Resolving the Literacy Crisis


READ USA has demonstrated that illiteracy is solvable with high-interest books and high-quality teaching.

Starting in Duval County’s most under-resourced communities, the multi-faceted model READ USA created is resolving the nation’s literacy crisis by transforming teens and elementary students into proficient, passionate readers and lifelong learners through a whole-child approach.

From research-backed evidence and best practices, READ USA has formulated programming that is transformational not only for one child, teenager, or teacher, but for a community and education system as a whole.

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High-Quality Teaching

READ USA’s research-backed, peer-to-peer Literacy Tutoring intervention trains and employs teenagers mostly from under-resourced communities to provide daily, intensive, one-to-one tutoring to elementary students from those same communities. As verified by evaluators from The Ohio State University, this unique intervention produces an average of one year’s growth in reading proficiency in as few as 12 weeks for both elementary students and teens. This bi-directional learning was intentional to elevate both populations’ literacy skills, while providing valuable workforce development skills to tutors.

READ USA’s Professional Development for Educators provides teachers and instructors with the additional training, tools, and resources they need to further move the needle on literacy in the classroom. READ USA provides this training for free to educators at various opportunities throughout the year.

Developing the Whole Individual

READ USA fosters mental and emotional wellness, safety, and inclusion through trauma-informed training practices for its teen tutors. Tutors receive robust training in literacy curriculum, student engagement, relationship building, and Trust-Based Relational Intervention strategies, which collectively create a heightened level of mentorship and understanding for under-served elementary students, and, most importantly, the feeling of being “seen” and “heard.”

READ USA’s peer-to-peer model is cultivating social-emotional skills in elementary students and teen tutors, leading to improved mental and emotional health, better decision-making, and ultimately better lifelong outcomes. And, by arming students with the literacy skills needed to be successful in their education and future career choices, READ USA is helping under-served students lift themselves out of their current circumstances to create a life of freedom and independence.

Teen tutors also gain significant workforce skills in financial literacy, professionalism, career development and exploration, and other areas to fully prepare them to enter the workforce. 

Learn more about Literacy Tutoring

High-Interest Books

Every year, READ USA brings free, STEM-focused Book Fairs to all public elementary schools, providing every elementary-aged child the opportunity to choose their own free books to keep. READ USA’s foundational concept is that Book Choice and Ownership are essential to creating a joy and passion for reading and enables students to explore and choose titles and topics that interest them most.

Through Multicultural Literacy, READ USA is committed to diversity, inclusion, and providing students with online resources and books that feature characters who look like them. READ USA also publishes a monthly children’s book series featuring fictional character Jeremy, who tells the personal stories of local community leaders. By introducing children to diverse community leaders around them, READ USA helps make diversity and representation more visible through literacy.

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