America Reads/Counts is a tutoring program started in 1997 by the Clinton Administration in response to the failing literacy and math scores in our nation’s schools. America Reads/Counts is a grassroots national campaign challenging every American to help all our children learn to read and calculate. The target group is pre-school to 8th grade.
Pratt Participation in the America Reads/Counts Program
At Pratt Institute’s Brooklyn Campus, work study and volunteer tutors participating in the America Reads/Counts Challenge are part of a long-standing institutional commitment to community service. Documented outcomes of the program illustrate significant improvement in the literacy and math skills of the children with whom we are tutoring. Our students and neighborhood children are benefiting from this relationship. Pratt Institute, Brooklyn Campus is proud to be a part of the America Reads/Counts Challenge. America Reads/Counts at Pratt is unique because we have over 30 public and private community tutoring sites for our tutors to work in including special needs sites such as hospitals, and nursing homes. Additional special needs partnerships include: St. Francis De Sales School for the Deaf, The Helen Keller School and The Light House school for the visually impaired and the Manhattan school for Autistic children and Hale House. Most sites are in walking distance while others require a short bus or train ride to get there. All tutoring services provided by the Institute through the America Reads/Counts program are free of charge to the community. Students can work one hour per week, or twenty hours per week reading to children and helping them with their homework. Work-study students who speak a language other than English can share the gift of language or sign language with children. International students can volunteer one Saturday per month to share their gift of language with children and receive community service credits at the Pratt outside scholarship workshop. (See outside scholarship work-shop web page).
The America Reads/Counts program has over 30 weekly tutoring sites and over 100 children who meet once per month at Pratt Institute to Read, Calculate, learn Sign Language, Foreign Languages, and Braille and perform Reader’s Theatre. All tutoring is free of charge to the parents of accepted children. To assist with the Saturday program we have volunteers who read to the children and lend their expertise to the program in the form of motivational speeches, sign language training, Braille training, Author visits, Storytelling, Children’s Bookmaking, Puppetry , Costume making, Photography, Videography, Animation and professional training sessions run by teachers and professionals from various walks of life. All free of charge. With this fantastic workforce of Pratt students and volunteers, the America Reads/Counts program at Pratt institute has become one of the leading colleges providing mathematics and literacy services to over 3000 children and their families each year. The program has grown to provide these services to 32 sites in Brooklyn and the metropolitan New York area including sites with special needs.