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Ready Readers

7 Employees | 500 Volunteers | Founded in 1997

Inspiring 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 experiences.

Ready Readers is an early literacy program that motivates preschool-age children, ages 2-5, to develop a love of reading. Ready Readers places Volunteer Readers who read high-quality books weekly to children in classroom settings in early childhood programs in low-income communities in the St. Louis area. In addition, Ready Readers gives each child at least six new, personalized books annually with a Notes for Home section, designed for follow-up with the family. Read Readers also gives each classroom at least six new books with extension activities, and offers professional development opportunities for the teachers.

Mission Statement

Every month, Ready Readers gives each child a new, personalized high-quality children’s book. Because they serve 10,000 children a week, they order 11,000 copies of each title, one to give to each child and on for the classroom teacher. With the support of Dana Brown, Ready Readers was able to purchase 11,000 copies of the award-winning book, One Duck Stuck, in 2014, which introduced children to math concepts and helping each other.


With the support of The Dana Brown Charitable Trust, 10,000 children from low-income communities in St. Louis and their teachers were read and given a copy of One Duck Stuck. With their outcome-based program, Ready Readers is showing more than just what theydo, but also outcomes produced. On average, 85% of children who participate in Ready Readers have the early literacy skills as define by the Missouri Early Learning Goals to become readers when entering kindergarten (external statistic).