Reading Seed is a program that pairs elementary-school children who are behind in reading skills with volunteers who tutor and mentor them each week. The kids also get books to take home and keep - something many of them don't have.

But the program budget and staff are stretched thin. It will be available in only 60 local schools this year, down from 93 last year.

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and groups like Rotary Club of Tucson think Reading Seed is one solution to Tucson's poverty problem. The mayor has committed to help recruit 500 new coaches and Rotary has helped fund the program since 2004.

As the Arizona Daily Star concludes its Losing Ground project, the newspaper is kicking off a campaign to raise money and recruit coaches for the program.