Houston Real Men Read

  • Houston ISD is proud to continue a systemic school-based volunteer program which supports Literacy By 3 in aim to ensure that every child is reading on level by the end of third grade. A key ingredient of the Literacy By 3 iniative is community engagement and partnership. Houston Real Men Read is a mentoring program that impels gentlemen from across the greater Houston area to volunteer one hour of their time once a month to read to a class of third grade students.  

    The program reinforces three fundamental principles:

    • Reading is fun
    • The community cares
    • A commitment to education can ensure success


    Interactions with positive male role models can be pivotal to the trajectory of a child’s life.  It exposes students to a wide range of literature, organizations and ideas that challenge them to think critically and learn something they never dreamed of learning. In just five hours a year, Houston Real Men Read volunteers are changing lives, boosting reading skills, and establishing a new mindset in the community.

    Houston Real Men Read will resume online this school year due to the pandemic. As such, you can inspire students to read without ever leaving your desk.  To conduct a virtual session, mentors will use the Microsoft Teams platform to connect with a class and MackinVIA to access the resources online.

    Community volunteers are currently being recruited to support literacy alignment through Houston Real Men Read.  To view a list of participating HISD schools, visit the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation's (BBHLF) Connect4Literacy website.

Contact Us

    Houston Independent School District
    4400 West 18th Street
    Houston, Texas 77092
  • Real Men Read

    To serve as a Real Men Read mentor, volunteers must register each year with Volunteer In Public Schools, VIPS, and agree to an annual background check (See Registration Steps Below). Once VIPS approved, volunteers may sign up for mentor opportunities using Connect4Literacy.


  • VIPS

    STEP 1: Complete the VIPS, Volunteers in Public Schools, Volunteer Orientation Training online in English or in Spanish.

    STEP 2: Read the VIPS Volunteer Handbook and Save/Print the Certificate of Completion for future reference.

    STEP 3: Complete the VIPS Volunteer Application, agree to the Annual Background Check, and review the required documents (Code of Ethics, Code of Civility, Confidentiality Statement).

    When completing the VIPS application please be sure to note your organization & select Real Men Read as one of the programs you plan to support.

    STEP 4: Wait 3-5 business days for the Background Check to process. Volunteers receive a confirmation of receipt upon submission and an approval or denial reply from donotreply@raptortech.com when completed.

    STEP 5: Optional: Create a personal Raptor Portal Volunteer Account for the ability to track volunteer hours.

    STEP 6: Once VIPS APPROVED, register for opportunities to volunteer using the BBHLF’s Connect4Literacy website.


    Note: Volunteers must use the same email address for VIPS (Raptor) & Connect4Literacy to link the required background check to both platforms.