Reading Corps

The Reading Corps program increases K-3 students’ opportunity to learn and practice key reading skills. AmeriCorps members are matched with a school and provide daily tailored support to a caseload of approximately 15 students.

Reading Corps places members in 14 states and Washington D.C. The success of the program is built on the collective value of three core features: Science Driven Intervention, Data-Based Decision-Making, and Training and Coaching.

Evidence-based Interventions

  • Aligned with recommendations from the National Reading Panel and the Institute of Education Sciences
  • Phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension interventions
  • 20 min/day

Data-driven Decisions

  • Screening data to guide student selection and support type
  • Progress monitoring data to evaluate student growth
  • Dosage data, including format and length of support

Expert Training and Coaching

  • Comprehensive and interactive online training on the program and science of early learning.
  • Regular support from a coach at the school
  • Weekly support from a coach with expertise in the program
  • Ongoing fidelity checks

The Evidence

Research Team
Year
2021
Design
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Sample
Based on 2018 impact study and program review
Effects
For every dollar invested in Reading Corps, the return on investment was estimated to be between $5.47 and $6.99.
Research Team
Year
2019
Design
Quasi-Experimental
Sample
North Dakota
198 students
Effects
Reported as Cohen’s d
Kindergarten
Letter sounds - ns 
STAR Early Literacy - ns

1st Grade
Oral reading fluency - ns 
STAR Early Literacy) - ns

2nd/3rd Grade
STAR Reading -  d = 0.50  
Research Team
NORC at the University of Chicago
Year
2018
Design
Randomized Control Trial
Sample
Minnesota and Miami
622 students
Effects
Reported as Cohen’s d
Kindergarten

Letter sounds d = 0.85

1st Grade
Nonsense word fluency d = 0.81
Reading fluency d = 0.61

2nd/3rd Grade
Reading fluency d = 0.28
Research Team
NORC at the University of Chicago
Year
2014
Design
Randomized Control Trial
Sample
Minnesota
1,341 students
Effects
Reported as Cohen’s
Kindergarten
Letter sounds d = 1.06

1st Grade
Nonsense word fluency d = 0.37

2nd Grade
Reading fluency -  ns

3rd Grade
Reading fluency d = 0.10

Study Findings

Findings

Commissioned by AmeriCorps and conducted by ICF, this evaluation demonstrated substantial return on investment driven by high school credential attainment for participants, improved employment and earnings outcomes for AmeriCorps members, and long-term cost savings to the government.

Read the full report

Findings

Led by the NSSC, this study advanced previous evaluations by including a distal outcome of reading achievement. Although no effects were observed in early grades, large effects were observed among 2nd and 3rd grade students--equating to roughly 18 additional weeks of instruction.

Findings

Conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, this study observed statistically significant and meaningful effects for kindergarten through 3rd grade students of support. Larger effect sizes were observed among Black or African American students and English Language Learners.

Read the full report

Findings

Conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, this study observed statistically significant and meaningful effects after one semester of support for all students except second grade, where statistical significance was not achieved. Among kindergarten and first grade students, the impact of Reading Corps was particularly among English Language Learners.

Read the full report

Funding Partners

Innovative Approaches to Literacy Grant

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