Summer Reads VISTA

** Summer Reads is not currently accepting applications for 2015. Information about applying to Summer Reads for the 2015 program will be available in February, with an application deadline at the end of April 2015, for positions starting in June 2015. **

 

Impact the life of a child this summer

Summer Reads VISTAs provide quality tutoring to children in grades K-3 from low-income families. VISTAs serve in summer schools, libraries and community organizations, with the goal of helping children improve their literacy skills and fight the summer slide. Mornings are typically spent providing one-to-one literacy tutoring to children in summer schools. Afternoons are typically spent at community sites and libraries, where VISTAs find creative ways to incorporate literacy and enrichment activities into programming.

Summer Reads VISTAs serve full-time (approximately 40 hours per week). This typically includes 28-32 hours of meaningful work at 1-3 sites and 8-12 hours of reflection and planning with a direct site supervisor, training, program planning and travel between sites.

Capstone Project

A select number of Summer Reads VISTAs additionally work on a group applied research project, or "Capstone", as part of their service. Capstone projects are intended to benefit all sites and advance the field of children's literacy. For example, one capstone project group created a rubric for assessing educational/literacy-related iPad apps and websites, tested the rubric, and created a website displaying the top-rated apps/websites in a variety of categories. Check out the website here!

Gain experience, insight and sense of self

“This was by far one of the best summers I have ever had in my life! I have never felt so accomplished, yet at the same time have never had more of a drive to continue to make a difference in children’s lives.” - Summer Reads VISTA

Summer Reads VISTAs leave the program proud of their many accomplishments and experiences and committed to continuing to make a difference. After their summer of service, VISTAs have a greater understanding of their own strengths and personal goals and build lasting personal and professional connections.

Check out the results of the 2014 program, and a brief video featuring Summer Reads VISTA members at partner site West 7th Community Center in Saint Paul in 2013: Strong Readers, Strong Leaders

Benefits and eligibility

  • Choice of $1,212 Education Award or $230 post-service stipend (Education Award may be used for student loans, school tuition, non-degree enrichment classes, and more)
  • Bi-weekly living allowance of approximately $450 (pre-tax) (depending on county of service)
  • Mileage reimbursement for service-related travel (between site placements and to Summer Reads trainings)
  • Federal student loan forbearance
  • Must be able to serve full-time for 8 weeks from June through August (approx. 40 hours per week) (10 weeks for Outreach Specialists)
  • Must be at least 18 years of age and a U.S. citizen, national or legal permanent resident alien
  • Cannot hold another job during your term of service
  • Additional language skills in Spanish, Somali, Hmong or Karen desired, though not required

 

To apply

Summer Reads VISTAs serve in the metro Twin Cities area and in select communities across Greater Minnesota. We are not currently accepting applications for 2015. Check back again in February for information about applying to Summer Reads 2015. 

**Before you submit your application, please read the instructions on how to complete the application here.**

 

There are two types of Summer Reads VISTA positions available in the Twin Cities metro area:

  • Summer Reads VISTA - Metro Twin Cities Area: Change a child's life this summer! Tutor young children to improve their literacy and reading skills. Use your creativity to engage kids in learning activities that will keep their minds sharp! Term of service: June 15-August 9
  • Summer Reads Outreach Specialist: Fight the summer slide! Use your previous experience tutoring or teaching children to provide peer mentoring to first-time VISTA tutors towards making a huge impact on kids' reading skills this summer. Term of service: June 3-August 11

Summer Reads VISTA positions available in greater Minnesota:

  • Locations have not yet been selected for 2015

To apply, you must first create an account/profile on My AmeriCorps. Complete all sections, including two references (educational or professional, in a supervisory type relationship, such as teacher/professor, work or volunteer supervisor, clergy, counselor, or coach). Then apply to the specific position or positions that you are interested in. Then follow the links above to apply to the specific Summer Reads position(s) in which you are interested.  

We recommend that you also take a look at these additional tips on filling out the applicationWe are not currently accepting applications for 2015. Check back again in February for information about applying to Summer Reads 2015. 

 

Questions?

Please contact Meghan Paul-Cook, Summer Reads Coordinator, mpaulcook@mnliteracy.org, 651-251-9069.

Are you a school or organization looking for info about how to host VISTA members? Check here!

Pass it on!

Want to invite others to join Summer Reads? Download our flyer and pass it on!