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Oct. 7, 2014

CSU’s America Reads program tutors Cleveand-area youth

By Jaychelle Willis

Located on the second floor of Rhodes Tower West in the Career Services Center houses one of Cleveland State University’s best kept secrets — The America Reads program.

Dedicated to tutoring children in the Cleveland-area, America Reads trains and supervises Cleveland State students to serve as math and literacy tutors to Cleveland-area school children.

America Reads was established at Cleveland State 17 years ago as part of the America Reads Challenge, which was created in 1997 by former President Bill Clinton’s Administration. This program was constructed to increase the reading proficiency among America’s youth. Clinton’s Administration’s main objective was to have all children reading well and independently by the end of the third grade.

With America Reads programs stationed at several other Ohio university campuses, including Baldwin Wallace University and Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland State’s America Reads is the largest.
Anita A. Young and Mercier Robinson both serve as coordinators for the America Reads program. Young and Robinson’s commitment to literacy among children in the greater Cleveland area has awarded them with many achievments.

For the 2013-14 school year, the program employed a total of 112 students as tutors. Collectively those students tutored more than 12,000 children.

In partnership with Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL) and Cleveland Public Library (CPL), students assist with tutoring children in grades kindergarten through eighth grade with their reading and homework. With wages starting at $8 per hour, students get hands on experience working with children who are suffer academically.

Eligible to all majors, prospective tutors can work a maximum of 10 hours per week. Wages increase each year the student is employed with the program. Students must be enrolled for a minimum of six credit hours. Currently still accepting applications, Young said they hire and recruit students throughout the semester.

Tutors work with CCPL and CPL, along other Cleveland-area schools. Tutors primarily focus on teaching elementary school students.