Established 2007

The purpose of Readers Are Leaders is to instill the love of reading in young students by having volunteers read in their classrooms on a regular basis.
Click here to see the 2022-2023 Readers Are Leaders Book List.

Readers Are Leaders volunteer in classroom

Assistance League of San Jose members entertain, enlighten and encourage the students as they read quality, age-appropriate literature to them. On each visit members read two books that are then donated to the classroom library along with enrichment activities to instill a love of reading and to improve the quality and quantity of the classroom library for in-class reading. Topics cover science, biographies and fiction.

Since in-classroom presentations were not possible for 2020-21, volunteers prepared three distributions for about 1200 students in 50 participating first, second, third, and fourth grade classrooms at 10 schools in four San Jose public school districts (Alum Rock Unified, Franklin-McKinley, Oak Grove, and San Jose Unified). The distributions included hardback books for the classroom libraries and paperback books for the students to read and keep at home. Included were enrichment activities to extend and reinforce the content or lessons learned in the books (instructions in Spanish when indicated) plus a personally-written note from a member encouraging the child to continue to enjoy reading while building reading skills. Schools have expressed appreciation of the accommodation and looked forward to each distribution.

“Ms.LoForti, I don’t think I’m going to be able to concentrate today because I have to read this book right now.” Thank you to you and everyone who made it possible for the kids to receive those books. We’re starting our animal research projects in the new year, so the animal books will be perfect for that.

Laurie LoForti, Stipe Elementary School

We miss your faces in our class. It has all been hard for all of us. Hopefully, restrictions change and we can finally hear you all and see you monthly. It is not the same if I read the books to them. Thank you very much for all your volunteer work and for the books that you bring to our classrooms.

Delia Trejo, 2nd/3rd Grade Combo Education, Bachrodt Elementary School

I love RAL’s plan! It will be wonderful for our students to have ongoing opportunities to read books year long, especially when they do not have access to classroom and public libraries. I absolutely love the idea of different activities accompanying the books, and that they are translated in Spanish so parents and families can get involved in the reading too.

Katsuri Basu, Principal, Lyndale Elementary School

I so appreciate our partnership over the years and also appreciate the additional money that I could use to buy books as well. I look forward to the day the readers will return in person as that is such a huge part of the gift – seeing readers who are passionate to share books with students. 

Dedra Downing, 2nd grade Teacher, Stipe Elementary

2021-22 Readers Are Leaders Books and a Book Delivery
Lyndale Students with Big Book Gift
Alum Rock School District Logo
Oak Grove School District Logo
Franklin McKinley School District Logo
San Jose Unified School District Logo