America Reads

Image of woman reading to two children

A federal work-study opportunity to tutor students in local schools


America Reads is an employment opportunity for students eligible for Federal Work-Study. Tutors go to local schools to tutor students one-on-one or in small groups. All majors are welcome to apply

America Reads was started in 1996 by the Clinton Administration. BGSU has been coordinating its America Reads program since 1997. Marty Sears is the head of the program, running it with the help of reading graduate students. 


To apply, first make sure you are eligible for Federal Work-Study. If you are unsure, send an email to and include your name and university ID. The coordinator can check your eligibility for you. 

Once confirmation of work-study eligibility or ineligibility is made, you will receive an email from the program coordinator. If eligible, you will need to send a resume to Select students will undergo an interview process before being selected into the program.

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Tutors who do not drive will earn $9/hour. Tutors who choose to be an in-town driver earn $9.50/hour. Those who drive outside of Bowling Green are paid at the rate of $12.50/hour. The program does not reimburse for gas mileage, thus drivers receive a higher hourly rate. 


The format of sessions varies. Tutors who work during the school day will receive pre-planned lessons prior to giving the session. The after-school sessions are more open-ended, including homework help and assistance in reading instruction. Lesson plans will not be provided for after-school sessions.


Once hired, everyone in the program must complete a Bureau of Criminal Investigations/FBI background check and fingerprinting if they haven’t already done so for certain BGSU courses. This can be done at Falcon Outfitters on campus. The cost is $60.


Each week you will be responsible for submitting an electronic payroll as well as a reflection of your tutoring sessions. 


Most shifts are about three hours long either in the morning or early afternoon (a typical school day). After school shifts are also available. There are evening shifts available at the local library. 

Tutors are able to select their working hours and placements in order to work around your class schedule. Tutors have the option to drive for a carpool. Tutors do not have to be drivers.

All tutors will travel to their designated placements through a carpool. Carpool scheduling is coordinated by the America Reads staff. If you choose to be a driver, you are paid at a higher rate to compensate for the gas expenditure


Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a source of federally funded need-based financial aid. Students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for Federal Work-Study. Students who demonstrate financial need as determined by Student Financial Aid may receive FWS as part of their financial aid "package." Student Financial Aid determines the amount students can earn during the school year.

America Reads is fully funded through work-study. Students must be eligible for work study in order to apply.

How do I know if I am work-study eligible? 

After you file the FAFSA, Student Financial Aid may award Federal Work-Study in your financial aid package. You can check your financial aid awards in your MyBGSU Student Center. 

If you are not packaged with Federal Work-Study, you may still be eligible. Please check with Student Financial Aid to determine your eligibility.


Marty Sears,
Coordinator of Community Engagement Programs
100 University Hall