Boost literacy in Kansas City by supporting these four nonprofits

Higher reading proficiency has proven health, financial and environmental outcomes. Here’s what you can do to help Kansas City’s literacy levels.

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Reading together is an underrated passtime.

Photo by Lead to Read KC

Did you know that one in five Americans have low literacy skills? Kansas City’s numbers are slightly better than the national average — but there is still room for improvement.

Studies show that in 2022, 76% of Kansas City Public School Students and 72% of Kansas City charter school students didn’t read proficiently.

Why is this important? Higher literacy skills has been linked to better life outcomes including better health, financial stability, and higher income levels.

Bonus: Raising the collective US literacy rate by just 1% is also projected to boost our economy by $240 Billion. Yes, you read that right.

Interested in helping raise KC’s literacy scores? Here are four local literacy nonprofit organizations you can bookmark.

Lead to Read KC | This organization is dedicated to improving early reading as volunteers visit classrooms to read with assigned little buddies. Its always looking for more adult readers who are willing to donate an hour a week.

Literacy KC | This one is for the adult learner. The many adult programs include family reading, digital literacy, and high school equivalency test preparation. Its annual mini golf fundraiser, Literacy KC Classic is Saturday, Sept. 16.

Turn the Page KC | This nonprofit provides free classroom reading resources and is developing a holistic approach to improving childhood reading rates. You can get involved by purchasing a bundle of books for a kid.

Reach Out & Read KC | KU Medical Center’s reading program prescribes children books and educates parents on the importance of literacy. It works with clinics throughout the metro to provide free books to its patients.