Reading Corps

Reading CorpsComing together to instill a love of reading in the next generation

Reading Corps is a free program designed for children ages 4-years-old through second grade to help build literacy skills and foster a love of reading and learning. Activities include reading together, writing, and playing skill-building educational games.

Reading Corps is not a tutoring program in the traditional sense. The program is inspired by the Campaign for Grade Level Reading. It does not offer homework help and it does not cover specific subjects like math. Reading Corps does help your child build literacy skills by engaging them in one-on-one reading, writing, and educational play with a volunteer reading buddy. Volunteer reading buddies work one-on-one with kids for one hour, twice a week for three months.

Students will read to their Reading Buddy, or if they cannot read yet, their Reading Buddy will read to them. They will also practice writing and drawing in a journal to support literacy development. They will play educational games that help build skills and make reading fun. We give three short assessments during the course of the program to track what skills each student may need extra help with. Reading Corps takes place at various sites throughout the community including library branches, elementary schools, and child care locations.

Sign up your child

To sign your child up for Reading Corps, please call the Literacy House at (817) 460-2727. Ask to speak with a Reading Corps coordinator. Once you have signed up, you will be asked to complete a short permission form on the first day of Reading Corps. If you will not make it to a Reading Corps session during the program, please let your site coordinator know or call the Literacy House.

Volunteer with Reading Corps

We are looking for students, professionals, and residents in the Arlington area to volunteer as reading buddies.

Reading Corps currently has openings for two types of volunteers. In addition to our traditional Reading Buddy role, we are recruiting for Reading Corps Site Coordinators. These volunteers will be placed at one Reading Corps site to support volunteers and students in the program. They will be in charge of the general operation of their site as well as collecting and reporting data to the library. Site Coordinators will work closely with library staff and community education professionals, so it is the perfect opportunity for volunteers looking to network or build management experience.

For more information on this volunteer opportunity please email readingcorps@arlingtontx.gov.

Sign Up on our city’s volunteer page.

Volunteers Needed for Spring Semester

Kids Community Arlington – Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4-5 p.m.
Southeast Branch – Mondays and Wednesdays, 6-7 p.m.
Hugh Smith Recreation Center – Wednesdays, 4-5:30 p.m.
Adams Elementary – Mondays, 2-3 p.m.
Sessions begin the first week of February. Check back for more information.

Reading Corps Vision

All children in Arlington will read on grade-level by the end of second grade.

Reading Corps Mission

To impart a lifelong love of reading to Arlington students in grades Pre-K through second while building superior reading and writing skills.

FAQs for Parents

Is Reading Corps a tutoring program?

No, Reading Corps is not a tutoring program in the traditional sense. It does not offer homework help and it does not cover specific subjects like math. Reading Corps doeshelp your child build literacy skills by engaging them in one on one reading, writing, and educational play with a volunteer reading buddy.

What kind of activities do students do to help my child have fun building reading skills?

Students will read to their Reading Buddy, or if they cannot read yet, their Reading Buddy will read to them. They will also practice writing and drawing in a journal to support literacy development. They will play educational games that help build skills and make reading fun. We give three short assessments during the course of the program to track what skills each student may need extra help with.

Does Reading Corps cost anything?

No. Reading Corps is a free program offered by the library. All supplies needed are provided by the library. We highly recommend that you have a library card for your child so that he or she may check out favorite books to bring home.

Sponsor a Site

Reading Corps is designed to be sustainable by having sites adopted by a dedicated group of volunteers who will be responsible for running the program at that location with the support and training of the library. We are currently looking for more community partners to adopt a Reading Corps site. If you belong to a group or organization that could be interested in adopting a Reading Corps location, please contact us at the Literacy House.

Phone: (817) 460-2727

Sponsor FAQs

How many volunteers would we need to adopt a site?

As few or as many as you would like. The more volunteers your organization can provide, the more children you will be able to serve. We have current sites with as few as four total volunteers.

What kind of support do we receive from the library when we choose to adopt a site?

The library will be responsible for providing the site coordinator with a Reading Corps handbook. If preferred, we can provide a site coordinator until one of your own volunteers is comfortable becoming the coordinator. We will also provide all of the training that each volunteer will need. You will have access to library books through a special corporate library card for you to use during Reading Corps as well. The Reading Corps program also has a collection of educational games and tools that you will have access to for Reading Corps. We will work with you to determine which location and schedule best fits the needs of your group and the needs of the community.

Are there any other supplies which we are expected to contribute?

We encourage sponsoring organizations to purchase basic materials for Reading Corps sites, but the library can cover these costs through grants if this is not possible. The material costs for the sites are low, and usually consist of student journals, student folders, crayons, and pencils.

How long is the commitment?

We would ask that an organization sponsor a site for a minimum of one semester, which lasts twelve weeks, though we encourage you to make Reading Corps a long term project for your organization. Each Reading Corps site currently meets for one hour twice a week during the 12-week period, bringing the total volunteer hours per person up to 24 hours over three months.

What volunteer opportunities are there for each site?

Each site would need multiple reading buddies and one site coordinator. The site coordinator would be responsible for coordinating with the site’s volunteers and the library and will have a slightly larger time commitment than a reading buddy. Responsibilities that the coordinator has include recording and submitting assessment and attendance data, ensuring that the site has a balanced number of students and volunteers, and being responsible for any Reading Corps materials used at the site, such as games and library books. We also welcome individual volunteers for all sites, especially those without a sponsoring organization.