On September 22, 2019, Pauly Hart, Executive Director of Lead to Read KC, was recognized by Blue KC and KCFX/Chiefs Radio Network as the first Here For Good Hero of the 2019 NFL season.
Lead to Read KC is a Kansas City nonprofit dedicated to improving the basic literacy skills of children in the urban core. Since Hart joined Lead to Read KC as Executive Director in 2015, she has significantly expanded the reach of the program, which has made a major impact on the students served and on the volunteer Reading Mentors who read with the students each week.
“Pauly Hart is making an incredible impact on the youth of Kansas City,” said Christina Lively, Blue KC’s Department Vice President of Marketing and Communications. “Through her leadership and dedication, Lead to Read KC is providing kids with the gifts of both books and meaningful connections with positive role models, both of which are valuable. We’re proud to recognize her as a Here for Good Hero.”
Since assuming the executive director position, Hart has achieved a number of milestones for the organization:
- The number of students served has grown from 400 to nearly 1,100, for a total of more than 11,000 hours of one-to-one literacy support provided by Lead to Read KC Reading Mentors in the 2018-19 school year.
- The number of partner schools has grown from 6 to 17.
- Lead to Read KC has donated nearly 9,000 books to urban core students and teaching partners through book giveaways, which complement the weekly reading sessions. In high-poverty areas, the typical book-to-child ratio is one age-appropriate book per 300 children.
The numbers tell a powerful story, but according to Hart, it’s not all about numbers. Lead to Read KC Reading Mentors are more than just reading buddies; they are cheerleaders and friends—caring, dependable adults in the Lead to Read KC students’ lives. The positive impact on both students and volunteers is significant.
According to Martha Conradt, Site Coordinator for Lead to Read KC, “Hart’s vision is for Lead to Read KC to be the easiest, most meaningful volunteer experience in Kansas City, and I believe she’s achieving that!”
The Blue KC Here for Good Hero program recognizes strong community partners and the men and women who work or volunteer with those organizations to make Kansas City a better place to live, work and play. Prior to each Chiefs home game, Blue KC will select one honoree to attend the game, while also enjoying the KCFX/Chiefs Radio Network Tailgate Party and a visit to the radio broadcast booth. Blue KC also will donate a $1,000 to the organization of each honoree.