Reading Tutor Sherrill practices reading skills with students at Rock Creek Elementary. Photo credit of Times-News.
Two Idaho elementary schools hosted state officials on Thursday to demonstrate the incredible progress students have made with Reading Corps.
State Sen. Carrie Semmelroth, Rep. Linda Wright Hartgen and Governor Brad Little’s Policy Advisor on Education Matthew Reiber toured Rock Creek Elementary in Twin Falls and Horizon Elementary in Jerome. During the visit, they met with school and Reading Corps staff and attended tutoring demonstrations.
Reading Corps launched in Idaho in fall 2023 in Camas County and Hansen, Jerome and Twin Falls school districts. In just a few months, 30 tutors have helped over 300 students in kindergarten through third grade with their reading fundamentals.
“The program launch has exceeded our expectations,” said Reading Corps’ Chief Advancement Officer Lindsay Dolce, who attended the school visits. “There’s a resounding appreciation for the magic that is Reading Corps in the Twin Falls region. At every school I saw pairs of students meeting with tutors, who were so excited about the opportunity to serve students in their community!”
For schools like Rock Creek Elementary, the extra support tutors provide is vital. “Rock Creek has about 640 students and we are not a Title I school, which makes resources really difficult,” said Erin Johnson, a coaching specialist for Reading Corps, Times-News reported. “We don’t have a lot of personnel and extra people to help with small groups and things like that.”
Two Reading Tutors are serving at Rock Creek Elementary, and a third will start in January. Jennie Peterson, the director of elementary programs for the Twin Falls School District, told KMVT-11 that the program has been “fantastic” and has allowed schools to give students extra practice “that they wouldn’t be getting otherwise.”
In Idaho, less than one-third of fourth graders are reading proficiently, the Nation’s Report Card found. Reading Corps leaders hope to bring the program to additional Idaho schools next school year to help even more students succeed academically. For more information about Reading Corps or to apply to become a tutor, visit https://readingandmath.org/locations/idaho/.