Feature Stories

Reading Corps Tutoring Pilot Program Will Support Elementary Literacy Growth 

Beginning in fall 2024, two reading tutors will join Minnetonka Schools teachers, administrators and staff in supporting student literacy growth at Excelsior Elementary and Minnewashta Elementary. The program is being piloted at one Chinese Immersion and one Spanish Immersion school for the upcoming year to monitor the effectiveness and impact of the interventions on student literacy.

This program, called Reading Corps, is an initiative of AmeriCorps. It has been making a difference for student literacy across the country since 2003. Under the supervision of licensed staff, the Reading Corps tutors will provide regular 20-minute sessions with identified students in grades K-3. Tutors’ sessions target reading skill practice—mainly phonemic awareness, phonics and fluency. 

Improving student literacy outcomes at all levels is a priority within the Minnetonka School Board’s goal for Excellence in Student Learning and Support. Reading Corps tutors will play a role within the District’s Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) program, which helps the District to ensure that academic, social and emotional supports are provided for each student based on individual needs. 

“The tutors will provide effective practice opportunities for our early elementary learners to build their literacy skills and address gaps identified by the District’s universal screening process,” said Dr. Amy LaDue, associate superintendent for Minnetonka Public Schools. “We are excited to incorporate these community members into the robust layers of teacher and staff support we have in place for students to meet their reading goals.” 

Reading Corps tutors are not employees of the school district, and nor are they paraprofessionals; they are individuals who are trained by AmeriCorps in the delivery of evidenced-based literacy interventions. Because of the rigorous and robust training provided, the positions are open to people with a wide range of career and volunteer backgrounds.  

“Reading Corps tutors connect with students for a set period of time, until the student reaches their own literacy goals and completes the set of interventions identified for their specific needs,” said Alyssa Rutherford, literacy coordinator for Minnetonka Public Schools. “New students are selected using screening data to ensure the Reading Corps tutor is partnering with teachers and school staff to have the greatest possible impact.”

Tutors are compensated through AmeriCorps. In addition to bi-weekly stipends, they may receive more than five thousand dollars through a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award which can be used to pay tuition or repay qualified student loans. Individuals who are 55 years or older at the start of their service term may give their award to a family member.

“These positions are unique opportunities for individuals in our community who care about kids and who want to make an important difference,” said Rutherford. 

Applications for the Reading Corps tutor positions are open now. Learn more and apply using the links below:

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