The America Reads / America Counts (ARAC) program is designed to enhance the primary-level reading and math skills of children in Durham while offering Duke students a chance to gain valuable experience and give back to their community. Every week, more than 400 ARAC tutors can be found working in Durham’s public schools. ARAC tutors are volunteered or are Duke employees compensated through federal work-study funds.
Read on to learn how to become an ARAC tutor.
Tutors provide one-on-one and/or small-group instruction for school-age children in Durham (during an in-person year,) selecting a local school or afterschool program that’s the best fit based on school preferences, location, and the tutor’s hours of availability. Tutors work to increase the reading and writing proficiency and mathematical skills of children.
Tutors report to the ARAC program coordinator. Each school has a site coordinator to assist tutors with scheduling and school familiarity, along with a head tutor for ongoing professional development and mentoring. Tutors work during the school and afterschool hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Federal Work Study Compensation
- Undergraduate students: $13.50/hour
- Graduate students: $16.50/hour
- For paid positions, tutors must be eligible for federal work-study funding as determined by the Office of Financial Aid. Please confirm your eligibility with Financial Aid before applying for a position. The ARAC program must be your primary employer for federal work-study.
- Tutors must have an interest in working with children. Previous experience working with children is preferred.
- Tutors must be motivated, resourceful, dependable, and willing to engage in ongoing tutor development.
- A commitment to working in racially, ethnically, and economically diverse communities is a must.
- Tutors must pass a background check if working in a Durham Public Schools or afterschool program.
- Students submit an online application form, either as new tutors or returning tutors.
- ARAC program staff interview applicants who pass the initial screening.
- During the interview, applicants are asked to bring documentation to confirm federal work-study eligibility.
- If offered a position, tutors work with ARAC program staff to identify the assignment that’s the best fit for the school and the tutor.
- Tutors attend an orientation, workshops, and implicit bias trainings before beginning their assignments, along with ongoing training sessions that are required of all tutors.