Welcome to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth America Reads & America Counts
The America Reads and Counts program at UMass Dartmouth places college student tutors in community centers, local middle and elementary schools to provide classroom support and individual attention to struggling and at-risk students. Through continued training, tutor supervision, evaluation and teacher collaboration, our America Reads and Counts program strives to:
• Increase the level of mathematics understanding of local students from pre-K through 8th grade;
• Increase the reading levels of local children from pre-K to fifth grade;
• Increase university students' involvement in the community;
• Strengthen the partnership between the university and the local community.
The America Reads Challenge was a grassroots national campaign, begun in 1997, that challenged every American to help all our children learn to read, including English Language Learners and students with disabilities. The America Reads program at UMass Dartmouth, which was started in 1998, helps prepare college students to work as literacy tutors for children in pre-K through fifth grades. Since its inception, the America Reads program has formed partnerships with local schools, after school program, and one family homeless shelter to support parents, teachers, and staff in helping children achieve their reading goals. Student participation and interest has continued to grow, allowing the program to continue to reach additional local children.
America Counts was a federal initiative created in 1997 to assist first- through ninth-grade students develop a stronger foundation in mathematics. While U.S. fourth graders have been shown to perform above the international average, mathematical performance begins to decline in the secondary school. By the end of secondary school, U.S. students perform significantly below the international average. The focus of the America Counts program at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is on improving elementary school mathematic performance and comprehension through a supportive and dedicated partnership between a college tutor and elementary school students.
The America Reads and Counts program employs mostly students who receive Federal Work-Study awards. Students can also volunteer or earn credit through experiential education.
The America Reads and Counts program places tutors with children in grades preK-8th grade in area schools and community centers. Tutors receive thorough initial training and have follow-up sessions throughout the year to learn effective tutoring techniques. Tutors also have the opportunity to enrich their experience by participating in other service activities and events held by the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement throughout the year. Join us to:
• Tutor children in grades preK-5 in area schools and community centers;
• Participate in informational meetings and training sessions;
• Gain awareness of educational challenges children are facing in our community;
• Acquire effective literacy tutoring techniques;
• Have fun and meet new people!
FAQs for Interested Students
Who can participate?
Any undergraduate student who is able to make a minimum 3-hour commitment per week. Students who qualify for federal work study may complete their hours with our program. Students can also earn credit through experiential education depending on the professor and the course. Volunteers are always welcome!
What responsibilities does a tutor have?
- Attend all training sessions, tutoring sessions, and team meetings
- Commit to a minimum of three hours per week
- Demonstrate consistent and punctual attendance
- Demonstrate a desire to work with young children
- Demonstrate a serious commitment to the tutoring job
What do I need to know about training?
Continuous training and support is a hallmark of this program. Consequently, all training sessions are mandatory and you will be paid your regular rate for attending all trainings.
These training sessions are required for new tutors, and you cannot tutor unless you attend all sessions in entirety. Attendance is mandatory. In addition to training, tutors will also have the opportunity to attend events held by the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement throughout the year.
How will I get to my site?
Transportation is provided by our program. A UMD shuttle bus transports students to and from their tutoring sites. However, students may also drive themselves to the tutoring site.
What do I need to know about getting paid?
Tutors are paid a minimum rate of $10 per hour with an annual raise for good work performance. Tutors are paid for the time spent tutoring and attending training sessions.
How do I apply?
If you are interested in serving as an America Reads or America Counts tutor, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we are accepting new tutors, you will then receive an application to complete. Once your application has been received, you will be contacted to schedule an interview. Once you have been accepted as a tutor, a CORI background check will be performed prior to you starting work.
FAQs for Current Tutors
I am a work-study student and am unable to enter my time on HR Direct. What do I do now?
Step 1: Try to log on to HR Direct from your computer. If there is an error message, please note what the message says.
Step2: Try logging on from a different computer.
A) If you can log on, then you need to clear your cache and browsing history on your computer.
B) If you are still unable to log on, please contact the America Reads office.
I am a work-study student and I forgot to enter my time on HR Direct. What do I do now?
First, log on to HR Direct and try to enter your time on the day(s) you worked. If you cannot enter time, contact the America Reads office to schedule an appointment to complete a Late Pay Form. Have the dates and times you worked ready when you come for your appointment. This may delay the payment of your hours.
I completed a Late Pay Form. When will I be paid for these hours?
The Late Pay Form is submitted to Payroll for processing. Depending on when they receive the form and how busy they are, the hours on the Late Pay Form will be paid on the subsequent two pay periods. To ensure timely payment, make sure you enter your time after you work.
I forgot to sign in for my shift, but I went. What do I do?
You must provide proof of your attendance. You may do that by submitting a completed Shift Verification form, copy the sign-in sheet, or obtain a note from the teacher with whom you work.
I am scheduled to take the Corsair shuttle, but I drove instead or someone gave me a ride to my shift. Is that okay?
Yes, it is okay, but you must provide verification of your attendance.
I can't make it to my shift today. What do I do?
You must email America Reads and your site coordinator when you cannot attend your shift. The email addresses for all site coordinators is included in the tutor manual. In your email you must include your name, your shift location and time, and the reason you are unable to attend your shift.
Keep in mind that the following are considered an excused absences: brief illness, family emergency, extenuating circumstances, or previously approved absences. Prolonged or multiple illnesses will require documentation.
I missed the bus. What happens now?
Missing the bus is considered an unexcused absence. You are aware of the time the bus leaves and it is your responsibility to make sure you arrive on time or early.