America Reads Program

What is the America Reads Challenge?

Reading is essential for learning in all subject areas. In 1997 President Clinton issued the America Reads Challenge. He asked all Americans to join in the effort to improve children's reading achievement. The America Reads Challenge stresses the importance of communities coming together to insure that all children read well. Everyone can join in the Challenge whether it is volunteering to read with a child, participating in book drives, or supporting teachers and schools.

How is KSU involved?

One way the America Reads Challenge operates is through Federal Work Study (FWS) expansion. To help institutions with this initiative, the Secretary of Education waived the employer matching requirement for FWS students working under the America Reads Challenge.

Here at KSU, eligible tutors spend 10 - 15 hours per week for at least one semester in local elementary schools tutoring children in reading. The tutors participate in training both here and at the school to which they are assigned. Tutors focus on reading comprehension through activities such as reading books together, working on letter sounds, playing literacy games, and creative writing. The elementary students see their tutors as mentors and friends.

College students who volunteer for the America Reads Challenge must first qualify for Federal Work-Study (FWS) assistance. Contact the KSU Financial Aid office to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

For more information on the America Reads Challenge, contact Cheryl Betts, program coordinator, at 770-423-6521 or send an e-mail to:

For more information please visit the national America Reads Challenge web site.