Frequently Asked Questions

On this page you will find some frequently asked questions about DC Reads. Read through all of the questions on this page but if you have any other questions email dcreads@american.edu.

Common Questions

  1. What is DC Reads?
  1. How do I know if I'm eligible?
  1. What is the application process?
  1. How do I get a TB Test?
  1. How do I get fingerprinted?
  1. Will I be trained?
  1. What will training cover?
  1. Are my travel costs covered?
  1. What do I do if I want to get auto certified?
  1. How does my institution become a site?
  1. I'm FWS, what do I need to know?
  1. Can I tutor over the summer?
1. What is DC Reads? [Return to top]

DC Reads is an umbrella of collaborative off-campus literacy programs that provide quality tutoring to children in need. It is a joint effort of local American University, its students, the DC Public Schools, and community-based organizations to support literacy in Washington, DC.

2. How do I know if I'm eligible? [Return to top]

We use the following factors in considering your eligibility to participate in DC Reads:

  •  Are you 18 years or older?
    • If not, email dcreadsfws@american.edu about the possibility of a work permit
    • If you are 17 email dcreadsfws@american.edu to discuss the possibility of a work permit
  • Can you prove that you've tested negative for TB (tuberculosis) within the past twelve months?
    • If you have already received a TB test, bring it into the office when you go to your interview
    • If you need to get your TB test you can get one here
  • Have you ever been the subject of any complaints or arrest for any criminal conduct, including but not limited to crimes against children?
    • If you answer yes, DC Reads may not be appropriate for you at this time. Speak with staff in the Center for Community Engagement and Service.

3. What is the application process? [Return to top]

If you are interested in DC Reads and eligible to be a tutor, apply through the AU EngageNet portal. After completing the application, call us at (202) 885-7378 or email us at dcreads@american.edu to schedule an interview with a DC Reads Staff Member.

  • At the end of the interview we will place you at a site according to your preferences. Click here for information on the different tutoring sites.

4. How do I get a TB test? [Return to top]

To get a TB test, you can get one at the Student Health Center. Appointments are available on Monday, Tuesday, Friday from 9am-6pm and Wednesday 10am-6pm. They are located on the 1st floor of McCabe Hall and costs $10. You can call them at 202-885-3380 or make an appointment here.

5. How do I get fingerprinted? [Return to top]

If you are at a site that is housed within a public school (Higher Achievement, Life Pieces to Masterpieces, LAYC- Deal, LAYC-Powell, Literacy Lab, and Reading Partners) you need to get fingerprinted. To be fingerprinted:

  • Get the form from the DC Reads office and fill out the name of the school you will be tutoring at on the 7th page and "DC Reads-American University" under Referred by
  • They DCPS office has walk in appointment on Tuesday and Thursday from 9am-3pm. If you can't make it then, call 202-442-5026 to make an appointment
  • They are located at 1200 First St. NE Washington DC 12th floor. It is located on the red line at the NOMA metro stop
  • To get fingerprinted, bring a copy of your TB results, a federally issued ID, and know your social security number
  • Once you have gone email dcreads@american.edu

6. Will I be trained? [Return to top]

There are two training opportunities for new tutors. Trainings are normally held on Saturdays between 10am-4pm (9am-4pm for FWS students).

7. What will my training cover? [Return to top]

Training sessions focus on the following areas:
  • Your role and responsibilities as a DC Reads tutor
  • Basic tutoring skills, with practice exercises
  • Diversity in the Washington DC community
  • Cultural Sensitivity
  • Youth Development
  • Curriculum Development
  • Work Study Training

8. Are my travel costs covered? [Return to top]

If you want to get compensated for traveling:

  • As a FWS student, you can input 1 hour of travel time per day of tutoring into the Sunday time slot.
  • As a volunteer, you can stop by the office and receive metro fare cards from the DC Reads FWS Graduate assistant or email dcreadsfws@american.edu.

9. What do I do if I want to get AUTO certified? [Return to top]

To register for an AUTO Certification, please sign up here

  • Drivers must renew certification annually

10. How does my institution to become a site? [Return to top]

To become a site email dcreads@american.edu. Generally, it is a six month process so please call a semester before you would like to become a DC Reads site.

11. I'm FWS, what do I need to know? [Return to top]

You will have a Financial Aid package indicating your award, visible in your portal.

You must fill out the following documents in order to be hired as a FWS tutor:

  • Statement of Understanding
  • I-9 form (requires original documentation, such as a passport, social security card or birth certificate), you must meet with the DC Reads FWS Graduate Assistant (dcreadsfws@american.edu) in order to complete this form
  • Tax forms (both federal and regional) 
    • Need help with your tax forms? Email dcreadsfws@american.edu
  • Direct Deposit, instructions:
    • Go to HR/Payroll Connection in the myau.american.edu portal. This feature is available only to actively hired employees. If you are unable to access HR/Payroll Connection, contact the DC Reads FWS Graduate Assistant (dcreadsfws@american.edu).
      • Click on the Payroll tab at the top of the page in HR/Payroll Connection. 
      • You should now be in the “General” tab, and see a link for Direct Deposit.
      • Click on the link to begin signing up for Direct Deposit. Follow the directions to sign up, and continue through until you receive the message that your information has been submitted to the Payroll Office.
      •  You will receive an e-mail notification telling you when the direct deposit will become effective.

What happens when my FWS award is depleted?

  • We encourage you to continuing tutoring and working with your tutee, but you must fill out a volunteer consent and release form in order to discontinue your ‘employment.’

How do I fill out my time sheet?

  • Go to HR/Payroll Connection in the myau.american.edu portal. This feature is available only to actively hired employees. If you are unable to access HR/Payroll Connection, contact the DC Reads FWS Graduate Assistant (dcreadsfws@american.edu).
  • Go to “Time sheets,” enter you hours in the appropriate slots for your tutoring days.

12. Can I tutor over the summer? [Return to top]

Tutoring over the summer is for FWS students only

  • Important Dates
    • The application is due May 10th
    • First day of Summer FWS is May 25th
    • Programs range from June 17th to August 2 and are 6-8 weeks long
    • Work weeks are generally 9am-5pm
  • You can apply for the application here and if you are new to the program you need to call 202-885-7378 for an interview
  • After completing your interview you need to submit:
    • Summer FWS Request Form (must complete your FAFSA first)
    • I-9 Form
    • Tax forms (state and federal)
    • Direct Deposit
    • Statement of Understanding
    • Background Check/Finger Printing Clearance
    • TB Test
    • Consent and Release Agreement
    • Job Description