America Reads

Join in the effort to improve children's reading achievement
In this Section


America Reads

Background and Purpose of Program

The America Reads Challenge was launched in 1997 by President Bill Clinton. He challenged the higher education community to join in the effort to improve children's reading achievement. The objective of this program is to have all children reading well and independently by the end of the third grade. The targeted audience of the America Reads program is preschool through third grade.

Building on the success of the America Reads Challenge, the America Counts program was initiated in 1999. The objective of this program is to improve student achievement in various levels of mathematics from elementary grade levels through the end of 9th grade. 

In accordance with the Department of Education (n.d.), the Federal Work-Study Program funds can be used to pay up to 100 percent for the wages for any Federal Work Study student who is tutoring preschool age or elementary school children in reading. Then in July 2000, the federal government mandated that every institution of higher education receiving federal work-study funding must have a literacy tutoring program and devote seven percent of the funds toward service in the community. All of the America Reads and America Counts tutor wages count toward this seven percent condition.

Job Description

America Reads/America Counts (AR/AC) tutors may be assigned to work with students in a variety of settings: one-on-one, small-group and/or large group (in rare situations). Tutors may also be assigned to work in before and/or after school programs depending upon their availability. Tutors work with children to provide additional support in the areas of reading readiness and mathematics. 

The specific tutor job duties will be assigned by the classroom teacher or site coordinator.Tutors report to the campus AR/AC program coordinator and payroll administrator.


  • Tutors must be eligible for federal work-study funding. The AR/AC program must be your primary employer for federal work-study.
  • Tutors must have an interest in working with children. Previous experience working with children is preferred, but not required.
  • Tutors must successfully complete a national background check

Application Process

  • Submit an application as per instructions below, under Related Links.
  • Applications are screened by the campus AR/AC program staff.
  • Applicants will be scheduled to interview with the campus AR/AC program staff.
  • AR/AC program staff will confirm federal work-study eligibility.
  • If offered a tutoring position, the applicant will work with AR/AC program staff to complete employment paperwork on a timely basis.
  • If offered a tutoring position, the applicant will work with AR/AC program staff to coordinate work schedule and site assignment.

Program Documents


Tutor Commitment Statement

Tutor Handbook

Time Sheet


Department of Education. (n.d.). America reads challenge. Retrieved June 11, 2010, from:…

Department of Education. (n.d.). Federal work-study and community service award year 2000-2001 and the America reads challenge. Retrieved June 11, 2010 from:

Duke University. (n.d.) Duke Student Engagement. Retrieved June 22, 2015, from: