Explore our work

Learn how you can give the best to those who need it most.

Our tutors build the foundation for educational success. Learn about this commitment and how you can contribute to closing the achievement gap. Join our team today and make a difference in our community.

Apply for 19-20

Benefits & Commitments


What We’ll Ask of You

  • Commit to 11 months of service
  • Serve 1700 hours
  • Serve full-time (40-45 hrs/wk)
  • Participate in required trainings
  • Engage in your community

How You’ll Grow

  • Training, coaching, and experience in effective, research-based literacy strategies
  • Gain on-the-ground experience working in high-need communities
  • Professional skill-building & networking
  • Meet and work with people with a similar drive to close the achievement gap

Financial Benefits

  • Modest living allowance
  • Education Award
  • Student loan forbearance
  • Health insurance
  • Childcare assistance

Year at a Glance

For more details on how you’ll invest in your community and the benefits you can expect to receive, please review this detailed Recruitment Packet.


Apply Now for 19-20



If you have additional questions after reviewing our information, please contact recruitment@theliteracylab.org or call 202-649-0747.

Selection process outline

1. Online application

First, prospective tutors fill out an online application that includes work and education history and a short essay question.

2. References

Within 5-7 business days following application submission, qualified applicants will be asked to submit contact information for professional references. References will immediately receive an email requesting that they complete a brief online reference form.

3. Phone Call

Around the time that references are requested, qualified applicants can expect to receive a follow-up phone call. This 10-15 minute phone conversation allows us to confirm eligibility and answer basic questions.

4. Final Interview*

Applicants who are selected for a final interview will complete a brief mock assessment and mock intervention. Materials will be sent ahead of time and also outlined during the Phone Call.
*Note: We are able to accommodate final interviews both in-person and via Google Hangouts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tutors who commit to an 10-11-month tutoring position receive a living stipend (paid twice a month), health insurance, an education award, and SNAP/EBT benefits (if eligible).

Apply online via The Literacy Lab's website. The application process takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

AmeriCorps, sometimes known as the domestic Peace Corps, is a national service program that engages more than 80,000 individuals annually in intensive service to address critical community needs throughout the United States. In exchange for their commitment, AmeriCorps members earn a living allowance, federal loan forbearance during their service, and an education award post-service. Literacy Lab tutors are AmeriCorps members and have access to all of the AmeriCorps benefits and resources during and after their service.

Tutors must:
- be 18 years of age or older
- have a high school diploma or a GED
- be either a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
- served no more than three terms of service with AmeriCorps (no prior AmeriCorps service required)
- submit to and pass mandatory pre-service background checks
- be available to attend entire mandatory pre-service training dates (coincide with start date)
- speak, hear, read, and write American English fluently
- possess basic computer skills, including the ability to navigate online systems and email

Tutor positions are filled on a rolling basis, so we encourage early application especially to request specific geographic placement.

On average, we accept about 30% of applicants to participate in our programs.

Tutors participate in a week-long Training Institute before starting service to learn about the foundations of early literacy, assessment and intervention techniques, and the basics of service with The Literacy Lab. Throughout the year, tutors participate in trainings on behavior management, data collection and evaluation, stress and time management and other professional skills.

All tutors serve around 8 hours a day in their assigned school for the entire school year. Tutors in K-3 settings provide 20-minute intervention sessions to 15-18 students (5 – 6 hours) each day. The rest of the day is spent in preparation, data entry and analysis, and general school support.

Tutors in Pre-K settings serve all day in one assigned classroom and support all classroom activities. Typically, tutors use nap time for prep and data entry.

Tutors benefit from a 3-tiered support model. First, each school designates a staff member to serve as “internal coach” for tutors to ensure tutors’ integration into the school community and to oversee student selection and progress. Second, each school team receives support from a Literacy Lab “master coach” who serves as a content area expert and helps ensure fidelity to the program model. Finally, each tutor benefits from the support of the Literacy Lab program staff who manage the administrative aspects of the program.

The Literacy Lab partners with schools in Metro DC; Baltimore, MD; Richmond and Hampton Roads, VA; Springfield and Holyoke, MA; and Kansas City and Liberty, MO.

When placing tutors to serve full-time in a partner school, program staff consider tutor placement requests, transportation requirements, and school needs. Tutors should provide detailed placement information when applying.

While we do not provide direct support in housing, accepted tutors receive access to collected housing resources.

While many of our partner schools require a car, public transportation is a reliable alternative in some of our regions. If you plan to travel via public transportation, please share this information with program staff.

Literacy Lab tutors receive a living allowance, paid twice a month during their term of service.

The living allowance is paid via direct deposit and is unrestricted. Tutors may use it to pay for housing, transportation, utilities, clothing, food, entertainment, etc.

Applicants who receive an offer are given the opportunity to connect with a current tutor. In the meantime, these two videos show what the Pre-K and K-3 programs look like in action:
PreK: https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=1mUBRgLG2lQ
K3: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eZ6aOvvsd6E&feature=youtu.be

Our tutors pursue a wide variety of career paths. Many institutions will match the Education Award, and AmeriCorps has partnerships with Employers of National Service. Many tutors choose to pursue careers in education after service with The Literacy Lab. Alternate certification programs like Teach For America, the Center for Inspired Teaching, KIPP CTR, The New Teacher Project (Teaching Fellows), the Kansas City Teacher Residency, and Urban Teachers prioritize applicants' Literacy Lab experience.