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Detroit Fellows Tutoring Project

Service-Learning: Teach elementary school children to read.   

Earn 2, 3, or 4 credits for teaching reading skills to children in kindergarten through second grade in Detroit Public Schools. This opportunity is open to all WSU undergraduate students.


  • Attend a training workshop on teaching basic reading skills              
  • Tutor in schools between 3 and 7 hours a week for one semester     
  • Attend seminars with fellow tutors and the project facilitator
  • Complete several writing assignments about your experience
  • Detroit Fellows work three (earns 2 credits), five (earns 3 credits) or seven (earns 4 credits) hours per week at their assigned school. The schedule is established by you based on your availability and the number of credits for which you sign up. Tutors work during regularly scheduled school hours: 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • You will work one-on-one and see two to three children in each one-hour time block. You will also be asked to participate in an end-of term evaluation.

How to participate

Register at http://academica.wayne.edu for HON 4930 and elect 2, 3, or 4 credit hours, based on your weekly time commitment.  

  • 2 credit hours=3 hours of tutoring each week 
  • 3 credit hours=5 hours of tutoring each week
  • 4 credit hours=7 hours of tutoring each week

Learn more:

Watch to learn more about the Detroit Fellows Tutoring Project through the perspectives of the program coordinators, Detroit Public School partners, WSU student tutors, and the children in grades K-2 who receive one-to-one reading tutoring through DFTP.

For more information, e-mail detroitfellows@wayne.edu or call (313) 577-3030.

Detroit Public Schools (DPS) Partner Schools:

Detroit Fellows Tutoring Project currently serves 8 DPS sites:

  • Bunche Elementary-Middle School
  • Clark Preparatory Academy
  • Golightly Education Center
  • Harms Elementary School
  • Maybury Elementary School
  • Roberto Clemente Academy
  • Ronald Brown Academy
  • Spain Elementary-Middle School

Click here to view a map of our DPS partner schools

About the coordinators:  

The Tutoring Project began in 2003 as a collaborative effort between Guy Blackburn, the project's original coordinator, Kevin Rashid, the Honors College Curriculum & Research@Honors Coordinator, and Dale Thomas and Marcella Verdun, who worked in Detroit Public Schools as a reading coordinator and elementary school principal, respectively.

Photo: Project coordinators Dale Thomas (left) and Marcella Verdun are presented with a Faculty Service Award by WSU President Wilson in Oct. 2015

Thomas and Verdun took over the course full-time in 2006 when Blackburn passed suddenly. Since 2006, a total of 892 WSU students have gone through the course, tutoring 4,080 DPS students over a course of 46,284 hours.

"Together, the coordinators are a brilliant and selfless team dedicated to a critical mission: offering our WSU students skills in tutoring and an organized, profound experience in service while supporting Detroit's children at a crucial, early stage in their development of reading skills so they can catch up and excel," said Kevin Rashid.

Thomas and Verdun were awarded the Alumni Association's 2015 Faculty Service Award. The award is given to WSU faculty "whose professional or civic efforts have brought about a greater appreciation to the University's contribution to community service.