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 who have a Connections award can participate in either America Reads or America Counts to fulfill their hours. 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!
Who can participate?
Any undergraduate student who is able to make a 2-hour commitment per week. Students who qualify for federal work study or have been awarded Connections 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 two hour 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 and team meetings are mandatory. You will be paid your regular rate for all training sessions and team meetings.
These training sessions are required for new tutors, and you cannot tutor unless you attend all sessions in entirety. Once tutoring begins, you will meet in small groups (teams) for one hour a week most weeks in order to receive additional support and on-going training. During the second semester, these meetings will be approximately every other week. These meetings are held during the week (not on Saturdays) and are a part of the tutor’s job. 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 and meetings.
How do I apply?
If you are interested in serving as an America Reads or America Counts tutor, please send an email to email@example.com. 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.