Power Read Logo - UWCI - Color
A partnership between Everybody Wins! Iowa and United Way of Central Iowa

From kindergarten through third grade, students are learning to read.
But after third grade, they must read to learn. 


Once they fall behind, it’s nearly impossible to catch up.


What is Power Read?

Power Read is a literacy and mentoring program that pairs volunteers and elementary school students to read together on a weekly basis. Everybody Wins! Iowa and United Way of Central Iowa are partnering to provide reading and mentoring experiences to children who might not have one-on-one attention from an adult.

Power Read’s ultimate goal?
To increase children’s chances of success in school and in life.

By sharing just 30 minutes a week of your time, you can change a child's future!

Interested in being a Power Reader?

Fill out the form below if you are interested in volunteering to help central Iowa students as a Power Reader.  We will contact you to share information about upcoming opportunities.

Who are the students?

The majority of students served by Power Read are struggling readers facing many barriers and may come from homes where English is not the primary language spoken. Power Read is an opportunity for these students to practice reading and develop literacy skills with a caring adult outside the classroom.

Why is Power Read important?

Reading proficiently by third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation and later career success. Students who are behind in reading by the end of third grade are four times more likely to not graduate from high school.  Among U.S. adults with only basic reading skills, 51 percent are unemployed. Two-thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of fourth grade will end up in jail or on welfare. Source: National Center of Educational Statistics

How does Power Read work?

Each week, mentors meet their students at school to spend time talking and reading together. The program often takes place during the lunch period at school, but some Power Read sites offer programs before school, after school or in the evening.

The sessions are held each week at the same time and on the same day and usually last about 30 minutes.

Volunteer training, grade-level appropriate books and literacy kits designed by reading experts are provided.

Who benefits from Power Read?


Students who participate in the Power Read program benefit from consistent and positive interactions with caring adults:

  • They improve their listening and vocabulary skills.
  • They learn that reading is fun, and they become more enthusiastic about books and learning.
  • They become more confident overall.


Mentors benefit from meaningful experiences and the knowledge that they are making a positive impact on a child’s future:

  • They give back to their communities through a well-supported and convenient program.
  • They form meaningful relationships with students.
  • They create a link between schools and the community.

READ to SUCCEED - UWCI - colorPower Read is a part of READ to SUCCEED, United Way of Central Iowa’s campaign to increase third-grade reading proficiency in central Iowa.