United Readers

Building Reading Skills Through United Readers

United Readers is a United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra program designed to improve foundational literacy skills through mentoring and supporting parents in being their child’s first teacher. United Readers officially launched in November 2020 and was developed in collaboration with the Washoe County School District. The program leverages trained AmeriCorps members to meet with students and families one-on-one and in small groups. The program has two key components: United Readers and United Readers: Building Blocks. Donate to support United Readers in our community! 

United ReadersUnited Readers Logo 1

United Readers offers in-school mentorship working with students in kindergarten through third grade focusing on reading fluency skills and phonemic awareness, which is the ability to hear and manipulate sounds. AmeriCorps Literacy Mentors meet with students one-on-one and in small groups. Students are assessed before and after the program to track their progress and skill development. For the 2020-2021 school year, this program was offered at Dunn Elementary School, Silver Lake Elementary, Peavine Elementary, and Doral Academy.

United Readers: Building Blocks

United Readers: Building Blocks focuses on our youngest learners and helps support parents, family members, and caregivers in being their child’s first teacher through our Early Childhood Literacy Workshops. The program is based on proven research and best practices of the Born Learning Academy Curriculum. It is a six-week series of workshops for small groups, delivered by an AmeriCorps Early Learning Literacy Mentor with specialized knowledge in the field of early education. Each session includes information about a child’s development and learning, literacy skills to help prepare for Kindergarten success, and ideas for extension activities that caregivers can complete at home to foster their child’s growth. Each session contains topics and techniques appropriate for children from birth through five years old.


Registration is free! 

Sign-up today by clicking HERE.

Sessions will be held on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM or 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Specific session dates by series outlined in the registration form. 

Topics and Techniques by Week:

Week 1: An introduction to Born Learning | Letter Naming and Rhyming

Week 2: Building Relationships | Onset Fluency and Isolating Final Sounds

Week 3: Ready to Read! | Blending Words

Week 4: Routines and Learning on the Go | Segmenting Words

Week 5: Nutrition and Health | Adding Words

Week 6: How Children Learn | Deleting Words



Link to United Readers Introduction Video on YouTube


“The United Readers program could not have come at a better time. With students in distance learning, our kindergarten and first-grade student needs are targeted, and they will be receiving extra support from trained AmeriCorps members...I know this will make a huge difference in the growth of our students’ foundational skills.”

- Allison Fannin, Principal at Katherine Dunn Elementary

Hiring Period Opening Summer 2021

Serve as an AmeriCorps Member for United Readers!


In-School Reading Mentors:

Assist children virtually in kindergarten through third grade in the Washoe County School District with literacy acquisition skills to improve reading and reading fluency. Mentors will work with the school, classroom teachers, and specialists to provide literacy supports to identified children.

Early Childhood Literacy Mentors:

Assist children from birth through five-years-old and their caregivers with literacy acquisition and kindergarten readiness skills utilizing “everyday moments” and “ages and stages” learning. Reading mentors will conduct family literacy sessions and outreach.

Details/Important Dates:

  • Members will begin training on September 7, 2021. Applications open July 2021 and will be accepted until filled. Please note, background checks will be required.
  • If you have questions about serving with United Readers in the fall, please contact our Program Director, Krystal Hoefling at UnitedReaders@uwnns.org.

Empower the next student with literacy-building moments through a donation!

Click HERE to support United Readers with a donation!

Partner agency logos making United Readers possible: AmeriCorps, Nevada Volunteers, United Way, and United Readers.

Questions? Please contact Krystal Hoefling, AmeriCorps Program Director, at (775) 325-8907 or by email at UnitedReaders@uwnns.org.

Thank you to the following corporate and individual donors* who make United Readers possible!

Corporate Donors

Dollar General

NV Energy Foundation



TC Energy

United Federal Credit Union


Individual Donors

Ann Silver, CEO, Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce

Christie Gescheider, Co-Owner, Moana Nursery

Stephanie Kruse, Founder, KPS3

Rabbi Jeff and Mindy Glickman, Turn To The Wonderful



*Donors listed have made a contribution of $1,000 or more.