America Reads

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What We Do

America Reads is a federally funded work-study program that places college and university students in the community to tutor elementary through high school students in literacy and math. Full-time University of Virginia students who have been awarded federal work-study can be hired as America Reads tutors in the University of Virginia’s America Reads program.

How to Apply

Hiring occurs in the first few weeks of the fall and spring semesters. Interested students should apply initially on Handshake and will be contacted by the America Reads Coordinator early in the fall and spring semesters. The America Reads online application form is completed before hiring and submitted to the America Reads Coordinator during personal interviews. It should not be submitted until that time.

The program grew from the America Reads Challenge, a major 1997 initiative of the Clinton administration that sought to mobilize a grassroots force of over a million volunteers to tutor elementary school children. Its goal was to help ensure that all children in America could read well and independently by the end of 3rd grade. Today, approximately 1200 institutions of higher learning participate in America Reads nationwide.

At the University of Virginia, America Reads tutors work in local schools and on Grounds with the McGuffey Reading Center's community programs.

Tutoring Opportunities

School-based Tutoring Placements

America Reads Tutors are placed in local public schools to provide tutoring in reading and math for students from Pre-K through high school. Tutors may work with students one-on-one or in small groups, or they may provide assistance as needed in a whole-group situation. A coordinating teacher supervises the America Reads tutors by providing lesson plans, direct support, coaching and training. This placement can include after-school tutoring.

McGuffey Reading Center

The McGuffey Reading Center provides after-school literacy tutoring two days a week on Grounds. The Center also engages in partnerships with some area schools, providing twice-weekly tutoring in literacy at the schools. These are one-on-one tutoring programs. Tutors are supported by McGuffey clinicians and graduate students who provide training, lesson plans, and coaching.

Tutor Mentors

Graduate students with school-based teaching experience may be invited to work as tutor mentors at the McGuffey Reading Center or a public school. Responsibilities of a tutor mentor may include writing lesson plans and mentoring University students in their jobs as tutors of school-aged children. Tutor mentor positions are offered based on experience and the requirements of the assignment.


There is no minimum number of hours that America Reads tutors must work each week. Most tutors work at least 5 hours each week. Tutors may work up to 20 hours a week while the University is in session. Tutors may work 40 hours a week when the University is not in session (during official University vacations).

Most tutoring occurs Mondays through Fridays between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., during and after school. No weekend or summer hours are available.

Tutors are matched with assignments based on the tutor’s availability, teacher requests, and transportation considerations. The America Reads application asks prospective tutors to indicate the blocks of time they are available.

American Reads Application

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