The University of Kansas America Reads Challenge program is part of a larger, national campaign initiated by President Bill Clinton in 1996 to help "at-risk" students develop reading skills. University of Kansas America Reads tutors are Federal Work Study award recipients and work exclusively in Title 1 elementary schools in the Lawrence USD 497 school district with at risk students on improving their reading skills. Tutors read aloud to students, prepare lessons to build reading skills, and provide students with an opportunity to practice reading. Additionally, tutors serve a positive role model, offering encouragement and motivation to become life long readers. Our mission is to...
- To provide quality tutoring to Title 1 elementary students in the area of reading.
- To help students improve their reading skills and abilities.
- To provide students with a supportive environment in which to succeed.
- To engage children with reading in such a way to help them find enjoyment in it.
America Reads is a tutoring program for Title-1 elementary schools in the USD 497 school district. Our program is a free service to the district. Our aim is to provide quality literacy instruction to students struggling with reading.
America Reads was started following a 1994 survey completed by the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which drew attention to a national problem. The survey revealed that many of our nation's children were not proficient readers and failed to meet basic reading requirements for their respective age groups. Research shows that children who have underdeveloped reading skills at the end of the third grade will have severe difficulty elevating these skills to the level of their peers in subsequent years of education. These children are also more likely to drop out of school. Such students find themselves at a social and economic disadvantage. Hope is created, however, by research showing early intervention can significantly improve students' reading abilities. The America Reads Challenge calls upon educators, parents, librarians, business people, senior citizens, college students, and community and religious groups to help all the country's children learn to read by the end of the third grade.