Started in 2010 by Ryan Yamka in honor of his late father, Junior Leader Reader (JLR) is an initiative focused on enriching early education through classroom readings and book distribution to kindergarten and pre-k students. Junior Leader Reader was created by United Way’s Young Leaders Society - a group of young professional donors who work to build strong, healthy and equitable communities through service and giving. In 2022, the program celebrated a milestone of 50,000 books gifted. Books are distributed to all elementary schools in Shawnee County with a free-and reduced lunch rate of at least 50%. JLR is part of a continuum of free access to literacy materials that begins from the moment a child is born.
VOLUNTEER TO READ
Volunteers are asked to read a book to a classroom, then distribute a copy of the book to each student in the class, and one to the classroom teacher.
Each classroom reading should take no longer than 15 minutes. Books will be available for pick-up at the United Way of Kaw Valley Topeka office (1527 SW Fairlawn Rd), 45 minutes before the reading is scheduled to begin.
SPONSOR THE PROGRAM
Junior Leader Reader is only possible thanks to the generous support of local sponsors. There are several opportunities to support the JLR program and get your business name out there. Your organization is also welcome to send representatives to participate in classroom readings and distribution of the books!
To sponsor JLR, or for any further JLR questions, please contact: T.J. McDonald, Director of Workplace Campaigns firstname.lastname@example.org or call 785.221.5117
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