Did you know that in Minnesota, almost half of our third-graders struggle to read at grade level? As part of Minnesota Reading Corps, an AmeriCorps program, I’m trying to change that statistic.

Being a tutor is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done, and I’m writing today because there are so many more kids who need our help. Having worked in Rochester schools for the last 15 or so years, I can attest to the fact that kids need help with establishing strong foundations in reading and the reading process itself.

It’s important that kids become good readers by third grade because after third grade, they’ll need to be able to read in order to learn. Furthermore, kids are at great risk of falling further and further behind as they continue through schooling. If good reading habits are not established before third grade, it is something that greatly impacts kids and the adults they will subsequently become. Knowing the quintessential importance of reading, I currently work with students on establishing good reading habits, day in and day out. I still apply the invaluable knowledge that I learned throughout my training as a Minnesota Reading Corps tutor.

With the disruptions and challenges caused by COVID-19, we know many of our learners will need extra help next year. As a tutor, you can provide additional support and help them get back on track.

Could you or someone you know give some time to help be more for students? In Rochester, 12 people are needed to begin in August.

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Great tutors come from all walks of life, and the experience is an incredible opportunity for all ages – especially recent grads and college students interested in taking a gap year this fall. Tutors can choose to give 18, 25 or 35 hours a week and qualify for perks like a stipend every two weeks plus additional money for tuition or student loans.

I’d love to begin the 2020-21 school year knowing there will be a tutor for every child who needs some extra help and hope you will join me. To learn more and apply, please visit readingandmath.net.

Monica Maldonado is an AmeriCorps alum of two AmeriCorps programs, READS and MN Reading Corps. She works in the school district with the Spanish immersion program.