New flex tutoring position keeping students from falling behind

Students in Minnesota are falling behind in reading and math. That’s a problem, because proficiency in those areas are the building blocks for success. 

State testing show results show one in three third graders in the state isn’t reading at their grade level and 40 percent of eighth graders aren’t meeting standards in math. 

AmeriCorps programs, Minnesota Reading Corps and Minnesota Math Corps have been meeting the call to help, but now need some support. 

“We have a number of students who are not meeting benchmark standards from the earliest grades,” Principal Howard Wilson of Eastern Heights Elementary School in St. Paul said. 

Educators say, third grade is the turning point when children transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Studies show, nearly 75 percent of third graders who read poorly, continue to read poorly in high school. 

"If they are falling behind we want to be able to catch them up really quickly, so that they get everything they possibly can out of their classroom instruction,” Julia Quanrud, Director of Minnesota Reading Corps said. 

About 1,500 tutors are working with kids across the state five days a week, but more are needed.   

Now, the AmeriCorps programs are offering more flexibility with a new three-day position. It’s 18 hours a week. The tutors get paid and receive more than a $1,000 to put toward college tuition or student loans. 

To tutor, they don’t need to have a teaching license or a college degree. Program coordinators will teach them what they need to know to help the children succeed. For more information, click here.