Reading Corps

Serve as an Emerging Educator with Reading Corps

Serve as an Emerging Educator with Reading Corps

We’re excited to launch a new initiative designed to help Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals interested in pursuing careers in education. The Emerging Educators program will help put individuals on a path to classroom careers through training, mentoring and in-school experience. 

“Approximately 34% of Minnesota students are kids of color, while only 5% of their teachers come from racially diverse backgrounds,” said Alison Zellmer, Director of Emerging Programs. “Studies show that having more racial diversity among teachers is incredibly beneficial for students of color. Those benefits include improved reading and math test scores, better graduation rates and increased interest in attending college, and are our driving force for doing this work.”

Emerging Educators will serve as Reading Corps tutors at Minneapolis and St. Paul area schools beginning in July 2021. While gaining experience and training with Reading Corps, tutors will receive mentoring and support to help them in the next steps to becoming an educator.

Term of Service: July 26 – June 16
Stipend: $835 every two weeks
Health Insurance: Individual coverage with no monthly premium
Education Award: $4,300 for tuition or student loans

Please help us spread the word by sharing this news in your networks! To be a part of Emerging Educators, candidates should apply by Wednesday, July 7, 2021.

Have questions or want to learn more? Email us at [email protected]

Alyssa EgstadServe as an Emerging Educator with Reading Corps
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Mom Begins a New Chapter as Son Starts School

Mom Begins a New Chapter as Son Starts School

Guest Blog by Amy Schiemer
Reading Tutor, Farmington, Minnesota

I was a stay-at-home mom to a special needs five-year-old boy. As we got ready for him to start kindergarten, I began to wonder what was next for me. With other adults taking care of him for 7 hours a day, what was I supposed to do? Should I stay home in case something happened at school, and he needs me? Should I get a full-time job that would have me working nights or weekends away from my family? No to all of it.

Phill HallMom Begins a New Chapter as Son Starts School
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Thank You, Members: AmeriCorps Week 2021

Thank You, Members: AmeriCorps Week 2021

This AmeriCorps Week, we’re celebrating members who get things done for their communities! It’s been a challenging year and you’ve navigated a pandemic, three learning models and fluid community needs. Your commitment, flexibility and selflessness do not go unnoticed. Although we can’t be together to celebrate this week, our team wanted to share their thoughts as we celebrate you. 

Suzanne PagelThank You, Members: AmeriCorps Week 2021
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Making a Difference During a Time of Uncertainty

Making a Difference During a Time of Uncertainty

As a recent graduate with a degree in neuroscience, Maeghan Sullivan entered the workforce during a global pandemic and economic downturn. Serving with Reading Corps has enabled Maeghan to pivot with purpose.

Suzanne PagelMaking a Difference During a Time of Uncertainty
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Supporting Students from a Distance

With so much uncertainty surrounding the school year, Reading and Math Corps tutors are needed more than ever to support our students. Kim Nelson, a reading tutor at Sawtooth Mountain Elementary in Grand Marais, is an example of one tutor working to change the lives of the students she works with. “Kim adds so much as a tutor,” says principal Megan Myers. “We’re so thankful to have her!” 

Before becoming a tutor in October 2019, Kim’s own life was changed by cancer and autoimmune disease diagnosis a few years prior. After multiple battles overcoming what doctors said was a 38% chance to live, Kim returned to the professional world and eventually found out about the opportunity to tutor in Grand Marais through a Facebook ad.  

NewsSupporting Students from a Distance
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Stories of Service During COVID-19

Stories of Service During COVID-19

When Minnesota schools closed in response to the COVID-19 crisis, our members stepped up. Over the last few weeks, reading and math tutors have pivoted, shifting their service from tutoring in schools to supporting the community and students in new ways. We’ve collected some inspiring stories of service – take a look!

Darcie MooreStories of Service During COVID-19
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How to Recruit and Retain Your Tutors: Interview with Principal Jim Stang

Principal Jim Stang, of Holdingford Elementary, has had the same two tutors for the past four school years. As both the principal and internal coach for Reading Corps, Stang has a unique perspective on what it takes to recruit and retain tutors. Although he’ll insist that his success boils down to having two incredible tutors — this spring he’ll begin to focus on recruiting their replacements. He was gracious enough to chat with us to share his thoughts on tutor retention and recruitment.

Find the right fit. As a small town (population 717) about 30 minutes from the nearest university, Stang says parents with children in the district are his best prospects. “They want to be in our building and on the same schedule as their kids,” he says. Stang is also trying to be more intentional about connecting with recent high school grads. “Rather than driving 40 minutes to work somewhere else, why not save that time and gas money to do some good here at home?” He notes that with the increased stipend for 2020-21 and the added perk of an education award, it’s a competitive option for some of Holdingford’s recent graduates.

Put everyone on the same team. As both principal and internal coach, Stang knows that everyone needs to understand they are part of the same team. He summarizes the mindset by saying, “We share these students and are focused on doing what is best for them.” At Holdingford Elementary that means tutors are invited to staff meetings, regularly share data with classroom teachers and celebrate successes with the entire school.

Make space. “Space is limited in our buildings, and we’ve all seen things like speech clinicians sitting outside a classroom working on IEP goals,” Stang notes. Having a dedicated space for tutors to work with students on interventions not only helps them feel valued but makes them more effective. This year Stang decided they had exhausted all other options and the best solution was to give up his office. He says he’s pleased with how it’s working out but jokes that the elementary secretary is ready to have him back in his office and out of her hair!

Put it front and center. “We make sure Reading Corps is in our school newsletter and on social media, but we also include them in conferences, parent nights and other events like Grandparents Day,”  Stang says. “Grandparents Day brings 800 people to our building – so it’s a great opportunity to get in front of people.”

Celebrate Success. “Our tutors do a great job of celebrating their students and making a big deal of it when students graduate the program,” Stang shares. Although his schedule doesn’t often allow him to attend, he does his part by sending home a handwritten postcard with a balloon or small treat.

After four years together, Stang says the thought of saying goodbye to his tutors this June is heartbreaking. Although it’s going to be tough moving on, there is a silver lining. Stang knows he’s got a great pipeline should other roles become available in the district.  “When we are hiring, former tutors get my strongest endorsement!”

Need More Ideas? Check out these quick and easy tutor retention tips:

  • Tell your tutor you’d love to have them come back for another year of service!
  • Drop a thank you card in their mailbox letting them know what an impact they are making.
  • Celebrate AmeriCorps Week (March 8-14, 2020). Whether a shout out in daily announcements, blurb in the school newsletter, a breakfast treat left at their desk or photo submitted to your local paper, let them know you value their service!
  • Ask students to draw a picture or write a thank you note.
  • Create a bulletin board celebrating Reading Corps/Math Corps and all the students who have improved their skills.

 

NewsHow to Recruit and Retain Your Tutors: Interview with Principal Jim Stang
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