Knowledge Center

Country Club Bank Helps Lead to Read KC Turn a Page to Promote Childhood Literacy

lead to read volunteers

Country Club Bank associates donated more than 2,300 books during recent book drive.

KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Country Club Bank has been a strong supporter of education, especially literacy, over the years. So, when Lead to Read KC announced a book drive near the end of the summer, Country Club Bank wrote its own chapter. Bank associates donated a whopping 2,307 books to help the children’s literacy nonprofit bolster the number and variety of books it uses in its reading and mentoring program for students in first through third grades who attend high-need schools in the Kansas City area.

Sixty-one percent of America’s children who live in poverty grow up in homes without books. Lead to Read programs are critical to improving reading skills, reducing the dropout rate and developing skills necessary for academic and personal success. “Lead to Read KC changes lives,” said Mary O’Connor, Country Club Bank executive vice president and Lead to Read KC Board member. “We do not have to travel the world—or even the country—to positively assist others in need. Lead to Read is changing the trajectory for children right here in Kansas City, offering brighter futures through early education, creating opportunity for economic equity and laying the groundwork for a stronger workforce at the same time.”

Lead to Read KC mobilizes community volunteers, called Reading Mentors, to read one-to-one with students during their lunch hour, provides a tutoring program, and oversees a “Reading Is Everywhere” community book distribution initiative as well as an author visit program. The organization has distributed more than 30,000 books throughout the metro since 2011.

“We are proud to have Country Club Bank as a long-standing Lead to Read KC partner. Dozens of bank employees volunteer as Reading Mentors at our partner schools, and this wonderful donation will help Lead to Read KC put books into children's hands across the community,” said Pauly Hart, Lead to Read KC executive director. “Reading is the foundation for all learning. Through this partnership, we are helping young readers become Kansas City's future leaders.”

The bank’s Team Impact committee organized the internal effort, encouraging donations by holding contests among the individual associates and the banking centers throughout the metro area. Committee members then collected and delivered the books to Lead to Read. Team Impact committee member Hallie Mannon, who helped organize the book drive, is also a Lead to Read mentor. “I’m entering my third year as a mentor, with my third student, and it is the brightest spot of my week to sit with them for a half hour each week and spend time reading, getting to know what interests them and help foster the same excitement I get from new books, adventures and stories,” she said. “It is incredible to think that 450 CCB associates and our clients were able to donate thousands of new books to children who don’t have access, or possibly wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford a new book.”

Country Club Bank is a locally owned community bank with assets of $2.3 billion as of June 30, 2022. The bank serves the greater Kansas City area through its 21 financial service centers and its affiliates, including Country Club Trust Co. with $2.7 billion in assets under administration as of June 30, 2022; CC Capital Advisors, Inc.; Capital Markets Group and Asset Management Group. Country Club Bank banks on the success of Kansas City and its people. With dedicated efforts in philanthropy, community betterment initiatives, and a passion for entrepreneurship, Country Club Bank’s leadership and associates believe that creating a better KC isn’t just good for business. It’s good for us all.

1 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64112
Contact: Leigh Adams, 816-751-4240 or