third graders living in poverty are reading proficiently. In 2017, Lead to Read KC (LTRKC) is serving more than 1,000 first through fourth grade students at schools with high percentages of minorities and immigrants, and often have 100% free/reduced lunch programming. LTRKC is dedicated to helping at-risk students in Kansas City improve basic reading skills and develop positive attitudes toward education. Lead to Read KC is a reading program, but our impact goes beyond literacy. Our program is based on relationship building. Educators know that positive adult relationships are a key to successfully educating a child.
LTRKC's unique model has a capacity building element that surpasses anything seen before. This allows us to operate with the vision to see every student in Kansas City with a LTRKC volunteer reading mentor.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Pauly Hart
Board Chair Mr. Lynn Rundle
Board Chair Company Affiliation Sequel Holdings. L.P. Inc.
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2017
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement
Lead to Read connects trusted, caring adult volunteers (called Reading Mentors) 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.
 
In Kansas City, less than half of third graders living in poverty are reading proficiently. In 2017, Lead to Read KC (LTRKC) is serving more than 1,000 first through fourth grade students at schools with high percentages of minorities and immigrants, and often have 100% free/reduced lunch programming. LTRKC is dedicated to helping at-risk students in Kansas City improve basic reading skills and develop positive attitudes toward education. Lead to Read KC is a reading program, but our impact goes beyond literacy. Our program is based on relationship building. Educators know that positive adult relationships are a key to successfully educating a child.
LTRKC's unique model has a capacity building element that surpasses anything seen before. This allows us to operate with the vision to see every student in Kansas City with a LTRKC volunteer reading mentor.
Background Statement
The idea and vision of Lead to Read KC has evolved as one critical solution to a problem that the program’s founders, Lynn and Jean Rundle, saw as they lived and worked in Kansas City. Jean’s dream was to provide every child in the Kansas City urban core a reading mentor. She and her husband Lynn started Lead to Read KC in 2011 to make this dream a reality.
 
The need was real. Jean first realized that when she started working with a group of at-risk kids who were struggling to read at grade level. After digging deeper, they found almost 75% of children living in poverty were not reading on grade level by the third grade. This makes them four times more likely to drop out of school.
 
What started as a dream quickly grew thanks to Jean’s vision. They tested out the idea inside the classroom of a friend in March 2011. By summer, LTRKC joined Freedom Works as a 501 (c) 3 program and gained their first employee, Sarah Gaikwad. Pilot program launched fall 2011, with two classrooms in different districts allowing research to happen. LTRKC began pairing caring adults with at-risk students to help them improve basic reading skills. These weekly reading relationships proved powerful for both the student and the adult volunteer.
 
As the program spread through word of mouth and outreach efforts, we steadily grew to 300 volunteers. However, just as the program was taking off, Jean was diagnosed with a heart condition that unexpectedly took her life in 2013. Lynn vowed to honor his wife’s memory by keeping her Lead to Read KC dream alive.
 
In Fall 2014 a steering committee/advisory board was formed and created a SWOT analysis. 2015 introduced work with corporate partnerships. We took that process slowly and intentionally. In October 2015 we had our largest corporate on-boarding process with over 100 volunteers joining in through one company partner. Pauly Hart joined November 2015 to capitalize on that and create/refine our corporate partnership program. Taking it from 3 partners to over 30 in a short time. Today, Lead to Read KC provides one-on-one reading relationships to children in 52 classrooms. The program has grown from the initial 30 students to more than 1,100.
 
In July 2017 Lead to Read KC received their 501c3 non-profit status. Prior to which the program partnered with a parent organization, Freedom Works. Deeply grateful for our partnership with Freedom Works, the program has grown to need the development of its own board of directors and strategy for success.
Impact Statement
Accomplishments:
  • 1,100 students reached
  • 1,100 adults engaged in urban literacy
  • 2,000+ books distributed
  • 36 high profile businesses and organizations engaged around the mission of literacy
 
Goals:
  • Double impact numbers
  • Develop measurable on-going program evaluation
  • Incorporate soft skills into our program
Needs Statement
  • Increased staffing to include a full time director of operations and communications position
  • Updated website
  • Adopt and implement a volunteer management system, such as sales force.
  • Develop additional volunteer training materials, including video and face to face components
  • Develop a structured classroom model to incorporate measurable student outcomes
Service Categories
Remedial Reading & Encouragement
Areas of Service
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Johnson County
MO - Clay County
MO - Jackson County
MO - Platte County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
I have been directly involved in building the Lead to Read KC program. The program has grown from 300 reading mentors, when I joined, to more than 1,100 today. Our corporate partnerships grew from three companies a year ago to more than 30 today. We have grown from five schools to 12 schools. Our small, but mighty team has built the premier literacy volunteer organization in Kansas City by partnering inner-city schools with business organizations. It is amazing to see the faces of the students when they greet their personal reading mentor each week.
 
