REAL Men Read

You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”- Dr. Seuss


Is a volunteer reading program that brings in MENtors and MENtor Assistants from Susquehanna County to read to kindergarten students for one hour each month to help foster early literacy. At the end of each reading visit, students receive a copy of the book read to add to their own personal library. This program launched at Elk Lake Elementary School for the 2017-18 school year. The program now serves kindergarten classes in the Blue Ridge, Choconut Valley, Elk Lake, Lathrop Street and Mountain View Elementary Schools serving the kindergarten classes with hopes of reaching other county school districts in future years.

The purpose of the REAL MEN READ program is to:

  • encourage and improve the literacy skills of our students
  • show students that real men value education
  • provide MENtoring opportunities for students
  • demonstrate the importance of community partnerships


The benefits to the REAL MEN READ program are:

  • students receive extra attention and positive role models who value education
  • boys and girls see MENtors modeling the importance of reading
  • each student receives his/her own book to build their own home library so learning can go beyond the classroom

Why Start With Kindergarten?

A child is learning to read up to third grade. After this, a child reads to learn. Children who finish third grade without adequate reading skills often struggle to learn. Kindergarten is a great access point for early intervention among struggling emergent readers. For children who do not come from literacy-rich homes or attend preschool programs, it may be their first substantial exposure to the building blocks of reading. United Way of Susquehanna County is proud to provide opportunities for young students to spend time in positive, nurturing learning environments. We look forward to REAL MEN READ being a valuable addition to our new strategy to increase early grade reading proficiency.



What Are the Requirements for Becoming a MENtor?

No experience is necessary. Volunteers interested in becoming a MENtor must complete a series of background clearances required by the school district and attend a brief training before being assigned to a classroom. Any fees associated with clearances are covered by the United Way of Susquehanna County.