Every Wednesday, Kindergarten through second grade students at Grant Elementary School have an opportunity to engage with a community role model from all types of career fields over breakfast, while reading a book.

The goal of the weekly “Breakfast and Books” is to change students’ mindset about reading.

Moses Wyatt, Jr., founder of the program and the youth nonprofit The Jegna Klub, highlighted that more than one-third of students are below their basic reading level in the fourth grade.

Two out of every 10 children enter kindergarten with skills two to three years lower than their grade level, according to the Children’s Reading Foundation.

Wyatt said studies have shown that a positive adult male role model can have a uniquely positive impact on the educational success of a child.

“Breakfast and Books is a way for us to combine adult males and females from all types of career fields with students to engage positively, while confidently modeling reading as fun,” Wyatt said.

This week, Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, KS Mayor Tyrone Garner had the opportunity to visit the students and read “Josh, Baps and Diego’s First Day of School,” by local author and Kansas City, KS Public Schools counselor, Sondra Samuels.

Garner said it’s incredibly important for students to see role models outside of the classroom.

“We just need to support our teachers and our schools and our young people because they’re our future,” Garner said. “Students need to have that level of support, especially from those people in the community that represent leadership.”

Jazzlyn "Jazzie” is the former senior reporter for our team, who joined the company in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, through the Report for America service program. For the past two years, she covered...

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