Skip to Main Content Reading Program - Virtual Opportunity(National Program) - Internship

Monday, January 6th to Friday, May 1st, 2020 (MT)


Created ForASU Community Engagement Programs, Education Placements
Registration OpensDec 1, 2019 12:00am
Supervisor(s)Jessie Hinton
Hiring ManagerReid DeSpiegelaere
TimeframeFall, Spring
Virtual Opportunity so your hours can be completed anywhere with Internet!  We are flexible with days/hours. Must be available for a minimum of 4 hours per week during typical of "school hours" of local elementary schools.
*Mornings *Afternoons

Serve as a 1:1 virtual reading guide that will work with kids in grades 1-3.  You will be able to read virtually from anywhere, AND work directly with the Vello National Director to scale the program's impact and volunteerism.  You'll grow mentoring skills, work directly with students, and engage with a national startup NPO that serves Title I schools nationally.

Each week, ASU students will have the opportunity to contribute to both the program implementation and scaling efforts for Vello Online Tutoring in Maricopa County, and nationally:
-Virtually support reading for at-risk children in Title I Schools
-Develop communication and marketing plans that scale Vello's volunteer participation.
-Track progress and support data analysis for Vello's program evaluation.
-Work with classroom teacher in Vello-sponsored classrooms to teach children about digital learning environments and volunteerism.

Vello is a program built by Valley of the Sun United Way as a national strategy to impact literacy, engage United Way volunteers, and add an innovative spark to our organization's mission. In keeping with this strategy, Vello serves 1st - 3rd grade students that attend school in areas of high poverty; most schools being nearly 100% free breakfast and lunch. Moreover, Vello's target population of students hail from multiple ethnic and cultural backgrounds, including second language speakers, refugees from various global locations, and high-transient populations.

Interns with United Way's Vello program will grow their efficacy with service to these target communities through direct tutoring efforts, supporting classrooms with supplemental activities, and working with the Vello staff on business aspects of the program (marketing, scaling partnerships, engaging sponsors and volunteers).

In 2014, nearly 1,400 Arizona third graders were held back from moving to fourth grade because they did not score proficient on their AZ Merit test. Today, less than 50% of all Arizona students scored proficient on their AZ Merit tests. These metrics are pervasive nationwide and affect a myriad of other community issues outside of school; drop out rates, prison pipeline, employment status, future productivity, etc.

VELLO is positioned against these statistics and offers an innovative solution. Studies show that purposeful 1:1 tutoring/mentoring can change the trajectory of a child's like and increase the likelihood that they become a more productive member of society in adulthood. Moreover, extra reading dosage is crucial in expanding vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension abilities for struggling students. Vello provides mentorship and consistent 1:1 reading support for students that need it the most, adding at least 60 minutes of extra reading dosage (aka purposeful practice) to each child's school week.

Since Vello is the product of United Way, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, staff capacity and resources that do not always match the need of the community. Through this internship, students will increase the capacity of Vello's staff team and add new resources that will empower scale, equaling greater impact and volunteer engagement.

This internship will provide an opportunity to participate in the operations of a startup company (NPO), work with an innovative virtual volunteer program that was developed right here in Maricopa County to impact literacy. ASU students will gain valuable insight into how Valley of the Sun United Way, together with our donors, volunteers, and partners, are working to break the cycle of poverty in Maricopa County by fighting for children, families, and neighborhoods. We bring partners together from every sector – public, private, and non-profit. No other organization brings together as many people in as many ways to fight poverty.

See this document for our Theory of Change and how we benchmark progress and impact in our local communities: 

CAPACITY:: 5 interns
Background check, Fingerprinting
Requirement Details-Interest in education, technology and innovative academic solutions
-Ability to work in Vello classrooms, work directly with classroom teachers, and lead small-group instruction
-Computer savvy and comfortable with Microsoft office suite
-Highly organized and ability to work independently

If intern is assigned, intern may be assigned on-site working in classrooms, which will require fingerprint clearance card.
1. Educator's fingerprint clearance card
2. Intern applicants must have, or have already applied for a fingerprint clearance card. Intern assumes associated cost.
3. Process could take up to 4-6 weeks.
4. Students may be allowed to start other duties if there is proof of fingerprint clearance card application.


1. Criminal background check will be conducted for all interns during on-boarding/orientation.
2. VSUW, Vello will assume cost for background check.
3. Background check will take 24-48 business hours.
4. Orientation will be conducted while background check clears.


Interns with the Vello Reading Program will training in two parts.  First, interns will receive professional training about United Way’s mission to end poverty and the strategic approach VSUW takes in Maricopa County.  This portion of training will also include a session on how to work within a collaborative office environment to achieve work goals. 

Second, interns will receive a focused training about the Vello Reading Program and how to be a virtual reading tutor in a virtual reading environment.  This portion of the training can be completed online from anywhere where Internet is available. 

Location: Valley of the Sun United Way, 3200 E Camelback Rd Ste 375, Phoenix, AZ 85018