America Reads

America Reads Program

America Reads Logo

America Reads is a federally funded work-study program, and has been present at SF State since 1997. The "America Reads Challenge" stems from President Clinton's educational initiative to ensure that every child in America learned to read well with the help of a reading tutor. Federal work-study funds enable colleges and universities to hire service-minded college students to help meet this challenge. SF State students are hired as tutors to work in 3rd grade classrooms in San Francisco elementary schools. America Reads tutors have great opportunities to start their teaching career and gain important skills during their participation with the program. Partnering with the Graduate College of Education in Burk Hall, America Reads tutors gain insight into the teaching credential pathways provided by the Department of Elementary Education.

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Sara Andrew Paige



Transformative Experience

What to Expect

America Reads tutors are San Francisco State University undergraduate and graduate students from various backgrounds and majors who are interested in working with youth. As part of their training, tutors utilize creative and innovative ways to design culturally relevant lesson plans to enhance the reading experience for their assigned students. Over time, tutors develop experience and understanding related to working in urban public schools, while they make connections with teachers, principals, supervisors, and most of all their elementary level students. Tutors end the program having made an impact on the schools' community and being personally transformed by their one-on-one tutoring sessions.

In 2014, a total of 40 children received one-on-one reading support from America Reads tutors. Tutors also provided general classroom support to over 500 children and 21 teachers. The training course is ongoing throughout the academic year, and provides tutors over 52 hours of in-depth preparation, problem-solving, and community-building. The average America Reads tutor will spend more than 200 hours in an elementary-level classroom.

Become a Tutor

Seeking dynamic tutors for SF State America Reads!

  • Attain experience working with elementary-age students in the classrooms.
  • Gain the required hours of field experience necessary for admittance to SF State's Elementary Education credential program
  • Utilize innovative and creative methods to increase students’ skill levels in the academics needed to improve their literacy skills.
  • Inspire and learn from your tutees, peers, and teachers.

Interested in working for America Reads?

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Job Qualifications & Requirements

  • Eligible for Work-study
  • Commitment to work for one academic school year (August-May)
  • Available to work 6-10 hours a week, during school hours: 8:00am-3:30pm
  • Enroll in a special 3-unit Credit/No Credit [EE D 645 "Direct Experiences with Children] training class every Thursday from 4-7PM, both Fall and Spring Semesters
  • Desired Second Language Skills: Chinese, Spanish, Tagalog, Arabic, Vietnamese, Russian, Japanese, Samoan, Korean

More Information

Now Accepting Applications!


America Reads

San Francisco State University
Intitute for Civic and Community Engagement
1600 Holloway Avenue, HSS 206
San Francisco, CA 94132

Contact Jose R. Lopez at

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Former Cohorts:




  America Reads Student Picture