Advancing ESL Students' Academic Performance

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.  

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.

Only 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. 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.