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About one third of public school students in Florida cannot read on grade level by the end of third grade. This milestone is a strong predictor of graduation rates as it ultimately translates to more than 60% of public school 10th graders struggling, unable to read at grade level.

Just an hour a week can make big difference for struggling children. That's why women leaders in Broward County are focused on early literacy through a program called ReadingPals. ReadingPals, sponsored by Carol and Barney Barnett, focuses on engaging, training and deploying volunteers to increase the number of students reading at grade level by the end of third grade.

ReadingPals help students establish a foundation for reading by improving vocabulary, listening skills, comprehension, and visual and auditory memory. By becoming ReadingPals, women leaders change the lives of a children - forever!

ReadingPals is in 20 public schools and 5 childcare sites reaching more than 300 children

More than 8,500 books were given to ReadingPals students

ReadingPals has been expanded to 14 regions in Florida