Reading Corps Works: Getting Children on Track for 3rd Grade Reading

Reading Corps is a breakthrough AmeriCorps program that is changing academic outcomes for thousands of students. With more than 1,700 tutors serving in 12 states and Washington D.C., Reading Corps is helping more than 35,000 students each year become successful readers. It combines the power of national service with literacy science to deliver proven approaches that help struggling learners transform into confident students – something that translates into all areas of their lives.

2019-20 marks year five of the Reading Corps program in Wisconsin, with AmeriCorps members serving as literacy tutors in 28 schools in Milwaukee, Racine, and Watertown.

We are expanding because Wisconsin Reading Corps works! A randomized controlled trial (RCT) conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago (2018) found that elementary students tutored by the Wisconsin Reading Corps achieved significantly higher literacy levels than students without such tutors, and that the impacts were statistically significant even among students at higher risk of academic failure. The same study determined these positive effects are multiplied for low-income students, students of color, and English Learners. Some highlights of that study include:

  • Students served by Wisconsin Reading Corps demonstrate more than a year’s worth of progress on reading proficiency indicators

  • Kindergarten students tutored by the Wisconsin Reading Corp attained grade level reading skills in a single,  semester while the growth rate of their control group peers was 30% less.

  • First Grade students tutored by the Wisconsin Reading Corps significantly outperformed their control group peers, showing a growth rate 25% higher.

  • Wisconsin Reading Corps students saw a substantially accelerated growth rate that was 30-40% above typical literacy improvements.

  • The average Reading Corps student outpaced their non-Reading Corps peers, but the growth rate of minority students and English language learners (ELL) was even greater.

Join us and build relationships with students while transforming their lives!


Eric Hoffman
Sr. Program Manager
Wisconsin Reading Corps