AmeriCorps in Action

Tutor navigates the pandemic and her future with Reading Corps

Maddie was a recent graduate with a degree in psychology when the pandemic hit. With so many employers laying off workers or closing their doors, she decided to move home to her parents in Rochester, Minnesota, while she sorted out what was next.  

“At that point, I had been thinking about becoming a middle school teacher,” Maddie noted. “I was looking to get some experience in the classroom. I also wanted to get involved in my new community.” 
After learning about Reading Corps and discovering tutors were needed to support students in Rochester Public Schools, Maddie applied to become a tutor and began tutoring at Churchill Elementary School that fall. Maddie immediately found joy in working with students. “I really loved building relationships with them,” she shared. “I wasn’t expecting them to be so open with me – I felt really honored to be a part of their lives in that way.” 

Seeing her students make progress throughout the year was especially rewarding. “I had been working with a first grader on letter sounds and we had slowly worked up to blending full words,” Maddie explained. “Eventually, she was reading on her own! She was so excited and would smile big when she was able to read full sentences – you could just see her confidence grow.” 

Now in her second year of service, Maddie is especially appreciative of her students. “They are so resilient and work so hard,” she said. With the pandemic causing interruptions and unfinished learning for many students, Maddie is excited to have the opportunity to support them. 

 Service Inspires Next Steps 

Service with Reading Corps has helped Maddie bring her future into focus. Her goal is to become a school counselor! “The one-on-one nature of tutoring and the relationship-building has inspired me,” she shared. “I just started my online master’s program.”  

Maddie strongly encourages others to consider service with Reading Corps – especially when students could use the extra support now more than ever. “It’s so important that we are here, supporting these students and helping them improve their skills.”  

To support Rochester students, we’re still looking for 17 tutors. Candidates need to apply by December 14 to begin in January 2023. If you or someone you know would make a great tutor, please visit

Skip to content