Summer Reads

Summer Reads AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate reads to children

Summer Reads

Host Summer Reads Mentors

Does your summer school or community program serve low-income children entering grades K-7 who are reading below grade level? Host Summer Reads Mentors in 2024 to support literacy efforts with your summer program!

Nonprofits, government agencies, Tribal Nations and educational institutions in Minnesota are eligible to apply.

This year, we're excited to partner with Ampact as we continue bringing literacy to life for children in Minnesota!

VISTA member reads to two children

Summer Reads will run from June 3 - August 24, 2024. New to Summer Reads? Join us for an Info Session first before applying!

Our next information sessions are:

  1. March 7, 2024: 12 - 1 p.m. CT
    Email Courtney Zaato to RSVP and receive meeting information.
  2. March 13, 2024: 3 - 4 p.m. CT
    Email Courtney Zaato to RSVP and receive meeting information.
  3. April 11, 2024: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. CT
    Email Jesse Chang to RSVP and receive meeting information.

We're now accepting Host Site Applications (due April 12) for 2024.

This year, applying for Summer Reads with Literacy Minnesota is a two-step process. You will fill out Literacy Minnesota's Host Site Application form in addition to a more detailed application with our new partner in 2024, Ampact.

What's new in 2024?

  • AmeriCorps is not hosting the AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate Program in 2024.
    • In response to this, Literacy Minnesota is partnering with Ampact to combine our longevity and experience managing an AmeriCorps summer program with Ampact's innovation and AmeriCorps State resources.
    • When you host Summer Reads Mentors with Literacy Minnesota, you will be joining Ampact's program.

Why sign up to host Summer Reads Mentors?

  • Our Summer Reads Mentors are a special cohort of Youth Learning and Enrichment Fellows with Ampact's Summer Impact Corps.
  • The difference between having Summer Reads Mentors and regular Ampact members this summer is that Literacy Minnesota offers additional mentorship, guidance, resources, training and more to your members.

Why does Summer Reads costs money?
As part of your agency's commitment to host Summer Reads Mentors, who receive additional training beyond that of typical Summer Impact Corps members with Ampact, the host agency contributes a cost-share financial match to allow our robust, development-focused programming model to continue.

For 2024, the cost-share rate is $500 per member.

Literacy Minnesota provides training, technical assistance and resources to you and the Mentors throughout the program. As a part of this special cohort, you receive additional benefits and support beyond that provided to others.

What are the Summer Reads members' schedules?
Summer Reads members serve full-time for 12 weeks during the summer, June 3 - August 24.

  • Members average 35-40 hours per week and must meet a minimum of 300 hours over the summer.

Host sites must be able to provide a full-time service opportunity for the full 12 weeks (including time spent on planning, reporting, training and supervision check-ins).

Summer Reads Mentors will attend a weekly training on Fridays (by live webinar) to engage with the cohort and gain skills.

What can Summer Reads Mentors do/not do?
Summer Reads Mentors can work on literacy education in a variety of program contexts and subjects, from academic to enrichment-based and from one-to-one sessions to large group activities.

They bring literacy to life through many subjects, such as cooking, gardening, large motor recreation, homework help, tutoring, arts, drama, science experiments and more! Summer Reads Mentors support the curriculum and program model of your site.

What do you mean by “literacy education”?
Summer Reads members serve in nonprofits, public agencies or Tribal Nations to work on reading, writing, oral language and/or digital communication skills with children entering grades K-5.

What are a Summer Reads Mentor's responsibilities?
While at least 50% of member responsibilities should focus on children's literacy mentoring, you may additionally assign your Summer Reads members to work on other tasks in support of your programming and services, such as:

  • wrap-around basic needs support services for students and families (e.g., food support, referrals to public benefits and other community services);
  • parent education or family involvement;
  • and behind-the-scenes capacity-building projects that you propose.

Check out this 5-minute video, featuring first-grader Savon at Keystone Community Services-West 7th Community Center, showing off how fun, engaging and effective learning with Summer Reads can be!

What are my responsibilities as a host site?
Check out Ampact's Guide to Parterning with Summer Impact Corps for more details! At a minimum, you can expect to:

  • Designate at least one member of staff as the supervisor of your member(s).
    • This person must have sufficient time to complete training and provide meaningful supervision to the the member(s), including providing on-site orientation, introduction to the organization and approving timesheets.
  • Provide members with an appropriate, on-site workspace; a computer; and a reliable internet connection.

For Summer Reads specifically, you will also pay a $500 cost-share financial match per Summer Reads Mentor.

Are Summer Reads Mentors paid? What do they receive for their service?
Yes! Summer Reads Mentors receive a number of great tangible benefits. 
All of the Summer Impact Corps members receive:

  • $1,100 living stipend every two weeks ($6,600 total for the summer).
  • $1,459 education award upon successful completion of service.
    • May be used for post-secondary education or to pay back qualifying federal student loans.
  • Health insurance (100% premium paid).
  • Access to career exploration programming.
  • Childcare assistance, if eligible.
  • Federal student loan forbearance.

Literacy Minnesota additionally provides Summer Reads Mentors with:

  • Weekly member trainings.
  • Additional mentorship and educational resources, including a Literacy Kit.
  • Access to an Employee Assistance Program.
  • Participation in the Transit Assistance Program (TAP) for subsidized rides on Metro Transit.
  • Service-related travel reimbursement to and from Literacy Minnesota-required trainings and/or events beyond their regular commute.


Please contact Courtney at, 651-251-9151.

Looking for info on how to serve? Become a Summer Reads member.

To learn more about National Service, visit