AmeriCorps in Action

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.  
Now, as she prepares to begin working with students for her second school year, things look a little different. Her school is doing distance learning, but she still goes into the school to be at her own area with a computer and supplies. Despite the changes, her number one priority is to be a support for her students. “Right now, stability is really important, and that’s another reason I’m there. They trust me and I assure them that struggling is a part of it.”

Although she hasn’t started yet, Kim is most excited to see her students and connect with them more while supporting them through this challenging time. “With the way things are you really need creative people on the other end of the screen for these kids.” 

Kim is prepared for the challenges this fall and to continue building a strong foundation and love of reading in her students. “Long after we go those little kids will be sitting around a dining room table as adults and as parents of their own children, and they will remember their Reading Corps tutor who took the time out of their life to give them additional help.”

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