Photo courtesy of Literacy First
Literacy First

Literacy First places highly-trained AmeriCorps members in low-income schools to deliver intensive and effective tutoring to advance K-2 students to grade level in reading by third grade. Founded in 1994, Literacy First (formerly ACE: A Community for Education) provides bilingual literacy interventions to struggling K-2 readers at low-income public schools.

Over the past two decades, they have engaged more than 1,000 community tutors and helped nearly 20,000 students. Their one-to-one tutoring has a proven track record: approximately 75 percent of Literacy First-tutored students either reach grade level or make significant, measurable progress in reading skills every year.

Literacy First is also a future teacher pipeline. Their partnership with the Texas Region XIII Alternative Certification Program allows qualified returning tutors to obtain teaching certification during their service term. More than 65 full-time teachers in Central Texas school districts were Literacy First tutors.

Each year, Literacy First selects both full-time and part-time AmeriCorps members to serve as early literacy tutors. Literacy First tutors provide one-to-one tutoring to struggling readers in kindergarten, first, and second grade. Training and mentorship is provided. Learn more about available positions and apply to become a tutor here.

Community members are also encouraged to serve on committees, such as those for the spring and fall fundraisers, and/or to attend spring reading day and other events. If you are interested in these opportunities, please email Rachel Mallernee at rmallernee@austin.utexas.edu.

Literacy First is funded by AmeriCorps, the school districts that it serves, and foundation, corporate, and individual donations. They could not do this important work without the Literacy First family of supporters. Please join the fight against illiteracy here.

Literacy First holds two signature events per year, site visits during the school year, and a reading day in the spring.

The Study Social is Literacy First's back-to-school event for young professionals. They provide local food, drinks, entertainment, and raffle prizes for a fun Friday night that celebrates a great cause.

The Literacy Luncheon is their spring event, bringing together community leaders and professionals with an interest in literacy with a short program of speakers over a catered lunch.

They also offer individual site visits throughout the school year at campuses around the city to see the program in action. Additionally, the Lawyers for Literacy affiliate group holds a reading day in the spring where all literacy champions can read to the students. For information on the Literacy Luncheon, Reading Day, or to schedule a site visit, please email Rachel Mallernee at rmallernee@austin.utexas.edu.

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