Graduating this semester and need a job? Minnesota Reading Corps has 1,100 tutor positions to fill for the 2012-2013 school year. These literacy tutors serve in schools across Minnesota, working toward ensuring that all kids read at grade level by the end of third grade.
Currently, somewhere around 15,000 third graders in Minnesota fail to achieve basic literacy skills by third grade. This is a vital age, when children need to stop learning to read and start reading to learn. The Reading Corps helps to lower that 15,000 by working one-on-one with kindergarten through third grade students in their schools, using data-driven reading strategies to improve students’ skills.

The Minnesota Reading Corps and its companion organization, the Minnesota Math Corps, are AmeriCorps programs. This gives volunteers who are recent graduates useful benefits, such as the option of putting student loans into forbearance and earning an education award upon completion of service that can go toward loans or grad school. Both of these are on top of a year’s worth of work experience, a living allowance, plenty of opportunity for professional development and invaluable support of the youth in our communities.

Working for the Minnesota Reading Corps has been a valuable experience for me. After I recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin, I was looking for a short-term commitment that offered me a chance to give back to the community that I grew up in. By working one on one with students from St. Paul schools, I have found a way to give back and learn from my work at the same time. Watching a child finally make a new connection in reading creates a sense of accomplishment that rivals completing my degree.
Education is a vital aspect of our lives, and yet across the nation many students are falling behind. Reading Corps data reports that seven out of 10 children enrolled in tutoring services pass the reading portion of their standardized testing at the end of third grade – all of whom were students who were on track to fail beforehand.

The Minnesota Reading Corps is a rapidly growing organization, hoping to expand even further in order to better serve the needs of our students. This year, there are around 800 tutors working to make a difference in children’s lives. As previously mentioned, next year an amazing 1,100 tutors will be in elementary schools all over the state, and you can be one of them. Choose to give back and put your education to good use! The online application opens Dec. 15. Check it out here.

Carissa Carroll ([email protected]) is a UW graduate and an elementary literacy tutor.