Reading Corps


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


Fingerprinting and Photo IDs

Contact Information

For more information, please e-mail