Launching the Leading Men Fellowship in Milwaukee and Kansas City

Since August, our teams in Milwaukee and Kansas City have been hard at work launching their inaugural cohorts of Leading Men Fellows. In just a few months, Fellows have become integral members of their classroom teams by building strong and trusting relationships with students and providing important literacy instruction and support.


Leading Men Fellow D’ovieon demonstrates a high-quality read aloud at our launch event in Milwaukee.

In December, our team in Milwaukee invited our supporters to hear directly from the city’s first cohort of Leading Men Fellows about the growth they’ve seen in their students and themselves so far this school year. Hosted by our friends at Bader Philanthropies, this celebration of Milwaukee’s young leaders in our program featured a panel with a few Fellows and demonstrations of the activities they complete with their students, including a high-quality read aloud of the Maurice Sendak classic, “Where The Wild Things Are.” 


Mayor Sly James delivered a motivating speech to our Leading Men Fellows and supporters in Kansas City about the importance of representation in the classroom.

In Kansas City, we started the new year with a celebration of the city’s pilot cohort of Leading Men Fellows at The Roasterie, a locally-owned coffee roaster. Markis, Marquan, Devin, and Martinez were joined by their mentor BJ Stabler and KC’s favorite leading man, Mayor Sly James, to talk about the program with our friends and advocates in KC. Just as our Leading Men are role models in their classrooms, we’re grateful that these young men have role models of strong leaders in their community who have become invested advocates for our work.


The Leading Men Fellowship is a one-year program designed to empower and motivate young men of color to pursue careers in early childhood education and address a pressing need for more representation in the classroom. Fellows are committed to becoming leaders in the education field and addressing the literacy gap at the very beginning of a child’s life, setting students up to succeed in school long-term. The Literacy Lab is looking forward to continuing the celebrations with events in Baltimore and Richmond, VA in spring 2019.