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Letter: Program helps students boost reading skills

To the editor:

While students are enjoying their summer break, I'm thinking ahead to when they return to school. I love to give my students the one-on-one support they need. Fortunately, schools in Alexandria, Brandon, Evansville, Garfield, Miltona, Carlos, Kensington, and Parkers Prairie partner with an early literacy program called Minnesota Reading Corps that helps our students get ready for kindergarten and on track to be successful readers by the end of third grade. And I know firsthand that it works.

Reading Corps tutors support teachers by targeting one-on-one daily practice to students in need of a boost in reading skills. They work on specific interventions such as letter identification, letter sounds, reading fluency and comprehension. Students are monitored weekly to check their growth over time.

As a K3 literacy tutor, I work with students one-on-one every day. What I see each time is amazing growth. For the past 15 years, Minnesota Reading Corps has had a successful track record of bringing kids up to reading level by third grade. I have witnessed the difference the Reading Corps program makes for Carlos and Miltona kids.

Tutors are AmeriCorps members who commit 11 months of service to the students and schools in their community. In return, they receive a modest living allowance and an education award to pay tuition or repay qualifying student loans. Tutors come from a variety of backgrounds — they are recent graduates, parents, retirees and veterans.

When our students return from break, I hope there's one more person at our schools to greet them — a Reading Corps tutor. I'd encourage anyone who wants to make a meaningful impact on our children to contact to learn about joining at your school or others in the area.

Carrie Thompson, K3 Literacy Tutor

Carlos Elementary and Miltona Science Magnet School