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.

Assistance League of San Jose members entertain, enlighten and encourage the students as they read quality, age-appropriate literature.

At the beginning of the school year, students are given a booklet for their parents called “Five Fun Tips to Raise a Lifetime Reader.”

Six times during the school year, volunteers visit 55 second and third grade classrooms at 10 San Jose public schools. On each visit, they read two books that are then donated to the classroom library. Topics cover science, biographies and fiction. In addition, extra books that are able to be purchased or books donated to Assistance League, are given to each classroom to improve the quality and quantity of the classroom library for in-class reading. These books will remain in the classroom for years to come. Since  December 2015, we have also been able to gift a book to every child (over 1250 children each year) to take home as their own including Carolyn Kennedy’s “Poems to Learn by Heart” and National Geographic Kids books for children.

At every reading, teachers are provided with props to enliven and reinforce content or lessons learned from one of the books read that day. Teachers can incorporate the props into their curriculum to further engage the children and encourage them to re-read the books. Students created abstract “scratch” drawings after reading the biography of Vasily Kandinsky; planted California Buckeye trees following the reading of  “The Tree Lady”, the biography of Kate Sessions; put up a poster of Albert Einstein quotes; and even studied ant farms that were built especially for each classroom when they read about the life of ants. Each project further piques their interest in reading.