AR/AC General Information

The America Reads program is an initiative to help all children gain the ability to read independently and on grade level by the third grade.

  • 40 percent of the nation's children are not reading well enough by the end of the third grade
  • Studies find that sustained, individualized attention can greatly raise reading levels, especially when combined with parental involvement
  • This initiative also encompasses family literacy. The program encourages colleges and universities involved in the Federal Work-Study Program to place undergraduate students in local schools as tutors working one-on-one with young children

The America Counts program initiative focuses on increasing the mathematical achievement of students from kindergarten through ninth grade. It will assist in ensuring that students will master basic math skills and will have a foundation by 8th and 9th grades, which are essential for college preparation. College students and other adults who have an interest in mathematics are encouraged to serve as tutors and mentors in local schools and community centers.

Iowa State University's Involvement

In support of these initiatives, Iowa State University provides the administrative support for the America Reads/America Counts program.

  • ISU places more than 150 students in over 30 schools and agencies in Ames, and central Iowa each year.
  • These students spend more than 22,100 hours tutoring local children in reading and math skills annually. The students represent each of ISU's colleges and are from a wide variety of majors.

Eligibility Information

  • Any Iowa State student who is work-study eligible is encouraged to apply to join the program.
  • Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average.
  • Students do not need to be studying in the education field to participate.
  • Students will receive training prior to their placements, as well as periodic training and reflection sessions throughout their terms of service.
  • All students will be paid through the Federal Work-Study Program.


If you have any questions regarding the America Reads/America Counts programs at Iowa State, please feel free to contact the program staff or see the online FAQ. If you are an ISU student or a K-12 teacher or administrator, we encourage you to participate in this program and help us support the development of children's abilities in reading and math.