Interested in becoming a discussion leader?

Scroll down for more information and FAQs.

Download the above application and email, fax, or mail to:


Fax: 314-781-9681

Missouri Humanities Council

415 S. 18th Street, Ste. 100

St. Louis, MO 63103


Are you passionate about books and stories?  Do you enjoy working with small groups of parents/caregivers in a workshop setting?  Would you love to encourage parents to read to their young children?

Read from the Start programs are facilitated by certified RFTS Discussion Leaders. Our Discussion Leaders include storytellers, teachers, social workers, librarians, realtors, community volunteers, and journalists, just to name a few! Each brings his/her own special gifts and talents to Read from the Start programs. Interested in joining us?


When and where are trainings held?

Trainings are held all over the state. Although there is not a set schedule, we offer training periodically. Once we know of your interest, we will keep you posted as to when a training will be held near you. A day of training lasts about six hours with a break for lunch.

Is there a charge to attend RFTS Discussion Leader training?

No, there is no charge.

How do I become certified to lead a RFTS program?

-Attend a RFTS training
-Complete a RFTS Discussion Leader Information Form and Biography
-Observe a RFTS program

What are my responsibilities as a RFTS Discussion Leader?

First and foremost, a Discussion Leader shares a love of books and stories with the parents who attend RFTS. We believe that enjoying children’s literature is contagious! When RFTS participants read and discuss the very books that they will take home, they spread the enthusiasm to their children.

The Missouri Humanities Council handles the scheduling of RFTS programs and contacts a Discussion Leader when there is an opportunity to lead a program. All books and materials are provided by MHC. Once a RFTS program is completed, the Discussion Leader completes an evaluation, writes a detailed narrative report about the program, and inventories the books and materials that are left over.

MHC reimburses Discussion Leaders for travel expenses to and from a program. MHC also offers an honorarium for facilitating a RFTS program.

What other support do RFTS Discussion Leaders receive from MHC?

Discussion Leaders receive email updates with tips and ideas for RFTS programs. A biennial Refresher Training is also offered.

Questions? Contact the Director of Family and Community Programs at 800-357-0909 or