The Literacy Lab’s Leading Men Fellowship

Launched 2022


The Literacy Lab’s Leading Men Fellowship (LMF) is designed to close the literacy gap that exists within traditionally underserved communities.

The program works with young men of color, between the ages of 18 to 24 and with a high school diploma or GED-equivalent, providing them with the opportunity to begin their careers in education by serving pre-K students as early literacy tutors for an entire school year.

GreenLight brought LMF to Cincinnati to address the widening literacy gap and other educational challenges that were further exacerbated by the pandemic. Learning loss, coupled with existing educational inequities, required bold and immediate action.

LMF effectively addresses these challenges in three distinct ways:

  • Closing the literacy gap through evidence-based, high-quality tutoring of pre-K students;
  • Empowering young men of color with financial resources and personal and professional development; and
  • Diversifying the teacher pipeline by laying the foundation for Black and Brown men to pursue careers as early childhood educators.

Research shows that Black students from low-wealth communities have a higher likelihood of attending college when taught by a Black teacher, attributed to increased confidence and a different approach to learning due to representation in the classroom. LMF employs the SEEDS of Learning methodology to foster young learners’ confidence, preparing them for future academic accomplishments.

LMF provides literacy instruction to students in neighborhood preschools including Cincinnati Public Schools and Cincinnati Preschool Promise providers. 

GreenLight Fund Launches Leading Men Fellowship

LMF’s Impact in Cincinnati

In 2022


Fellows placed in six preschools in Greater Cincinnati


students developed fundamental early literacy skills with progress towards kindergarten readiness


of Cincinnati’s Leading Men Fellows expressed interest in education careers after their fellowship year

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