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Reading Corps

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No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

Reading Corps is an AmeriCorps program that provides schools with trained literacy tutors to support reading development for students in Kindergarten through grade 3. Reading Corps tutors are trained to implement evidence-based literacy instruction and assessment protocols. Tutors are supported by a multi-level coaching model that includes site-based and external coaches. Full-time tutors work with approximately 15-18 students for 20 minutes each day. The research-based tutoring interventions are supplemental to the core reading instruction provided at each school. The goal of the tutoring is to raise individual students’ literacy levels so that they are on track to meet or exceed the next program-specified literacy benchmark.

Program Outcomes

Two randomized studies have evaluated the literacy outcomes of Reading Corps. Both were student randomized studies, one taking place in 24 schools across Minnesota and the other in 10 schools in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The evaluation in Minnesota involved 622 K-3 students in a mix of urban and rural schools, with 63% FRL and 41% FRL respectively. About 60% of students were White, 16% Black, 14% Hispanic, and 27% ELL. Students in K-1 were assessed mid-year and scored significantly higher on measures of Letter Sound Fluency, Nonsense Word Fluency, and Oral Reading Fluency (effect size = +0.74, +0.62, +0.52). Second and third graders were assessed at the end of the school year, with Reading Corps students scoring significantly higher on Oral Reading Fluency (effect size = +0.23). The evaluation in Wisconsin involved 176 K-1 students, of whom 85% were Black, 8% Hispanic, and 81% eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Literacy skills were assessed after one semester, with Reading Corps students significantly outperforming control students on Letter Sound Fluency (effect size = +0.47) and Nonsense Word Fluency (effect size = +0.43), and similarly on Oral Reading Fluency (effect size = +0.06). Averaging across the two studies, weighting by sample size, the mean effect size was +0.36.

Staffing Requirements

School partners must identify an Internal Coach who provides coaching support to tutors (6-9 hours per month per tutor). All other staffing requirements are internal as Ampact provides staff support for the tutors who are AmeriCorps members.  Ampact hires a Program Manager and a Coaching Specialist in addition to the many staff at their headquarters who support the overall implementation of the program in all of its locations.

Professional Development/Training

Initial training typically occurs before each school year (though mid-year starts are permitted). The school-appointed staff member provides on-demand support for tutors when scheduling students and interacting with teachers, as well as monthly coaching and feedback that focuses on ensuring high fidelity to the program. The assigned Coaching Specialist provides additional regular (e.g., monthly) coaching to both the tutor and the school staff member and supports all data-driven decision-making practices (e.g., eligibility; graph interpretation; exit decisions).


Access to an updated computer or similar electronic device.