america reads

About Us

America Reads/America Counts at Downstate Health Sciences University is a program designed to reach elementary, middle school and high-school students to help them achieve intellectual competence in Mathematics, English, and Science in the Crown Heights and East Flatbush communities. Downstate students will be working with schools in districts 17 and 18, and serve as volunteers to tutor children during in-school and after-school 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.​ 

What We Do

We work with students from disadvantaged backgrounds, regardless of race or ethnicity, to help them reach their academic goals. We also read to children at the pediatrics unit of Kings County Hospital and Downstate Hospital. 

Our Sites

  • Pediatric Units:
    • Kings County Hospital
    • Downstate Hospital (inpatient and outpatient)
  • Schools
    • School for Human Rights
    • Ebbets Field Middle School: 

If your school or organization would like to work with us please reach out to

  • Does your school have an after-school or weekend program? We can assist with supplemental tutors
  • Does your school offer online tutoring for its students?

Get Involved

  • You must be a SUNY Downstate Student to participate in the program
  • Only work-study students can be paid (but all students are welcome to volunteer
  • One hour per week minimum commitment
  • Experience with tutoring or working with children (preferred, not required)
  • To tutor at one of our school sites please fill out the corresponding form:


Contact Us


Ifunanya Ojei-Ossai

America Reads co-coordinator
DHWS Secretary 2023-2024
MD/MPH candidate class 2026


Yanilka Rodriguez

America Reads co-coordinator
LMSA MSIG co-chair 2023-2024
MD/MPH candidate class 2026


Yes, absolutely!

If you have the time, Yes you definitely can! The more programs that provide an opportunity to give back the merrier!

Yes, you may choose. At the moment we do not have many tutors at the schools and are encouraging students to tutor at the schools, especially if they have tutoring experience.

You will be paid $15 an hour on a bi-weekly schedule.
We require that students work a minimum of 1 hour per week.
Email us at and let us know if you would like to participate as a volunteer or a work-study student, and if you are interested in a specific part of the program (reading at the pediatric unit vs tutoring at the schools mentioned above)