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.

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, DC Public Schools, and community-based organizations to support literacy in Washington, DC.

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

  • Are you 18 years or older?
    • If so, keep reading!
    • If not, email dcreadsfws@american.edu about the possibility of a work permit.
  • Can you prove that you have tested negative for tuberculosis (TB) within the past 12 months?
    • If you have already received a negative TB test result, bring it into the office when you come to your interview.
    • If you need to get your TB test, they are available at the Health Center. You can schedule an appointment on the Health Portal.
  • 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 answered yes, DC Reads may not be appropriate for you at this time. Speak with staff in the Center for Community Engagement and Service.
If you are interested in DC Reads and are eligible to be a tutor, apply through the AU EngageNet portal. After completing the application, call us at (202) 885-7378 or stop by the Center for Community Engagement and Service to schedule an interview.
TB tests are available at the Student Health Center. Appointments are available on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 9 am-6 pm and Wednesday from 10 am-6 pm. They are located on the 1st floor of McCabe Hall and the tests cost $10. You can call or use the online Health Portal to make an appointment.
If you are at a site that is housed within a public school, you need to get fingerprinted for a background check. To do this:
  1. Fill out the online form available here at the DCPS website.
  2. The DCPS office has walk-in appointments on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 am-3 pm. If you can't make it during those times, call 202-442-5026 to make an appointment.
  3. They are located at 1200 First St NW on the 12th floor. It is located on the red line at the NOMA stop.
  4. Make sure to bring your negative TB test results and a federally issued ID. Also, be sure you know your social security number.
There are two training opportunities for new tutors. Trainings are normally held on Saturdays from 10 am-4 pm (9 am-4 pm for FWS students).

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

If you want to get compensated for traveling:
  • As a FWS student, you can log one hour of travel time per day of tutoring.
  • As a volunteer, you can register for a Zipcard with the DC Reads account. Ask your TL or a DC Reads office staff member for more details.
To become a community partner 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 partner site.
You will have a Financial Aid package indicating your award, visible in your portal.
Together with a member of the DC Reads staff, you must fill out the following documents to be hired as a FWS tutor:
  • Statement of understanding
  • I-9 form (requires original documentation proving your identity and eligibility to work in the US)
  • Tax forms (federal and regional)
We encourage you to continue tutoring. To do so, you must fill out a volunteer consent and release agreement in order to discontinue your employment.

myau.american.edu → Work @ AU → Timesheets

If you are having trouble viewing your timesheets, you may not be hired yet in the HR system. For any issues, contact dcreadsfws@american.edu.

On the AU Portal, click on Work @ AU and then "Eagle Service - Financial Information." Follow the instructions to register your account. If you have issues, contact dcreadsfws@american.edu.

Tutoring over the summer is an opportunity currently available to federal work study eligible students only. Programs are 6-8 weeks long, and work weeks are generally 9 am-5 pm. Contact dcreadsfws@american.edu for more information.