Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What do AmeriCorps members in the North Dakota Reading Corps Program program do?
A: Elementary Literacy members: ND Reading Corps members work one-on-one with Kindergarten through 3rd grade students that fall just below the proficient reading line for their grade level. Members meet with each of their students for 20 minutes each day, five days a week in a pull-out format during the school day. Members use research-based scripted practices (referred to as literacy interventions) to practice reading and teach them strategies to become better readers. On average, students receive service for about 13 weeks or until they reach grade level profieciency and exit the program. Members progress monitor their students and chart it. Once a student exits the program, a new student is added to their caseload.
A: Preschool members: ND Reading Corps members are embedded into a preschool classroom setting during the day. The member will work as part of the classroom to deliver literacy strategies within the classrom instruction that all the children in the class receive. Member will also progress monitor all students in their class throughout the year.
Q: What is the time committment?
A: Members are required to commit to either 450 or 675 total hours of service with the program. All members must commit to working throughout the entire school year (August-May). This works out to be approximately 15 hours a week for a 450 member and 20 hours a week for a 675 level member.
Q: What is the daily schedule?
A: AmeriCorps members work with students during the school day. As a result, we are looking for candidates that are available M-F during school hours (typically from 8:00AM-3:30PM, though exact hours differ by site and may be shorter). Morning or afternoon schedules may be available. Because students have the best chance at making progress when interventions are delivery daily with a consistent schedule, our AmeriCorps members are required to work a consistent weekly schedule. Some of our past members are college students. If you have questions as to whether your schedule will work with our program, please contact us for more information.
Q: Will I be compensated?
A: Because AmeriCorps is a volunteer-based organization, instead of receiving an hourly wage, members receive a living allowance for the program year which are divided into even monthly disbursements. The total living allowance for serving the 10 month program year is $4,150 for a 450 level member or $6,200 for a 675 level member. This means the monthly stipend will be $415 a month for 10 months for the 450 level. For the 675 level, the living allowance will be $620 month for 10 months or August through May. In addition to the monthly living stipend, members that successfully complete their hour commitment and other program requirements will receive an AmeriCorps Education Award.
Q: What is the education award?
A: Upon successful completion of a term of service, members are eligible to receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, which may be used only to pay college tuition costs or to repay qualified student loans. Education awards are $1,612.43 for 450 level members and $2,321.00 for 675 level members.
Members have up to 7 years to use the award. Members over the age of 55+ on their first day of services can transfer the award to a child, stepchild or grandchild. For more information about how the Education Award works, please visit the Corporation for National and Community Service. For a list of North Dakota education institutions that accept the Education Award, please visit the ND Commission on National and Community Service. The education award is considered taxable income in the year it is used.
Q: What does successful completion of the program mean?
A: Successful completion means serving through the school year through May and completing all of the AmeriCorps hours.
Q: What are the eligibility requirements to apply?
A: At the start of service, candidates must be at least 18 years old, have a high school degree, and be a Legal Permanent Resident or U.S. citizen. All members must be able to pass a background check which includes a National Sex Offender Check, a state BCI check, and an FBI check. Disqualifying offenses include felony offenses.
Q: What qualifications are you looking for?
A: We are looking for individuals that have a strong interest in education, experience working with elementary-age children, that can speak, read, and write English fluently, and individuals that are responsible, organized, motivated, and professional.
Q: Do I need to have a background in education?
A: No, the program will provide all the training needed to deliver literacy interventions with fidelity. Each member will be paired with a school staff member on-site to provide support and supervision.
Q: What are the training requirements?
A: For K-3 (elementary) tutors, required training will be held at the start of the school year (typically in August (8AM-5PM)) in Fargo. All tutors are required to attend. There will be two additional 4-6 hour trainings held regionally in Bismarck and Fargo.
For PreK tutors (preschool), the required training will be held in August in Fargo. Four additional follow-up trainings will be held (9-3PM) in Fargo over the course of the program year.
Q: Which schools have positions available?
A: Participating schools vary from year to year and some schools may have a returning tutor. The tutor application allows you to disgnate a preferred school OR you can contact one of our staff members to find out which schools still have open tutor slots. We anticipate tutors will be placed in the following school districts:
- K-3 Tutors: Bismarck, Fargo, Northern Cass, Jamestown, and West Fargo
- Preschool Tutors: Fargo and West Fargo
Q: When is the application deadline?
A: Placements are made on a rolling basis beginning in March. Apply today!
Q: How do I complete the application?
A: Visit the application link above, or click here. After completing the application, click submit to complete the form electronically.
Q: What information is needed to complete the application?
A: The application requests information on your education, employment, and volunteer experience. You will also be required to submit contact information for at least one reference. That reference will be contacted immediately after you submit your application and will be asked to submit an electronic reference form.
Q: What will happen after I complete the application?
A: After you complete the application, our program may contact you for an informational phone call. Following the call, if you are selected for an interview, our program will contact you to schedule an interview appointment with the participating host school. We will also email one of your references to request they complete a required reference form.