In response, Minnesota Reading Corps, one of the largest AmeriCorps programs in the country, is about to get even larger as it works to recruit more than 800 tutors for the 2011-2012 school year, up from 670 this year. Minnesota Math Corps, now in its third year, is set to double in size, from 50 to 100.
Minnesota Reading Corps, a statewide initiative to help every Minnesota child become a successful reader by the end of 3rd grade, places AmeriCorps tutors in preschool and elementary schools to implement researched-based early-literacy instruction efforts to help struggling readers. Full-time and part-time positions will be available in locations around the state, including elementary schools, Head Start programs, community preschools, and ECFE classrooms. Since 2003, the program has worked with more than 25,000 children.
Minnesota Math Corps recruits and trains AmeriCorps tutors to provide extra support to students in 4th through 8th grade who are struggling with math. Tutors receive extensive training and are equipped with effective research-based math instruction methods. Math Corps has expanded each year since 2008 and expects to place 100 tutors in various schools for the 2011-2012 school year. Applications for both programs are now being accepted for positions throughout the state, and are available at www.MinnesotaReadingCorps.org and www.MinnesotaMathCorps.org.
“I love seeing the pride the children show when they accomplish a goal. They work hard and it’s great to see them recognize and appreciate the pay-off,” says Laura Popowski, a Minnesota Reading Corps tutor at Northome School Elementary in Northome. “Minnesota Reading Corps is a great opportunity to work with students in order to make a profound impact on their future.”
Minnesota Reading Corps and Minnesota Math Corps tutors commit to 11 months of service that begins in August. In addition to receiving valuable hands-on experience, tutors earn an education award of up to $5,550 to pay for college or to pay back federal student loans, a modest living allowance and other benefits, including the option to transfer the award to a child or grandchild if the tutor is 55 or older.
"I believe that it’s critical for kids to be proficient in math. More importantly, I wanted to work one-on-one with middle school students so that I may be a role model and a guide to them,” says Hue Lieu, a Minnesota Math Corps tutor at Farnsworth Aerospace Magnet School in St. Paul. “I thoroughly enjoy the moment when the students' faces light up because they know they have finally overcome a huge obstacle in their math journey."