Pilots and Innovations

Piloting Innovation

The Pilots & Innovations team works with Reading Corps & Math Corps to research, pilot, evaluate and scale new ways to help kids make greater gains and help tutors achieve their career goals. These programs combine the people power of AmeriCorps and the science of learning to provide a solution to help narrow opportunity gaps and help students become successful learners. Our Pilots and Innovations team is devoted to continuous improvement to create maximum impact in our communities.

Featured Programs

Earn and learn! By joining the Child Development Associate Program, members can gain experience working with preschool children while advancing their careers by earning a CDA at no cost. As the most recognized credential in early childhood education a CDA is an important step for educators in ECE.

Along with the 120 hours of free CDA training, members receive a stipend and additional money for tuition or student loans along with health insurance. If you have a desire to help children succeed both during your service and into the future, our CDA program is for you!

The Education Fellowship aims to provide an inclusive and affordable pathway to teaching through AmeriCorps service for members who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Members in this innovative initiative earn their associate’s degree in early childhood or elementary education at Minneapolis College while serving in the Early Learning (PreK) or Elementary (K3) Education Fellowship program. This program’s recruitment is focused in the 7-county Twin Cities Metro. In the Education Fellowship program, members will gain experience in their schools while earning an AS degree in Education at NO COST

Along with a degree, members will receive a stipend and additional money for tuition or student loans (that members can save for furthering their education after they earn their AS degree in this program). 

The application deadline is October 20, 2021.

If you are interested in this program, or know someone who may be, please complete this short form.

To provide early learning experiences focused on closing the opportunity gap, our team partners with family child care providers. As literacy tutors, our members support young learners in building early literacy and numeracy skills foundational to kindergarten readiness.

Tutors travel to family child care provider sites and work with children ages zero to five, using specific research and play-based interactions. No experience? No problem!  Reading Corps provides comprehensive training in strategies proven to help children build skills, meet milestones, and fall in love with learning.

Learn More on our Blog

Find Opportunities with FCC

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Did you know that researchers can predict a student’s high school trajectory based on math skills measured over 10 years prior? This is why it is so important to build strong math skills as early as possible. After hearing the need for earlier investment in math education, we have designed a program supporting students in kindergarten through third grade.

The goal of our new K-3 Math program is that students will receive evidence-based math support and stay on trajectory to pursue STEM programming and careers. By leveraging the people power of AmeriCorps, this newly launched program is characterized by the following key elements: (1) meaningful and appropriately challenging math support, (2) data-driven metrics to drive programming, (3) a proven coaching and training model for AmeriCorps members, and (4) a commitment to ongoing research and analytics for program improvement.

Find Opportunities with K-3 Math

In collaboration with The University of Minnesota, Reading Corps is offering an exciting new pathway to becoming a teacher. The Minnesota Grow Your Own Teacher (MNGOT) is focused on preparing new educators, increasing diversity and helping to address a growing teacher shortage in rural Minnesota.

Rooted in service, the program is designed to build on Reading Corps experience and be completed while serving as a tutor. The five-semester program is 36 credits and prepares participants for K-6 licensure. Coursework is completed through a hybrid model that includes weekly online classes and in-person learning twice a semester.

The application deadline for fall is April 23, 2021. You can begin the process by completing a short form online.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Have completed 1-2 terms of service as a Reading Corps tutor or equivalent experience in a school setting (paraprofessional, education assistant, teaching assistant, substitute teacher, after school employee.)
  • Are located or willing to relocate/commute to a site in Greater Minnesota

Learn More on our Blog

As we analyzed the needs that arose due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we found that bringing our proven programs into the home could be the solution. At no cost to the families, we are offering one on one tutoring in the home. If parents feel that their child might need some help reinforcing their reading or math skills, they can request an intervention with a coach. If the coach determines that the student could use some help, we’ll set them up with a tutor to provide extra support and practice. All of the tutoring is done virtually and is flexible based on student’s and family’s schedules.

Read More on our Blog

Visit ScholarSquad.org to Learn More

Total Learning Classroom provides direct literacy intervention for struggling students from AmeriCorps members called Scholar Coaches, in-classroom capacity support for teachers, and systems-level consultation and capacity building with school leaders. Together, these supports produce meaningful, whole school change evidenced by gains in students’ literacy achievement, feelings of competency and satisfaction among teachers, and improvements to school-level infrastructure.

Partner with a licensed teacher and help students thrive! As a Scholar Coach, members are paired with a licensed teacher to help students improve their reading skills and drive a love of learning. Serving as a Scholar Coach is great preparation for graduate programs and careers in education and public service. Members receive excellent training and are part of a team of Scholar Coaches at their school.

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Have questions or want to learn more? Contact [email protected]

Phill HallPilots & Innovations