One of the biggest factors for student success is having a caring adult mentor.

United Way's Real Men Read program encourages men from the community to read to children in the classroom once a month for 45 minutes. The mentors share their love of reading and show that "real men" read for fun and to learn. 

The Real Men Read program:

  • Provides positive male role models who value education
  • Models the importance of reading 
  • Focuses on literature about careers and fulfilling your potential
  • Provides each student with high-quality books to encourage reading at home

Because men are often seen as less involved in elementary education, sharing books with a male role model allows all children to connect to reading in a special way and encourages boys to see reading as something that men enjoy, too. 

In Real Men Read, all children enjoy spending time with a fun, caring, consistent mentor.

How It Works

  1. Sign up for the Real Men Read program using the form on this page. Select all the times and locations that work for your schedule, as well as an orientation date.
  2. Attend orientation at United Way of Central Iowa, 1111 9th St., Des Moines. There, you will be given your final volunteer schedule.
  3. Sign in at the school on your assigned date. Everybody Wins! Iowa staff will be there to welcome you, give you the book and lesson plan, and take you to the classroom where you will be reading for the rest of the semester.
  4. Enjoy watching all the students receive their own copy of the book!

If you have questions about Real Men Read, please contact Shirley Burgess at or 515.246.6519.

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Thanks for your interest in Real Men Read!

At this time we have all our volunteer MENtors filled for the pilot.  If you would like to be included in future recruitment communications for MENtors please complete the form below.

You can find other opportunities to work with students on reading by clicking here

Spring 2018 Schedule

  • Week of January 22
  • Week of February 18
  • Week of March 26
  • Week of April 23
  • Week of May 21

Tuesdays at River Woods
Wednesdays at Cattell
Thursdays at Carver

School Locations

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