The Volunteer Reading Corps is a program geared toward helping our youngest learners with reading. The Call to Action for a new Reading Corps comes on the heels of test scores that showed Detroit schoolchildren ranked the lowest in the nation on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test. Research shows that it is extremely difficult for a struggling reader to “catch up” if the child is unable to read by the end of third grade. This confirms that we have a reading emergency. As a result, reading failure has exacted a long-term consequence for our children’s developing self-confidence and motivation to learn as well as for their later school performance.

Detroit Public Schools seeks to have all of the current pre-kindergarten students and those thereafter read at or above grade level by the end of the third grade. The Detroit Public Schools and The Detroit Free Press issued a joint call to action challenging the Detroit community to step forward and support DPS students by signing up to serve as tutors in the District’s Volunteer Reading Corps program.

We are doing everything in our power to completely remake the academic program in Detroit Public Schools, and we are asking the community to join in the fight to ensure our children have every opportunity to be successful.

Reading Corps volunteers must meet two requirements:

  • Volunteers must complete the mandated training sessions for their grade level. The VRC provides training and materials for Pre-Kindergarten –Grade Three.
  • Volunteers must clear a background check and take a photo ID for identification purposes. Volunteers will be required to show a photo identification card, which will be provided by DPS, whenever they come to a school site.


Volunteers are expected to commit one hour weekly or bi-weekly to tutor two students for one-half hour each. The majority of the VRC volunteers are currently assigned to Pre-Kindergarten-First Grade. All new volunteers are assigned to Pre-kindergarten. Returning volunteers will “move up” as their students’ progress from grade to grade. Although it is not a requirement, it is hoped that, wherever possible, volunteers will stay the course with their students through the end of third grade.


We ask all volunteers to complete the Michigan Fingerprint Applicant Information Form.

More Information


Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to the most
frequently asked questions.


Training Schedule

School Volunteering Sites

Commitment Form

Fingerprinting and Photo IDs

Michigan Fingerprint Form

Background Check Requirements and Fingerprint/ Photo ID Schedule

Contact Information

For more information, please e-mail readingcorps@detroitk12.org



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Corporate Volunteering

Video by ALEXANDRA BAHOU/Detroit Free Press
Reading Corps Orientation and Rally • January 23, 2010
Reading Corps Orientation & Rally
Jan 23rd, 2010.

Total Volunteers


Total Hours Volunteered


Total volunteers reflect an up-to-date actual count. Total hours volunteered is based on approximate volunteered hours per week over the course of a school year. Numbers automatically refresh every 30 seconds.

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Reading is so important. You can't go anywhere in life without it.

– Donna of Wyandotte
When I heard about this, I was so excited. This is something I can share with kids -- my love of books.

– Michelle of Ferndale
I want to be able to get there and help these children get a head start in reading and math.

– Nathan of Dearborn

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Used with permission from The Detroit Free Press • Contact Lori Higgins: (313) 222-6651 or lhiggins@freepress.com.