RAI Reading Corps — What We Do

The Reading Assist Intervention Corps is unique in the country for the depth of training and education that each member receives. Every Corps member receives more than 60 hours of training in the accredited Reading Assist Intervention Program, as well as weekly continuing education and coaching sessions during the school year. This is a program designed to help students who face the most severe reading challenges, and we work with the students who need the most help. 

The Reading Assist Intervention Corps program is organized by Reading Assist Institute, a nonprofit organization in Wilmington, Delaware, in partnership with AmeriCorps. After a successful three-year pilot program with the Colonial School District in Delaware, the program has expanded to serve Thomas Edison Charter SchoolKuumba Academy Charter SchoolAll Saints Catholic School, and Academia Antonia Alonso.

In its first years, the work of our Corps members was recognized by Delaware Governor Jack Markell, and U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, and awarded a 21st Century Solutions Grant by NBC/Universal.

In 2017, the Reading Assist Intervention Program received accreditation from the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council. 

Who we serve

Reading Assist Intervention Corps members serve students in first through third grade. They work on the mechanics of reading with students who struggle to connect letters and their related sounds, which impairs their ability to decode words and read fluently. Reading difficulties like these will affect about 20% of all students in any classroom, and severely impact about 5% of all students in any school.

What you'll learn

You’ll start with an extensive training program taught by our staff who are knowledgeable and skilled in multisensory structured language teaching.  You’ll learn the basics of how children learn to read and how to explicitly teach children who are most at risk for reading failure. We will teach you how to “think” and apply the foundational knowledge you learn. You will learn to a diagnostic prescriptive approach, creating individualized lessons based upon each student’s needs. 

Our staff brings with them a variety of backgrounds and years of experience in the field of literacy, providing you with high quality instruction taught by Certified Dyslexia Practitioners. Ongoing training in the format of weekly learning communities, led by Reading Assist staff, will give you the opportunity to connect with other Reading Assist Intervention Corps members and refine your skills.

What you’ll do

As an AmeriCorps Member, you'll serve throughout our community with other AmeriCorps Members from around the state, as they come together for special projects and serve as living examples of the power of community service.

Inside a local elementary school, you’ll be assigned students in grades 1-3 who are at risk for reading failure. You’ll work one-on-one with those students five days a week as they progress through the Reading Assist Intervention Program.

Our program is very specific, but every child is different. Working with coaches, you’ll adapt your style for each student, using a variety of multi-sensory tutoring techniques that you’ll learn in training. You’ll be expected to keep notes on student progress and regularly update your coaches about what’s working and what’s not.

Corps members log 1,200 service hours from August through June.

What we look for

We seek passionate, capable tutors willing to serve the students who will see you as a tutor, as a teacher, as a mentor and as a dependable presence in their lives. 

You do not need teaching experience, but all Corps members all must be:

    ✔  Able to blend, segment, and manipulate sounds within words.

    ✔  Able to correctly pronounce English language sounds.

    ✔  Willing to work with children who may have behavioral challenges
    in addition to academic needs. 

    ✔  Patient and flexible.

    ✔  Open to constructive feedback.

    ✔  Computer literate, with basic word processing, email and internet skills.

What you’ll get

You’ll leave your students with reading skills that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. And you’ll leave with knowledge and an experience that cannot be matched anywhere else.

At the end of a successful year, you will be recognized as a Certified Reading Assist Interventionist, having mastered a multisensory structured language program as recognized by the International Dyslexia Association.

Upon successful completion of the program, members will receive an education grant that can be used towards qualified education expenses or to repay student loans. Learn more about AmeriCorps benefits. Some colleges may provide additional incentives and/or match the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. For a list of these colleges and universities, click here.