About

The Problem We Solve

Disadvantaged Kids Fall Further Behind Every Summer

 

Kids Read Now was created in 2010 by serial entrepreneur Leib Lurie and his wife Barbara, a reading specialist and educator, after reading about the summer reading slide, which causes disadvantaged students to lose 2-3 months of education over summer break.

 

Kindergarten through third grade is a critical time in a child’s education. Over 75% of disadvantaged children are not proficient in reading when they start fourth grade, and most will never catch up. The summer reading slide drags down kids in reading skills every summer, leaving a lasting impact on their educational future.

 

The summer reading slide is responsible for 65% of the yawning learning gap between rich and poor. Poor, minority, male students a year or more behind have a higher likelihood of dropping out or serving jail time. Although three-quarters of new jobs require post-secondary education, in most cities only one-quarter of adults qualify. Economic prosperity requires that we teach our children to read and reverse the summer slide.

Poor, minority, male students a year or more behind at this point have a 50% likelihood of dropping out, 40% will serve jail time, and only 24% will ever earn more than minimum wage.

 

Leib Lurie

Founder

The Kids Read Now Solution

 

Using proven pedagogical techniques and refined over five years with 13,000 kids in 10 districts across three states, the Kids Read Now turn-key in-home summer reading program offers proven results.

  1. Participating schools get a book wish list of over sixty books for each K-3 student.
  2. Students select nine books, get parent approval to participate, and win a prize for signing up.
  3. The school hosts a Family Reading Night; students receive their first three books and parents get reading tips.
  4. Students read a book and discuss reading comprehension questions printed inside each book.
  5. Weekly calls, text messages, and emails ask parents to respond after each book is completed.
  6. After a parent reports that their child read a book, we mail a new book to their home.
  7. Students who read all nine books get a prize and a certificate of recognition in the fall.
  8. Independent data analysis correlates books read against spring-vs-fall reading scores.

Students saw “significant and substantial improvements in reading scores, especially in high poverty populations”

 

Dr. Richard Stock, Executive Director

University of Dayton Business Research Group

Our Team Members

 

We work hard every day to give our customers the best programs to keep kids growing during the summer to keep them from falling victim to the summer slide.

  • Leib Lurie
    Co-Founder
  • Barb Lurie
    Literacy Team Coordinator
  • Richard Kaiser
    Marketing Director
  • Laura Bemus
    Title I school summer funding specialist
  • Kevin Sorice
    Regional Outreach Director (Southern & Central Ohio)
Check out our teamCheck out our team

Board of Directors

 

Expanded Board of Directors In FY 2015, we expanded the KRN Board of Directors to add the talent, depth and breadth in education, reading, logistics, finance and management, to help the organization grow.

 

All members have contributed to the KRN 2016 sustainability fund

Angela Manning

Former President of One Call Now in Troy, Ohio, has over 17 years of software development and operations success. Under her guidance, One Call Now has grown from a startup to inclusion on Inc. magazine’s fastest growing American companies list for the last seven years. In 2015 Angela helped lead One Call Now to a successful exit. Angela also earned One Call Now a coveted spot on Winning Workplaces’   50 Best Places to Work for 2010 as well as a Dayton Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree for 2009.

 

Prior to One Call Now, Angela held numerous leadership roles for another start-up, Beeline Shopper, a division of AirClic Corporation, building automated grocery shopping applications. Beeline Shopper was a decade ahead of its time with the first and largest UPC-to-grocery-item database in the world—marketing to consumers and dietitians to help people improve their lives through healthy eating.

 

Immensely passionate about starting and building businesses to fuel economic growth, Angela is an advocate for change through software and services that truly make a difference in peoples’ lives.

Dr. Glenn Kiefer

PhD, JD: Adjunct Professor, Ohio State University Permanent Ohio & New York certification as superintendent, principal and teacher. Retired superintendent for several Ohio districts, previously principal and teacher. Now adjunct professor at Ohio State University. Previous Board member and Executive Director for at-risk youth, “The Future Begins Today” Board member, Chamber of Commerce.

Jonathon Steinke

MBA, CPA: Partner, Brixey & Meyers Licensed in Ohio, member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, member of the Ohio Society of CPAs. Served the Dayton Early College Academy “DECA” as a volunteer mentor for a freshmen students determined by counselors to be “at risk” and in need of a role model. Director, Brixey & Meyer Community Outreach Foundation.