Third grade literacy is important because from birth to third grade students learn to read. After third grade they are expected to read to learn. When they miss the third grade reading benchmark, they begin a long struggle in our educational system. They are four times more likely to drop out of high school, and high school drops have significantly reduced earning potential, and a higher chance of ending up in prison. Approximately 85 % of young people in the juvenile justice system are illiterate.
 
Aside from statistics, volunteers who work with our program quickly realize the lack of literacy skills in our inner-city schools. They also recognize the need for a positive adult in a child's life. Studies show that it can take just one positive adult in a child's life to make a difference in their educational outcome. What many people don't realize is that "every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story," according to author/speaker, Josh Shipp. We are able to partner with volunteers and the business community to provide that one caring adult to at-risk youth through our reading-mentoring program.
 
Based on a request from Kansas City Public Schools to add a measurable task, LTRKC will incorporate either sight word acquisition or reading fluency as a metric into two pilot classrooms in Fall 2018. Funding is needed to develop the support and execution of this task, as well as increase our infrastructure support for the classroom programming. LTRKC has experienced tremendous growth during the past two years, and we’re working hard to support that growth. LTRKC’s 1,100 volunteer reading mentors who serve that many students are a testament to our program. LTRKC is achieving massive community engagement around urban education.
Programs
Description
We are KC’s premier literacy volunteer program based on massive community engagement. Distribution of services goes to under-performing schools in the greater Kansas City area. We partner with businesses and organizations to provide teams of mentors for whole-class reading sessions. Every student receives individualized reading support for 30 minutes every week over the entire school year. Our mentors support the teacher's curriculum and allow children to practice decoding, fluency and comprehension skills based on their individual level.
Our per classroom cost is $3,500, this includes recruiting, training, managing volunteers/teachers, and program evaluation. Our per-student cost of $175 for one year of literacy coaching, compares to $650 for the cost of a private tutor offering similar services. Funding comes from our corporate partners who provide our volunteers, grants and individuals community donations. 2017-18 fiscal year our projected revenue streams include: founder 10%, fundraising 20%, service agreement 20%, corporate partnerships 25%, community grants 25%. To date, we have secured 40% of our budget.
Category Education, General/Other Literacy
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years), ,
Short-Term Success
Urban schools, school districts, and the business community value LTRKC. Teachers welcome the help our mentors provide. No other program reaches every student with personalized, one-on-one reading support. Volunteers quickly become endeared to the student and the school. The result is many businesses “adopt” classrooms’ other needs.
 
Example: A bank adopted four classrooms and purchased indoor recess games and supplies. The business community values our program as a meaningful volunteer experience.
 
Testimonial: "Burns & McDonnell has partnered with LTRKC since 2013…the program is a great fit for our employee-owners…just minutes from our campus…volunteers [get] a glimpse into urban education and challenges students are facing…we are proud that LTRKC highlights Burns & McDonnell as a successful model to showcase how easy, fun and impactful the program is with a local school. Our employee-owners look forward to volunteering with LTRKC for many years to come."
Long-Term Success
Lead to Read KC is a reading support program, but our impact goes beyond literacy. Our program is based on relationship building. Educators know that positive adult relationships are a key to successfully educating a child. We have also partnered with over 30 businesses in the community. One of significant note is our partnership with the Kansas City Police Department to help improve relations between urban youth and law enforcement. Whether they come from the police department or a local business, our reading mentors are a window to the world for children living in adversity. Our goal is to expand our program to engage thousands of adults as reading mentors to thousands of students across the city. We want students being successful in their education, and providing the kind of feedback we received from students this year.
Program Success Monitored By
LTRKC’s vision is massive community engagement around urban education, specifically on-grade level reading. Our program impacts urban education by exposing thousands of students living in adversity to professionals/leaders who serve as a window to the world. The adults are enlightened about the challenges and opportunities in urban education, and in-turn become actively engaged in improving the outcomes of at-risk students.
 
