Thanks to our Jackson County Advisory Council for helping expand our Junior Leader Reader program to Jackson County!
Junior Leader Readers (JLR) was launched in 2010 by United Way of Greater Topeka’s Young Leaders Society. Through the generosity of corporate or individual sponsorships, we purchase books for pre-k and kindergarten students in Shawnee County. Since its inception, JLR has given away more than 50,000 books.
Yamka said he had two goals in mind when he founded JLR in 2010: “The first was to create a reading program which honored my father, Harry Yamka, and his dedication to helping children.”
“The second was to create a reading program that puts books into the hands of children who may not have easy access to them. With the second goal being the most important, it was vital to create a program that was not only sustainable through donations and volunteering, but one that could thrive and flourish in order for it to be successful in the future.”
Each year YLS plans two or three JLR sessions in Shawnee County. Volunteers arrive in kindergarten and preschool classrooms to read a book to the students and bring a copy of the book for each student to take home. JLR is made possible through the ongoing generosity of corporate and individual sponsorships.
Jackson County is adding a different twist to the program. Instead of just pre-K and kindergarten, students in all grades at Holton Elementary will receive books, and each class will also host a guest reader.
We'll be sure to share photos when the program kicks off February 27!