Matt Hilliard

IT Manager, Montgomery County Certified Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP), member of Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA). Has held leadership roles with Barrow County, GA schools and Lancaster, OH YMCA.

Michael Wathen

MBA, PMP: Board SecretaryMike is a Senior Supply Chain and IT Consultant at Supply Chain Wizard. He is a founder and President of Bravo SCM, an organization focused on providing solutions for operations and supply chain issues to both manufacturing and service organizations. He has over 25 years of experience in Supply Chain & IT projects. Prior to that, Mike spent 11 years as a Delivery Project Executive with IBM in the Global Business Services sector, where he led several global software implementation projects

Harry Loyle

BS, CFE: President, Cybeck Corp. Board member for multiple service and family oriented firms; Former CEO Moto-Photo, Past Treasurer, American franchise Association. Participated in over 100 acquisitions, and led companies exceeding $200MM.

Dr. Richard Allington

PhD: Professor, University of Tennessee Professor of education at the University of Tennessee. Previously he served as chair of the Department of Reading at the University at Albany – SUNY. Dick has served as the President of the International Reading Association, as President of the National Reading Conference, and as a member of the International Reading Association Board of Directors. He is the co-recipient of the Albert J. Harris Award from IRA in recognition of his work contributing to the understanding of reading and learning disabilities and the William S. Gray Citation of Merit for his contributions to the profession. In addition, Dick has been named to the IRA Reading Hall of Fame.

Leib Lurie

MBA: Board President Retired founder & CEO with One Call Now, the nation’s largest communications / notification provider for tens of thousands of schools and non-profit groups, and an eight time INC 500/5000 honoree. Previously as VP Marketing & Systems for Pitney Bowes and others, he designed and automated large-scale book and warehouse logistics systems.

Global Recognition

 

In 2013, Kids Read Now was invited, from among 32 early childhood programs, to present at the Clinton Global Initiative conference in Chicago.

 

KRN was also invited to present at the world recognized South By SouthWest (SXSW) conference in Austin, TX on ways NGO’s, government and educators can collaborate for success.

Helping others isn’t new to the Lurie’s. Leib’s mother, Ellen Lurie, started a program in New York City for early childhood intervention. Her budding neighborhood action program, run with the help of the Community Service Society, served as a foundation model for the Head Start program that now serves 3 million kids annually.

 

PS5 in Northern Manhattan is dedicated as the Ellen Lurie Primary School in honor of Leib’s mother, an author, community activist and proponent of equality in education for all children regardless of income, color, and background.

The Choice is yours

Better readers are the catalyst to engaged learners.

Contact usContact us

A Reading Program Leading The Way

Choices

 

Research shows that when kids pick the books they want, they are much more likely to read and re-read them. We allow our students to choose nine new, free, books-to-keep from a diverse Wish List of 60-70 best-selling titles. We also allow parents to choose how we will contact them over the course of our summer reading program and how they want to report the books their child read. The choices we offer put us far ahead of our one-size-fits-all competitors.

Challenges

 

We challenge each student to read a book each week and discuss the Discovery Sheet questions inside their book.  The questions on the Discovery Sheet are book-specific, Lexile-appropriate, and designed to help kids understand what they read.  Then, we encourage them to report which book they read when we call, text, or email them each week.  These challenges keep our students engaged all summer long.

Rewards

 

To keep our students excited, we offer rewards at each step of the program. We give them a gift when they sign up, and each week that a student reports reading a book in the summer, we mail them another one from their Wish List! Our read-a-book, get-a-book model keeps kids motivated all summer long — and if they read all nine books they chose, they get another prize in the fall!

Access and Availability

Research shows that those who need summer reading programs the most are the least likely to participate.  Most students will never attend any summer programs because:

 

  1. They are expensive, at a typical cost of $1,500-$3,500 per student
  2. They require resources like staff, buildings, transportation, food, and supplies that are unavailable
  3. They are specifically designed to serve a small subset of only the worst-performing students

Kids Read Now breaks down the barriers associated with typical summer programs. Unlike most summer schools/camps:

 

  1. Kids Read Now is affordable, at a fraction of the cost of a typical summer program
  2. As an in-home summer reading program, we do not require school staff, facilities, transportation, or supplies
  3. We can serve every child in every district