School districts and LTRKC are measuring: student sight word acquisition, reading growth and attitudes. Soft/social skills such as meet and greet, eye contact, and listening/speaking is a natural by-product of mentorships. The reading mentors will provide qualitative evaluation of soft skills. Expanding site coordinator roles, we ensure quality and consistent experience for both students and volunteers. Also helping to provide validity and accuracy to our program evaluation which further funding will enable.
Examples of Program Success
Undoubtedly, our largest measure of success is rate of growth while maintaining a list of schools in waiting. In six years we’ve moved the program from 30 reading mentors to more than 1,100. Our corporate partnerships have grown from three companies a year ago to more than 30. We have grown from five to 12 schools. Our small, but mighty team has built the premier literacy volunteer organization in Kansas City by developing strong relationships with schools and the business community.
  • 93% of volunteers rate their overall experience above average. “It’s an amazing feeling when you step through that classroom door and this giant smile spreads across your reading buddy’s face.”
  • 90% of teachers report reading mentors helped improve reading ability of their students. “The strong bond formed between the readers and students is such a fun thing to watch develop.”
  • In a reading attitude survey [2016], LTRKC students reported a 27 percent improvement in attitudes toward reading.
CEO Comments Lead to Read KC has successfully engaged thousands of Kansas City adults in urban education. Our tremendous growth is the direct result of our program being an easy, yet meaningful volunteer experience. We are poised to provide reading mentorships to students and volunteers across our city. Our challenge is to two-fold: 1) secure adequate staffing to sustain our program and continue to grow, because there are thousands of young students who can benefit from a reading mentor, 2) conduct comprehensive program evaluation to more clearly identify student and mentor outcomes. Both of these opportunities require additional funding support.  
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Pauly Hart
Term Start Nov 2015
Experience
Pauly Hart came to Lead to Read KC with a diverse professional background that includes education, corporate communications, sales, and kitchen design. The common thread running through her work history is that she gravitates toward creative projects, and understands the power of human relationships. At Lead to Read she is applying her skills to help create a community of readers, one lunch hour at a time. Pauly is married to Jeff, and they have two adult children and a giant golden doodle.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start 0
Compensation Last Year
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 0
Paid Part-Time Staff 7
Volunteers 1100
Paid Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
Caucasian 7
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 7
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Under Development
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistleblower Policy No
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Community Champion AwardKansas City Public Schools2016
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Lynn Rundle
Company Affiliation Sequel Holdings. L.P. Inc.
Term July 2017 to July 2018
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Ms. Sarah Gaikwad Sarah & Ginger Photography
Ms. Lynn Carlton HOK
Mr. Justin Goldsborough Fleishman Hillard
Mr. Eric Graham TGP Investments, LLC
Ms. Rebecca Haessig Set the Schools Free Blog
Ms. Pauly Hart Lead to Read KC
Mr. Derek Klaus Visit KC
Mr. David Lowe Lockton Companies
Mr. Casey Martin Husch Blackwell
Ms. Caitlin O'Byrne Waters CBIZ
Mr. Lokesh Krishna Ravichandran Cerner
Mr. Lynn Rundle Sequel Holdings. L.P. Inc.
Mr. Jon Schram Purple Guys
Mr. Dustin Walton Populous
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 13
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1 Indian
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 9
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Under Development
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Financials
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2018
Projected Revenue $230,000
Projected Expenses $230,000
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2016: Financial data reported using the organization's internal financial documents.
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
 
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$58,989----
Administration Expense$7,432----
Fundraising Expense$0----
Payments to Affiliates$0----
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.18----
Program Expense/Total Expenses89%----
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%----
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$25,670----
Current Assets$25,670----
Long-Term Liabilities$0----
Current Liabilities$1,846----
Total Net Assets$23,824----
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities13.91----
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%----
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Organization Name Lead to Read KC
Address 6022 N Strathbury Ave
Kansas City, MO 64151
Primary Phone (816) 651-0470
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Pauly Hart
Board Chair Mr. Lynn Rundle
Board Chair Company Affiliation Sequel Holdings. L.P. Inc.
Year of Incorporation 2017