Though not yet proficient enough to read 2,000-page pieces of legislation, D.C. children are getting better at reading with the help of American politicians.
The nonprofit Everybody Wins connects senators and other government officials with children in the nation's capital for one-on-one mentoring.
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) says that the mentors get more out of the experience than even the children.
"An hour here is an hour of sanity," he said.
Ted Kennedy visited with a child every week until his death in 2009. His widow, Victoria, has taken up his role.
NBC Nightly News profiled Everybody Wins for their Making A Difference series.