2014 Bezos Scholar Yash Kamath and educator Michael J. Boykins celebrated the literacy success of young students through their Local Ideas Festival, Read Lead Succeed, in Wichita, KS.
After talking to Jackie Bezos about her work with Vroom, Yash realized how much education was shaped by the early stages of life. Upon realizing his community showed low elementary reading test scores and a lack of excitement around reading, he decided to focus his Local Ideas Festival on elementary school literacy.
Read Lead Succeed was a year-long celebration of Wichita elementary schools and community reading. Throughout the year the Read Lead Succeed team planned literacy activities including a reading reward programs, favorite book spirit days, and paired high school students to read with elementary school students. Read Lead Succeed concluded with a celebration of the accomplishments that readers made throughout the year. They detailed how many youth and schools were involved and the number of books read, along with speakers and activities which emphasized the importance of reading.