America Reads

Image of woman reading to two children

A Tutor's Perspective

Learn more about the America Reads program from past tutor Tammi Turner who tutored youth at La Conexion de Wood County.


America Reads is a tutoring employment opportunity for students eligible for Federal Work-Study. Tutors choose their own shifts and tutor students one-on-one or in small groups. The program employs students of all majors.

America Reads was started in 1996 by the Clinton Administration. BGSU has been coordinating its America Reads program since 1997.  

Tutoring Sessions:

All tutoring sessions are held in person*. Tutors will work with the site coordinators to determine caseload. The format of sessions varies based on the time the tutoring is offered.

  • In school - tutors will receive pre-planned lesson plans prior to the session.
  • After school - lesson plans are not provided; tutoring sessions are open-ended, including providing help with homework and assistance in reading instruction.
  • Federal Work-Study eligibility
  • BCI and FBI background checks

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.


$10.50 - $14.00 an hour for all tutors


There are two shift options based on the school you work for. Tutors select their shifts and placements around their class schedule and must be able to provide their own transportation to the school(s). Typical shifts include:

  • During school: 30-40 minutes (multiple shifts available)
  • After school hours: 3:30 - 6:00

Student Financial Aid and Scholarships | 227 BTSU


"I have built many relationships with my students already. They look forward to seeing me every day and I look forward to seeing them. They teach me more than I could ever teach them, in a good way. They look forward to showing me their work and projects every time I come in." - Hannah Foos, Freshman Early Childhood Education major, America Reads tutor, 2018


Federal Work Study (FWS) eligible students apply through Handshake via their MyBGSU web portal and search "Family Literacy Program Tutor". Once FWS eligibility is confirmed by the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, students will be contacted for a short interview and to determine which tutoring location is the best fit around their schedule. Prior to working in the schools, tutors must provide a valid BCI/FBI background check and attend training and orientation. Tutors will be paid bi-weekly for hours worked.

Frequently Asked Questions

To be an America Reads tutor students must:

  • Be eligible for Federal Work Study as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Provide a valid BCI/FBI background check at their own expense
  • Be able to privde their own transportation to/from the tutoring location

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) annually to be considered. If eligible, a FWS offer will be on the student's Financial Aid Offer. Students earn FWS funds by either obtaining a job on-campus and/or by being hired as an America Reads tutor. Students are paid bi-weekly in the form of a paycheck for the hours they work. Eligible jobs may be found through Handshake on the student's MyBGSU web portal.

Federal Work Study (FWS) funds are automatically awarded to eligible students when they apply for federal financial aid with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students are notified of their eligibility with their Financial Aid Offer and/or may see if they are eligible for FWS funds on their MyBGSU Student Center. If students have not been awarded FWS funds, or are unsure if they qualify, they may contact the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships Office at 419-372-2651 or email at AskSFA.

Unfortunately, if you do not qualify for Federal Work Study, you can't tutor for the America Reads program.

As long as your background check is not expired and displays the two codes listed below you do not need to request a new one. You may upload it via Financial Aid Document Submission.

  • BCI 3319.39 B1 - School employees, non-teaching positions. 

  • FBI 3319.39- Public School District or Chartered Nonpublic School Employees and School Bus Drivers

Yes, you can still tutor. You are responsible for your own transportation to/from the school tutoring site.

Tutors will have the ability to select the tutoring shift that works best around their schedule. Typical shifts include:

  • During school: 30-45 minutes (multiple shifts available)
  • After school hours: 3:45-5:30

Each school that participates in the America Reads program has a site supervisor who serves as the tutor's onsite supervisor for that location. They provide orientation, training, and instructions on the expectations while working at their school. In addition, they will oversee the tutor's work, coordinate schedules and approve hours worked for BGSU payroll purposes.

Tutors will get paid bi-weekly through BGSU's payroll system for the hours they work. To log hours worked, students are responsible for submitting an online timesheet weekly at The site supervisor must then approve the hours worked before they can be submitted to the BGSU Payroll Office for payment. FWS students are required to sign up for direct deposit to receive their paychecks. FWS funds earned can NOT be applied directly to the student's bursar account.

Image of America Reads Logo

Our mission:

  • Enhance kids' literacy skills
  • Connect developing professionals with kids in educational environments that promote learning and literacy skills
We are committed to meeting the challenge to have all children reading well and independently by the end of third grade.

Information for Prospective Tutors

Updated: 05/01/2023 10:08AM