Virginia Commonwealth University AmeriCorps and America Reads

  • VA

About Us


What is AmeriCorps?

AmeriCorps is a national service corps of over 75,000 members that provides adults of all ages a chance to make a difference in local communities across the United States through one year of service. Members work together to address a community-identified need in critical areas like education, homelessness, disaster relief, and organizational capacity.

What is VCU AmeriCorps?

VCU AmeriCorps is the largest and longest-running AmeriCorps program in Virginia. Established in 1995, the VCU AmeriCorps Program has an educational focus with the goal of helping improve the literacy skills of local children in grades K-3.

Why improve literacy?

Reading by third grade has been identified by the Richmond community as a critical preventive strategy in addressing the health and safety needs of children in the metro area. Research has shown that students that do not read well by third grade have a difficult time succeeding academically and are more likely to make negative choices in life.

How do VCU AmeriCorps members improve literacy?

VCU AmeriCorps members address literacy issues by providing comprehensive reading support to elementary school students who are struggling academically. Members also assist their schools with other academic assistance and support activities specific to individual school needs. These activities provide program members with meaningful experiences and communicative exchange allowing for a variety of positive influences on children. These types of interaction also afford members opportunities to emphasize to students the importance of developing strong reading skills, good grades and general academic success.