Elizabeth Harrison, St. Cloud, MN
As another school year approaches, I’d like to give a nod to all of the educators working tirelessly to assure their students will receive an excellent education in the year ahead. As a former Minnesota Reading Corps literacy tutor at Madison Elementary in St. Cloud, I saw firsthand the work they did daily to shape the future of children in the community.
Working in our schools is no easy task. One in three Minnesota third-graders does not read at grade level. When you consider 70 percent of jobs will soon require some form of post-secondary education, it’s never been more critical to ensure our students are on the right track.
One of my second-graders, whom we will call Caleb, started off our year together reading half a year below grade level. By the time he exited the Reading Corps program, he not only caught up but was reading at a fifth-grade level. I have no doubt these advanced reading skills have helped him in countless ways as he moved on in school. Minnesota Reading Corps tutors help our students learn to read by the end of third grade so they can read to learn from fourth grade onward. I am thankful I could help set Caleb up for success in his future academic endeavors.
As a full-time tutor, I worked with 35 students during the course of the year. Minnesota Reading Corps and its sister program, Minnesota Math Corps, are still seeking approximately 10 tutors to work with students in Sartell and St. Joseph schools. That’s more than 250 students who won’t receive the services they need if these positions are left unfilled – 250 students who may very well fall through the cracks.
“These programs rely on dedicated community members to serve a year. Please consider helping the children of Sartell and St. Joseph. For details, please go to www.MinnesotaReadingCorps.org or www.MinnesotaMathCorps.org.
Again, I salute the great work Sartell and St. Joseph educators are doing, and I encourage anyone who is willing to serve to step up! Our children, and their futures, are certainly worth it.