America Reads/America Counts at Illinois State University
The America Reads program began in 1996 with a reading initiative proposed by President Clinton. The initiative was introduced to assist every child in the process of learning to read by the third grade. It was created as a way to increase the fundamental skills of reading in elementary students through forming a partnership with colleges and universities throughout the country. More than 1,400 colleges and universities currently participate in the ARAC program today. The "America Reads Challenge," is mobilizing resources to ensure that all children can read independently by the end of the third grade. Over one thousand institutions have joined the "‘America Reads Challenge"’ by committing Federal Work Study students to tutor young children in reading.
A diverse array of institutions, representing all types of students, made the commitment to tutor children in their communities (Federal Register, Vol 63, No 190, 1998). Due to the success of the America Reads Challenge, America Counts was initiated in July 1999 as an effort to improve student achievement in mathematics and assist students in mastering challenging mathematics by the end of the 9th grade.
At Illinois State University we hire enthusiastic undergraduate and graduate students to provide reading and/or math assistance for Kindergarten through 9th grade students. Locations include local schools, public libraries, the Illinois State University campus, after-school programs, and community centers.