Minnesota Reading Corps an invaluable tool in schools

By Elizabeth TepleyGuest Columnist

I’d like to take a moment to celebrate the excellent efforts of our teachers in Little Falls. As a literacy tutor with the Minnesota Reading Corps for Lindbergh Elementary, I see firsthand the great work they are doing to shape the futures of the children of our community.

I also know the reality facing today’s students. According to data from 2013 state standardized tests, one in three of Minnesota third graders are not reading at grade level. When you consider that 70 percent of today’s jobs require some form of post-secondary education, it has never been more critical to ensure that our students are on the right track.

As a tutor, I’m proud to serve in this school to help struggling students get their footing. In my role, I help to encourage each child that I work with to have fun with their reading and to continue reading each day. I first became a tutor three years ago because I saw the positive impact that Minnesota Reading Corps had on my own child and how he was blossoming into a better reader each and every day. Since I have joined the program, I have grown in many ways, including the fact that I have now found my love of working with and teaching children.

Through my years of working with students, I have had many of them that started off saying that they did not like to read at all, and now are very strong readers and proud of the fact that they have become so great at it. Minnesota Reading Corps is a wonderful program and it helps to touch the lives of many of the struggling readers who without this program would not have the support that they need.

It’s gratifying to know that we’re making an impact. The Minnesota Reading Corps is a statewide initiative designed to help every Minnesota child to be a proficient reader by the end of third grade.

Working with a research-based curriculum, Minnesota Reading Corps is seeing positive results among students who have successfully completed the program. (This is significant when you consider that these students were on track to fail and are now are effectively catching up to their peers.)

This year, there are over 1,000 tutors serving with the Corps, and we are looking for people for the 2014-15 school year. For details, go to www.MinnesotaReadingCorps.org or www.Minne sotaMathCorps.org.

Elizabeth Tepley is a tutor with Minnesota Reading Corps.