Mobilize Your Church Community

The call to help others is heard loudly in religious spaces. Take on the fight for literacy and strengthen your faith’s community by volunteering with your congregation.


ESSENTIAL CONVICTIONS When Working with Public Schools

TEACH a KID to READ Convictions:

Teach a kid to read, give a kid a chance. While there are no guarantees, our belief is that a hopeful future is brought through the gift of literacy AND the power of a supportive and encouragement-filled relationship with a Reading Mentor.

No agenda. TKR churches don't initiate service to the school as an avenue for proselytizing. We come to serve only in the ways we are invited to serve.

Serve Humbly. We encourage churches to recognize the expertise of school staff, and come alongside to fill in school-identified needs and gaps. We don’t criticize school curriculum or teaching philosophy.

Under-Promise and Over-Deliver. Schools and literacy non-profits too often experience volunteers who fail to follow through. TKR organizations keep their word.

Serving together. We urge churches to encourage their congregations to be present with the schools they serve together- supporting school activities as well as the reading program. It is more fulfilling for everybody when we serve as a community.

How Can Your Church Get Involved?

  • 1

    Inspire Your Congregation

    Share TKR materials or media during worship services or at a church gathering. (Note: the g-rated version of SENTENCED will be available Fall, 2023.) Some of your parishioners will be reading mentors, while others will be “cheerleaders,” truly making this literacy partnership an organization-wide experience.

  • 2

    Get a Site Coordinator

    The most important person in your partnership with a school is your faith community’s Site Coordinator. They are entrusted by your whole congregation to:

  • Be a liaison between your church and the literacy organization/school staff.
  • Regularly communicate mentoring needs and partnership updates.
  • Recruit and help manage training of all volunteers (in cooperation with the literacy partners). Ensure that your congregation always “under promises and over delivers.”
  • Schools and literacy non-profits too often experience volunteers who fail to follow through.
  • 3

    Find a School in Need

    We encourage all organizations to begin by contacting your Local Literacy Organization since they have already done the hard work of establishing a structure, training, and culture-of-trust with the local schools.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: If your organization does not have a reliable literacy organization in your area, then contact the schools directly.

  • 4

    Recruit Your Mentor Team

    Experience tells us the very best recruitment happens when a pastor shares a video and offers the volunteer opportunity to their entire congregation.

    The more of your parishioners that are sharing the mentoring experience will result in more transformation for your entire community. Your Site Coordinator will then lead them through the preparation steps (as outlined by the literacy organization) and assign their mentoring locations.

  • 5

    Stay Active!

    All organizational leaders (especially the Site Coordinator) should join the TEACH a KID to READ monthly update mailing list.

    Site Coordinators should take the “best nuggets” from the communications, stories, and media and share their favorites with their organization once a month. We recommend including testimonials from your congregation’s volunteers.