Become a Power Readers Mentor

About Power Readers

Power Readers is a one-on-one mentoring program that connects volunteers with elementary school students to read together for one hour a week. No lesson plans, no testing. Just joyful reading in a judgement-free setting. Through the weekly sessions, children become stronger readers, enthusiastic learners, and confident individuals.

The program is offered in-person at 7 locations across the Washington, DC region and virtually as part of an afterschool program. Become an EWDC mentor and change a child's life through the power of reading.

Power Readers Locations

  • J.O. Wilson Elementary School (660 K Street NE, DC)
  • Tyler Elementary School (1001 G Street SE, DC)
  • Thomson Elementary School (1200 L Street NW, DC)
  • Van Ness Elementary School (1150 5th Street SE, DC)
  • Savoy Elementary School (2400 Shannon Place SE, DC)
  • Innovation Elementary School (2300 Key Blvd., Arlington, VA)
  • JoAnn Leleck Elementary School (710 Beacon Road, Silver Spring, MD)

EWDC will not be hosting in-person Power Readers sessions at Plaza West during the 2023-24 program
year. Final schedules for each location will be available in August 2023. 


The pandemic had taken a terrible toll on student learning and social-emotional growth. That's why EWDC is expanding Power Readers so that more kids get the one-on-one support they need. Here are three ways you can help:

  1. Click here to register as a Power Readers mentor!
  2. Connect EWDC with your employer and turn Power Readers into a workplace service opportunity.
  3. Share this information flyer with others who can help support kids through reading: Becoming a Power Readers Mentor.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the Power Readers program year begin? When does it end?

Power Readers sessions begin in late September and run through late May, with new mentors joining between September and January of each program year. After February, no new mentor-student matches are made for the year so that reading pairs have sufficient time to connect.


How many hours of mentoring do volunteers provide during a program year? 

With school breaks, holidays, field trips, and other scheduling issues, the average commitment for a Power Readers mentor is approximately 24 hours between September and May.


What are the days and times for Power Readers sessions? 

EWDC is currently working with school partners to finalize the Power Readers schedule for school year 2023-24. In-person sessions will take place during students' combined lunch and recess period. Sessions are approximately one hour long and will be held between 10:00am and 2:00pm.


Virtual afterschool sessions will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from approximately 4:30pm-5:15pm. Please note: All volunteers participating in virtual sessions much have regular access to a computer and the internet.


Is there a requirement to undergo a background check?  

Yes. Power Readers mentors are required to complete and maintain a background clearance. This process is not managed by EWDC and varies depending on the school district. In some cases, a federal clearance may be substituted for the local requirements. EWDC can assist  volunteers in completing the necessary steps to obtain their clearance.

  • For information on the clearance process for Arlington County Schools, click here.
  • For information on the clearance process for Montgomery County Public Schools, click here.
  • For information on the clearance process for DC Public Schools, click here.

For more information about the clearance process, please email


Do you provide training and support for mentors?  

Yes. All Power Readers mentors must complete a program orientation and are provided additional training and support by EWDC staff.

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