Summer Reads VISTA

Impact the life of a child this summer

Summer Reads VISTAs provide quality tutoring and literacy enrichment to children in grades K-3 from low-income families. VISTAs serve in summer schools, libraries and community organizations, with the goal of helping children improve their literacy skills and fight the summer slide. Under the mentoring of an on-site supervisor, VISTAs serve in a variety of program environments. They may use the site's curriculum or design their own lesson plans; work with children one-on-one or in small or large groups; act as a classroom assistant or lead a program themselves - depending on the site's needs. 

Summer Reads VISTAs serve full-time (approximately 40 hours per week, Monday-Friday daytime) in pairs at one or two placement sites - including reflection and planning with a direct site supervisor, training, program planning and travel between sites.

Capstone Project

A select number of the Summer Reads VISTAs work on a "Capstone" in addition to serving at a site to create resources for future Summer Reads VISTAs, sites and other children's literacy programs. Check out past capstones and other children's literacy tutor resources.

Gain experience, insight and sense of self

“This was by far one of the best summers I have ever had in my life! I have never felt so accomplished, yet at the same time have never had more of a drive to continue to make a difference in children’s lives.” - Summer Reads VISTA

Summer Reads VISTAs leave the program proud of their many accomplishments and experiences and committed to continuing to make a difference. After their summer of service, VISTAs have a greater understanding of their own strengths and personal goals and build lasting personal and professional connections.

Check out the highlights from last year, and a brief video featuring Summer Reads VISTA members at partner site West 7th Community Center in Saint Paul in 2013: Strong Readers, Strong Leaders


Benefits and eligibility

  • Choice of $1,212 Education Award or approximately $230 post-service cash stipend (Education Award may be used for qualified federal student loans, school tuition, non-degree enrichment classes and more)
  • Bi-weekly living allowance of approximately $449-453 (pre-tax) (depending on county of service)
  • Mileage reimbursement for service-related travel (between site placements and to Summer Reads trainings)
  • Federal student loan forbearance
  • Must be able to serve full-time for 8 weeks from June through August (approx. 40 hours per week) (10 weeks for Outreach Specialists)
  • Must be at least 18 years of age and a U.S. citizen, national or legal permanent resident 
  • Additional language skills in Spanish, Somali, Hmong or Karen desired, though not required
  • Educational background or volunteer or work experience in education, literacy, youth development, child development, social work or nonprofits preferred but not required


To apply

Summer Reads VISTAs serve in the metro Twin Cities area and in select communities across greater Minnesota. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. The priority deadline is March 31 and final deadline April 30

To apply, you must first create an account/profile on My AmeriCorps. Complete all sections, including two references (educational or professional, in a supervisory type relationship, such as teacher/professor, work or volunteer supervisor, clergy, counselor, or coach). Then apply to the specific position or positions that you are interested in. Then follow the links below to apply to the specific Summer Reads position(s) in which you are interested.  **Before you submit your application, please read the instructions on how to complete the application here.**


There are two types of Summer Reads VISTA positions available in the Twin Cities metro area:

  • Summer Reads VISTA - Metro Twin Cities Area: Change a child's life this summer! Tutor young children to improve their literacy and reading skills. Use your creativity to engage kids in learning activities that will keep their minds sharp! 
  • Summer Reads Outreach Specialist: Fight the summer slide! Use your previous experience tutoring or teaching children to provide peer mentoring to first-time VISTA tutors towards making a huge impact on kids' reading skills this summer.  

There will be additional positions available in other communities in Minnesota; however, Summer Reads sites have not yet been selected for 2016. For VISTA positions outside of the Twin Cities metro area, please check back at the end of February.


Please contact Meghan,, 651-251-9069.

Are you a school or organization looking for info about how to host VISTA members? Check here!

Pass it on!

Want to invite others to join Summer Reads? Download our flyer and pass it on!