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Service-Learning & Volunteer Programs

America Reads

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Service-Learning & Volunteer Programs

Office Location:
705 S. New Street
Lawrence Center, Room 241
West Chester, PA 19382

Phone: 610-436-3379
Fax: 610-430-5600

America Reads: Volunteer with Youth!

America Reads was started by the Clinton administration in 1996 as a national literacy campaign. The program aims to recruit "one million volunteer reading tutors ready and able to give children the personal attention they need to catch up and get ahead." Learn about the history of the federal work study program.

Become a Site Leader! - Applications due 4/10/15

    If you would like to get paid to provide academic mentoring to children while learning valuable leadership skills and making long lasting meaningful connections with community organizations, this may be the opportunity for you. Apply to be an America Reads site leader today!

    Major Responsibilities include:

  • Provide academic enrichment to youth
  • Assist volunteer recruitment
  • Work closely and in partnership with the community partner on aspects of the program
  • Facilitate monthly meetings and group reflections for all off campus community service work study students and volunteers
  • Maintain and update a program roster, attendance, and community service hours for volunteers
  • Attend regular workshops, meetings, and trainings
  • Participate as a student leader in all aspects of Office of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs; including representing the organization on campus and in the community

Applications are due by Friday, April 10th at 12 p.m.

What do Mentors do?

  • Tutor
  • Mentor
  • Provide homework assistance
  • Facilitate educational games and extracurricular activities

Why Mentor?

  • Build positive relationships with children
  • Gain professional development skills
  • Fulfill course or major requirements
  • Become a role model
  • Help children learn and grow
  • Put a smile on a young child's face
  • Leave with a smile yourself!

Become a Mentor!


If you are a student in need of financial assistance, you may qualify for federal work study. Work study students may work up to ten hours a week. To apply, applicants should fill out the FAFSA and the Federal Work Student Employment Application.


You can also participate in America Reads as a volunteer. To volunteer for this program, please visit the Office of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs in Killinger Hall B19 or contact Jamie Williams. The America Reads program is a great way for students seeking Formal Admittance to Teacher Education (FATE) to obtain the 20 hours of required service.

Service Sites

Care Center Foundation

The Care Center Foundation strives to give children ages 1 to 5 the skills needed to succeed through early developmental education. The program operates Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

If you are interested in volunteering at this site, please contact Khalil Suaray.

Charles A. Melton Center

The mission of the historic Charles A. Melton Center is to contribute to the quality of life for all people of the greater West Chester community by continuing its long commitment of providing educational, recreational, cultural, and civic services. New Directions take place Monday through Thursday from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

If you are interested in volunteering at this site, please contact Amanda Reichert.

The Blessed Dorothy Day Ministry Center

The Blessed Dorothy Day Ministry Center prepares preschool aged children to enter into kindergarten by focusing on literacy and academic skill development. The program runs Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.. This is a great placement for students interested in working with youth who speak Spanish.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Danni McGinty.

West Chester Area Day Care Center

The West Chester Area Day Care Center provides children ranging from infancy to age 12 with a safe, nurturing child care environment combined with a top quality early education program. The program operates Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

If you are interested in volunteering at this site, please contact Erica Vasquez.

YMCA: Believe & Achieve Program

The YMCA Believe & Achieve program focuses on improving the lives and futures of children in need by providing safe, supervised quality care for children, ages 5 to 15. This program offers free after school care, tutoring, homework help, and mentoring Monday through Friday, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

If you are interested in volunteering at this site, please contact Devin Kirby.

YMCA: Early Childhood Learning Center

The YMCA Early Childhood Learning Center focuses on providing Pre-K and Kindergarten students with lessons carefully designed to activate children's imaginations and encourage lifelong, positive values. The program operates Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

If you are interested in volunteering at this site, please contact Kayla Kishbaugh.


Reading Comprehension Activities

  • Ask questions relevant to the story before beginning the story
  • Have the child draw a picture based on their favorite part in a story
  • Use graphic organizers to summarize stories
  • Make flash cards of vocabulary words
  • Play reading comprehension board and word games
  • Take breaks to ask questions about what is occurring in the story and what the child thinks will happen next
  • Use hand and finger puppets to retell stories
  • Write creative stories
  • Build connections between the child and characters/activities in the story

In what stage of development is your reader?

  • Emergent readers: These students can work with concepts of print and are at the very beginning stages of developing letter-sound relationships.
  • Early readers: These students can call upon the cuing systems and pay close attention to visual cues and language patterns. These students begin reading for meaning by predicting.
  • Transitional readers: These students are beginning to read at a good pace, which is a sign of overall comprehension. They are also able to utilize reading strategies to figure out words, but still need help understanding difficult text.
  • Fluent readers: These students are reading independently. The teacher's main focus with these readers is to make sure they are competent in using the reading strategies to deepen comprehension.

Online reading comprehension games from first grade readers to advanced readers

Online Games

These online games can be used on the computer or a mobile device. Adobe Flash Player capabilities are necessary for all of the games listed below.

    • Choose your grade level
    • Several different games to help build your reading strategies and skills
  • PrimaryGames
    • Word games, sentence games, other content area games
    • Free-time games
    • Games developed by an elementary school teacher
    • Build fundamental learning concepts in math, reading, spelling, language arts, and basic problem solving
  • Between the Lions and PBS
    • Stories and games
    • A website with links for kids ages 3-6, 6-10, 10+, and for teachers and parents
  • Funbrain
    • Reading games, math games, and free-time games

Google Play Apps

Apple Store Apps