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What Is Leading to Reading?

Leading To Reading is a free program for children who are reading below their grade level or need help with their homework. Children are encouraged to learn and practice their skills in a fun environment. It is open to children in Grades 1 to 6 who can communicate in English.

What Happens at Leading
to Reading?

Students meet volunteers at the library once a week for one-to-one help with their reading, writing or homework. They read together and play learning-related games and activities. The program builds the children’s confidence and motivation.

When is Leading To Reading?

Schedules vary from library to library but sessions are usually an hour per week and throughout the school year, from October to May. Some libraries offer a Summer Leading To Reading program.

How Does a Child Join?

Parents or guardians need to complete the application form and return it to their local library. Pick up your application at the library. Please note that enrollment is limited but not entirely based on first-come, first-served. Most parents apply in the fall but you may apply any time. There may be a waiting list.

List of libraries with Leading To Reading programs:

Who Volunteers?

Leading To Reading volunteers are Torontonians of all ages and from all walks of life who are fluent in English and like children. Toronto Public Library provides training for volunteers.

Volunteers are Needed!

Your Commitment to Leading To Reading

Parents of students in the program must sign an agreement of enrollment and attendance. If your child doesn't meet the conditions, the program staff will have to excuse your child from Leading To Reading. Children may participate for a maximum of two school years, but participation may be shorter at the program co-ordinator's discretion.

How can parents help?

  • Please make sure your child arrives on time and is picked up on time. If you must cancel a session, always phone the volunteer and program staff in advance. We appreciate it.
  • Speak to your volunteer regularly. Discuss your child's difficulties and progress. Ask the volunteer how Leading To Reading is going.
  • Feel free to ask questions, ask for help or give advice about your child.
  • Spend time helping your child with their homework.
  • Encourage your child to read for fun and borrow library books that interest them.
  • Read to your child for at least 10 minutes every day and ask your child to do the same for you. When reading is enjoyable, kids go back for more.

Additional Resources