The Challenge

A brighter future for Minnesota begins with reading.

Reading is the foundation of all learning — but in Minnesota, nearly half our students aren’t reading at grade level, and large disparities exist for students of color and American Indian students. If a child isn’t reading well by the end of third grade, it’s almost impossible to catch up.

74 percent of children who read poorly in third grade continue to read poorly in high school. Why? From age three through third grade, children are learning to read. After third grade, they have to read well in order to learn.

Closing the achievement gap.

The 2017 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment test scores for students in grades 3–8 illustrate the reality of our state’s achievement gaps by race and family income.

But data from an independent evaluation shows Reading Corps helps close those gaps. After a year of tutoring, our readers — who include students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, English language learners and students of color — outperform their peers and demonstrate more than a year’s worth of progress on reading proficiency indicators.

When we help all children become strong readers by the end of third grade, we set them up for lifelong success. Proficient readers are less likely to be unemployed, underemployed or on welfare as adults. And they’re less likely to be involved in crime or struggle with substance abuse.

People power makes the difference.

With a third of students struggling to read, it’s a big challenge for school districts to provide the individual attention students need to get back on track. At the average school, giving each student the individual attention they need would take 300 hours per week and require nine additional staff members.

Minnesota Reading Corps tutors help close the gap!

NewsThe Challenge