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It Takes a Village

What is "It Takes A Village"

Youth need support during their early-grade years to ensure success in high school and beyond. Through this early-grade reading program, United Way "It Takes a Village" matches volunteer reading mentors with kindergarten students and prepares students to read proficiently by 4th grade. Volunteers tutor up to three students each week during the school day and are encouraged to remain with their students through 3rd grade.

Program Reach:

  • Volunteer reading mentors are matched with the lowest reading students as indicated by kindergarten baseline data
  • Reading mentors may tutor up to three students weekly for 30 minutes each during the school day in the classroom or other designated areas within the school
  • Each year new volunteers are recruited, trained, and matched with incoming kindergarten students


In Year One:

  • 110 opportunities to pair the mentors and students 
  • 18 volunteers mentors met with students 
  • 25 students benefited from the program 
  • 240.38 hours registered mentoring students with a financial impact of $5,922.52
  • 60% of the students in the program are meeting projected growth


To volunteer to be a Reading Mentor, go to and start your registration. Individuals will need to complete a background check and register for volunteer opportunites as they become available on the Non-profit Thrive website.

United Way is also looking for a volunteer or 2 to help us coordinate volunteer mentoring in Stephenson County. Please email Connie at or call 815-232-5184 if you are interested. 


Program Funded in Part by: