Founded in 2011, Read Lead is a non-profit organization led by  passionate professionals, community leaders, and educators seeking to transform the education landscape for Los Angeles’ underserved students and help narrow the achievement gap through innovative,  culturally responsive approaches to education. Through strategic partnerships, with school districts, schools, and community agencies, Read Lead provides literacy-based summer and afterschool programs, as well as a leadership institute, focused on literacy, educational enrichment, and leadership development. Our programs include Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools, which provide summer educational enrichment opportunities for children ages 3 through 13 in underserved communities. Since our founding, over 1,000 children, youth, and parents in have been impacted by the transformative work of Read Lead.

Who We Serve

Read Lead is seeking to transform historically undeserved and under-resourced communities in the Los Angeles area. These communities remain socioeconomically disadvantaged, home to populations that disproportionately lack a high school diploma and have the lowest per capita shares of adults with college degrees. Low educational attainment prevents economic mobility and creates cycles of intergenerational disadvantage, and funding cuts have reduced the opportunity for public schools to offer educational enrichment programs that can curb these educational disparities. At Read Lead, we recognize that summer learning loss is a major cause of the widening achievement gap between low-income students and their higher income peers, and we have set out to remedy this situation with our Read Lead CDF Freedom Schools program. In addition, we provide a leadership institute and meaningful employment for young adults from our communities to teach and serve in our Freedom Schools program.

Read Lead Partnerships

We partner with the following organizations to provide our high quality programming:

  • Children’s Defense Fund – California: We use their Freedom School program Integrated Reading Curriculum and they provide training for our staff.
  • Los Angeles County Second Supervisorial District: Supports the mission of Freedom School programs and provides numerous opportunities for scholars and staff to excel.
  • City of Compton, Office of Mayor Brown: Provides programmatic and logistical support for our team.
  • Lynwood Unified School District: Provides a safe space for our programs to occur.
  • Male Success Alliance: Provides programmatic and logistical support for our team and brings expertise in best practices in service to men and boys of color.
  • Holman United Methodist Church: Provides programmatic and logistical support for our team and a safe space for our programs to occur.
  • Girls Club LA: Provides a safe space for our programs to occur in addition to programmatic and staff support to serve preschool children and their families.


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