How It began
In 2004, Ted Schweinfurth started working in West Dallas as a youth mentor, coach and community volunteer. During the next 5 years working in the community, Ted became increasingly aware of and informed about the educational challenges faced by the children in the community and of the need for increased literacy programming focused on children.
During the first part of 2010, Ted conducted research and met with parents, teachers, pastors, business and non-profit leaders and others in West Dallas to assess the need and support for a relational, community-based, research-driven, focused approach to reading and literacy instruction for children and parents in West Dallas. In December 2010, R2L was formed and in September 2011, R2L opened its family literacy center, Booktown, in the Lakewest Town Center.
With one teacher and a group of committed volunteers, Readers 2 Leaders began providing reading instruction to neighborhood children. Nine years since its founding, R2L will provide high-quality, high-dosage literacy instruction to roughly six hundred children in the 2019-20 school year through In-School, After-School and Summer Camp programs.
Ted and his wife Stephanie continue to be Readers 2 Leaders' biggest advocates, with Ted serving as its board chairman until 2018.