Office of Civic Engagement

America Reads

Frequently Asked Questions

What is America Reads?

The America Reads Challenge was established in 1997 by President Bill Clinton's Administration. This program was constructed in an effort to increase the reading proficiency among America's youth. Specifically, the Administration launched the America Reads Challenge with one major objective: to have all children reading well and independently by the end of the third grade. Presently, the America Reads Program at Cleveland State University operates using federal work study (FWS) and grant monies through the Office of Civic Engagement. The America Reads progam recruits, hires, trains and supervises CSU students to serve as homework and literacy tutors to Cleveland area school children.

Why Tutor?

The America Reads Program has a competitive starting wage of $10.00-$12.00 per hour. Tutors are able to design their schedules around their semester coursework and the needs of the tutoring site. Students who tutor gain valuable networking opportunities, enrich their professional development, and develop their important soft skills.

Who is eligible to tutor?

Cleveland State University students are eligible to tutor if they are enrolled for six credit hours, are in good academic standing, are able to provide transportation to and from tutoring sites, and have exceptional people skills. Students must also pass a criminal background check, attend mandatory, paid training sessions, and be punctual and reliable.

When does the America Reads Program begin and end?

The program begins in September amd ends in May. Students may also have the opportunity to work during the CSU scheduled breaks.

How many hours a week do tutors work?

Tutors must work a minimum of six hours per week and no more than twelve hours per week.

What hours do tutors work?

Tutors schedules are set around their course demands and the needs of each tutoring site. After-school programs offer tutoring services Monday through Thursday between 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. 

How much are tutors paid?

First year tutors are generously compensated at $10.00-$12.00 per hour.

How often are tutors paid?

Tutors are paid through Cleveland State University every two weeks.

Where do tutors work?

Tutors work in supportive settings including libraries and after-school programs. The majority of tutoring will be one-on-one or in small groups.

What is a typical tutoring session?

Just as no child is typical, nor is a tutoring session. Tutors will find themselves working with a variety of age and skill levels primarily focusing with elementary age school children. Tutors work in a supportive and safe designated area. Typical tutoring activities range from assisting with what a child is learning in the classroom such as learning spelling words to enrichment activities such as creating own book. Our after-school programs in our local libraries provide much needed homework assistance. A tutor may work with a Kindergarten child on beginning sounds or assist a fourth grader dividing fractions.

What type of training and support is provided to tutors?


  • There are three half day trainings each academic year. All trainings are mandatory and paid. Trainings are held in October, January, and April.

Tutor Manuals/Tutor Toolboxes:

  • Tutors are provided with a manual that is packed full of enrichment activities, assessment tools, Make-it Take-it activities to use with their tutees.
  • Tutors are also provided with a tutor toolbox filled with a wealth of tutoring materials and aides including stickers, markers, crayons and site words.

On-Site Support & Supervision:

  • Experienced librarians and professional staff act as site supervisors, mentors, and coaches for America Reads Tutors.

America Reads Staff:

  • Experienced teachers and counselors provide on-going support and supervision to all America Reads Tutors. They conduct site visits, tutor training, and additional enrichment activities and materials to tutors as needed.