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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Literacy, Public & Societal Benefit, Remedial Reading & Encouragement, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Our mission is to inspire preschool-age children from low-income communities to become readers by reading aloud to them, increasing their exposure to quality books, and providing literacy-related activities. The vision of Ready Readers is to have all children, regardless of socio-economic status, enter kindergarten with strong early literacy skills and print motivation, which are necessary to become successful readers when they are ready to read.

Results: This school year, an independent evaluator has pre-tested a sample of the preschool-age children in our program using the early literacy skills standards outlined by the Missouri Early Learning Goals. These same children will be tested again at the end of the school year and progress will be evaluated. Our short-term targeted goal is that 75% of the children in our program acquire the emergent literacy skills as defined by state standards. Teachers and our volunteer readers always complete an end-of-the-year evaluation form, asking them about the early literacy skills that their children have acquired over the year

Target demographics: preschool-age children (2-5 yrs old) who live in low-income communities

Direct beneficiaries per year: 10,000 preschool age children living in low-income communities

Geographic areas served: the St. Louis metro area and surrounding Missouri and Illinois counties

Programs: Ready Readers is a St. Louis-based nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring preschool age children from low-income communities to LOVE books and to have the literacy skills necessary to become readers when they are ready to read. Trained, passionate volunteers read high-quality books aloud to the same classroom of children for 30 minutes every week, and then provide stimulating reading-related activities. Six times during each school year and once during the summer, the volunteer readers also distribute new books for each child to take home and keep.

Community Stories

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 2

The concept behind Ready Readers is powerfully simple and serves a need in every community. I am pleased to be a part of the program. Both the children I read to and I learn something every week as we share the adventures within the pages we read. There are various supports and team building opportunities for volunteers to help ensure success.

As an Illinois based Ready Reader, I've experienced bumps along the road that I hope will be smoothed out in the future. Unfortunately, the rivers divide more than the land masses of Illinois and Missouri. To be effective in each jurisdiction, organizational representatives must come to understand and work with each area in ways that the prospective community will embrace. Otherwise we are doomed to fail leaving behind an unintentional but real trail of frustration and second class resentments.

Comments ( 1 )


Ready Readers 12/23/2015

We are always interested in discussing your experiences. Our future plans include local chapters with local administration.

1 Sarah282


Rating: 5

Ready Readers is an incredible way to build strong community foundations. It connects higher risk pre-schoolers with quality literature, exposure to adults that love reading as well as provides the framework for in-home reading. Strong beginnings yield measurable, favorable results for students, families, and communities.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The readers love what they do. In teaching, that makes such a difference. The model of the same reader with the same class for a school year is critical for the relationship between the kids and the reader to develop into one of trust and joy. This is a fantastic organization!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Amazing group with incredible volunteers and employees who are trying to combat illiteracy.

1 Pat_68


Rating: 5

This organization has certainly far exceeded my own expectations! I helped start Ready Readers in 1997. Today, I am a just an honorary board member, but I am also a volunteer reader. Like many other readers, I feel that I get as much from each of my weekly reading session as as the children do, and I always want to give them more. The best thing I ever did for the organization was retire in 2005, so it could evolve into the amazing organization it is now. With its small staff and its strong management, Ready Readers' 500+ volunteers are reading weekly and giving quality books to about 10,000 low-income preschool children in our area. This isn't just talk, but rather a hands-on effort to help break the scourge of poverty and illiteracy, which is at the root of so many problems in our area and in every city.


Rating: 5

I have been reading with Ready Readers for well over a decade and it is an absolute joy to see the children's faces when we read to them. Their enthusiasm and joy is catching.


Rating: 5

I read for this amazing program. I have been with ready readers nearly three years. I see the difference in the children as they learn to love books.



Rating: 5

I started at Ready Readers because my mom was doing it and I thought it was one of the most amazing things ever!! I have been reading for almost 2 years now and I have loved every minute of it. Thank you Ready Readers for giving me a chance to make a difference in the lives of the children that I read to.


Rating: 5

I have volunteered for Ready Readers as a reader. It was such an amazing experience for me to get to go to these pre-schools and read to the kids and see the pure joy on their faces when they got to take home their very own copy of the book I read to them. Ready Readers shares the joy of reading and empowers these kids to learn to love to read.


Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer reader for Ready Readers for five years, and can't say enough about how wonderful this organization is! Led by the terrific Lisa Greening, the staff is compassionate, exhuberant, and genuinely love what they do. I am honored to be part of this organization, and would encourage anyone who loves to read to little ones to please consider volunteering for Ready Readers!