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Community Service 

America Reads/America Counts


The America Reads Challenge was initiated by President Clinton in 1996 and is a comprehensive, nationwide effort to create in-school, after-school, weekend, and summer tutoring programs in reading. Working to support the efforts of teachers and parents, this Challenge calls on all Americans to form a “citizen army” of volunteer tutors to ensure that every child can read independently by the end of the third grade. The government implements Federal Work-Study funds to staff the America Reads Challenge at universities with college-student tutor/mentors


America Reads/America Counts at Downstate Health Sciences University is a program designed to reach elementary and middle school students, and help them achieve intellectual competence in Mathematics, English, and Science in the Crown Heights and East Flatbush communities. Downstate Healthcare professionals and students will be working with schools in district 17 and 18, and serve as volunteers to tutor children during afterschool hours in any subject areas related to the schools’ curriculum. We intend to use and share resources with the schools and provide proficient and experienced supplemental instructors to all students to help them maximize their academic skills at their grade level.

Volunteers can choose to work one session per week or multiple sessions per week for the duration of the respective school’s marking period.

What we do

We work with students from disadvantaged backgrounds, to help them reach their academic goals. We organize tutoring sessions that engage students to complete their school assignments and ensure that they are prepared for upcoming materials on a weekly to monthly basis. Tutors work to develop rapport with students to increase motivation and effectiveness of sessions.

How we do it

Downstate will be committed to organizing tutoring sessions that are designed to help elementary and middle school students expand their skills and abilities to their maximum potential by establishing teaching patterns that will enable them to become disciplined and competitive students for higher education. We will provide a capable team of tutors composed of the student body of Downstate Health Sciences University.

We are also looking to incorporate some innovate ideas and approaches while using the academic background of our students from Reading, Writing and the Sciences.

Why we do it

SUNY Downstate is located in a predominantly black neighborhood with limited access to resources. We want to create opportunities for SUNY Downstate students to share their resources while learning from the surrounding community about what is needed. This program is a step in that direction.