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 including work and education history. Candidates answer three short essay questions and provide contact information for two professional references.

2. References

After an application is submitted, candidates’ references will receive an email requesting that they complete a brief online reference form.

3. Phone Screening

Within 5-7 business days following application and reference submission, 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 are asked to prepare and submit a brief performance task online. This includes written responses to three communication scenarios. During the interview, applicants complete a brief mock assessment and mock intervention.
*Note: We are able to accommodate final interviews both in-person and via Google Hangouts.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Apply online via The Literacy Lab's website. The application process takes approximately 30-40 minutes to complete and requires 2 professional references.

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, and (if applicable) cannot have served more than three terms of service previously with AmeriCorps. You must be:
- a US Citizen or permanent legal resident
- A least 18 years old by they time you begin service
- A high school graduate or GED recipient (at minimum)
- Eligible for another AmeriCorps term, if you have already completed AmeriCorps service

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 at least 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 the District of Columbia, Baltimore, MD, Kansas City, MO, Alexandria, VA, and Richmond, VA.

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, we have collected housing resources which can be accessed by contacting recruitment@theliteracylab.org.

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.