RAI Reading Corps — What We Do

Who we serve

Reading Corps Members serve inside the schools during the school day with students in 1st-3rd grade. We work on the “mechanics of reading,” with students who struggle to connect letters and their related sounds, impairing their ability to ‘decode” words and read fluently. It's a difficulty that is far more common than you might think, affecting about 20% of all students in any classroom, and severely impacting about 5% of all students in any school.

For more than 25 years, RAI has trained community volunteers to deliver our reading intervention program in local schools. And it works. The vast majority of students who go through our program increase their fluency rate after one year. The only thing that keeps us from turning more struggling students into confident readers … is how many tutors we can place in schools.

That’s where you come in. You can make a real difference in the life of a struggling reader.

What you'll learn

You’ll start with an extensive training program taught by our staff who are knowledgeable and skilled in multisensory structured language teaching.  You’ll learn the basics of how children learn to read and how to explicitly teach children who are most at risk for reading failure. We will teach you how to “think” and apply the foundational knowledge you learn. You will learn to utilize a diagnostic prescriptive approach, thus individualizing lessons based upon each student’s needs. 

Our staff brings with them a variety of backgrounds and years of experience in the field of literacy, providing you with high quality instruction.  Ongoing training in the format of weekly learning communities, led by RAI staff, will give you the opportunity to connect with other Reading Corps Members and refine your skills.

What you’ll do

As an AmeriCorps Member, you'll serve throughout our community with other AmeriCorps Members from around the state, as they come together for special projects and serve as living examples of the power of community service.

Inside a local elementary school, you’ll be assigned students in grades 1-3 who are at risk for reading failure. You’ll work one-on-one with those students five days a week as they progress through the Reading Assist Intervention program.

Our program is very specific, but every child is different. Working with coaches, you’ll adapt your style for each student, using a variety of multi-sensory tutoring techniques that you’ll learn in training. You’ll be expected to keep notes on student progress and regularly update your coaches about what’s working and what’s not.

Reading Corps members log 1,700 service hours from August through June.

What we look for

We seek passionate, capable tutors willing to serve the students and the community. You do not need teaching experience, but you must to be ready to commit to students who will see you as a tutor, as a teacher, as a mentor and as a dependable presence in their lives.

RAI Reading Corps members all must be:

    ✔  Able to blend, segment, and manipulate sounds within words.

    ✔  Able to correctly pronounce English language sounds.

    ✔  Willing to work with children who may have behavioral challenges
    in addition to academic needs. 

    ✔  College graduates.

    ✔  Patient and flexible.

    ✔  Open to constructive feedback.

    ✔  Computer literate, with basic word processing, email and internet skills.

What you’ll get

You’ll leave your students with reading skills that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. And you’ll leave with knowledge and an experience that cannot be matched anywhere else.

RAI Reading Corps members also receive:

   ✔ An $18,000 annual living allowance

   ✔ Health benefits, if needed

   ✔ The opportunity to defer student loans with most loan providers

   ✔ Childcare, if eligible.

Upon successful completion of the program, members will receive an education grant that can be used towards qualified education expenses or to repay student loans. Learn more about AmeriCorps benefits. Some colleges may provide additional incentives and/or match the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. For a list of these colleges and universities, click here.