Join the State of New Mexico’s literacy effort

Wave pattern

Press Release

May 13, 2024 


Janelle Taylor Garcia, Ph.D. 
Deputy Director of Communications 
New Mexico Public Education Department 

Earn $35/hr as a summer reading instructor

SANTA FE, N.M. – Today, the New Mexico Public Education Department, Higher Education Department and Early Childhood Education and Care Department announced that they are seeking hundreds of additional instructors for the Free Summer Reading Program, an innovative program set to empower 10,000 students, from incoming kindergarteners to ninth graders, with focused reading instruction in small groups with trained literacy instructors. Participating students are expected to make meaningful gains in reading during the four-to-six-week program. Programs offer four hours of literacy instruction, beginning in June and running through July. Instructors will earn $35 per hour for a minimum commitment of 25 hours per week, including a week of paid training.

“As a literacy instructor, you will equip children with important reading skills and help them gain the confidence they need to be successful in all school subjects,” said Public Education Secretary Arsenio Romero. “You do not need to be a licensed teacher to become a literacy instructor, but we encourage retired educators and educators on summer break to consider joining this historic statewide literacy effort.”

“The Summer Reading Program is an excellent summer job and learning experience for New Mexico’s college students,” said Higher Education Secretary Stephanie M. Rodriguez. “After a week of paid training, all literacy instructors will earn $35 per hour while equipping children with the literacy skills they need to advance in school and life. Literacy instructors may also have an opportunity to continue coaching students throughout the school year, providing a source of income, professional development and fulfillment.”

“Literacy is the foundation for lifelong learning and success,” said Early Childhood Education and Care Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky. “The early years of a child’s life are the most rapid and critical period of brain development, presenting a golden opportunity to make rapid progress in reading, writing and comprehension. We’re calling on New Mexicans to consider contributing to the future of our state by working to ensure that children are prepared to thrive in school and beyond.”

Literacy instructors:

  • Will earn $35 per hour, including training hours.
  • Do not need to be licensed teachers.
  • Will receive specialized training by literacy experts prior to the program, as well as ongoing curriculum support.
  • Must be available for instructor training at the end of May or the first part of June.
  • Must be able to work a minimum of 25 hours per week.
  • May have the opportunity to continue as a literacy instructor during the school year.

Free Summer Reading Program objectives:

  • Improve literacy outcomes for all participating students.
  • Measure reading progress of students during and upon completion of this program.
  • Build confidence and competence in literacy skills that will support students’ academic achievement.

The deadline to apply is May 24, 2024; however, instructors are encouraged to apply by May 17, 2024, to participate in programs beginning in June. To learn more about New Mexico’s Free Summer Reading Program and apply to become an instructor, visit


    Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham launched the New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) in 2020, making New Mexico among the first states to consolidate all early childhood programs and services under a single cabinet-level agency. Under this administration, ECECD has led the nation by expanding access to free New Mexico PreK, overseeing the largest investment in early childhood infrastructure in state history, and implementing cost-free child care for a majority of New Mexico families. Learn more about how ECECD supports children, families, and the early childhood professionals that serve our communities at On Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as @NewMexicoECECD.