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About Minnesota Reading Corps
All Minnesota children will become proficient readers by the end of third grade.
Minnesota Reading Corps, a strategic initiative of ServeMinnesota, demonstrates how service and science can accelerate improvement in both students and systems. By mobilizing the people power of AmeriCorps, Reading Corps provides evidence-based literacy interventions and data-based assessments to children from age three to grade three.
Using the latest research on reading intervention strategies and guidance from literacy experts, Reading Corps is a critical link in literacy acquisition. It provides what struggling readers need - individualized, data-driven instruction, one-on-one attention, well-trained tutors, instruction delivered with fidelity, and the frequency and duration necessary for student achievement.
For teachers, regularly delivering individualized, one-on-one instruction can be difficult, if not impossible. Because Reading Corps tutors are focused solely on providing reading support, they can target instruction and dedicate the time needed for each student.
Tutors commit to a year of AmeriCorps service, receive rigorous training and ongoing support throughout the year from literacy coaches, and use assessments to ensure their efforts produce the desired results - helping children achieve grade-level reading proficiency.
The effectiveness of Minnesota Reading Corps has been confirmed every year for the past 12 years. Internal evaluations are conducted annually and independent evaluations have been commissioned every three years. Specific findings include:
- Since 2003, Minnesota Reading Corps has provided early intervention services to over 125,000 age 3 – grade 3 students. Annually, Minnesota Reading Corps reaches approximately 30,000 students.
- A randomized controlled trial (RCT), the gold standard of evaluation, conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago (2014) found that elementary students tutored by Minnesota Reading Corps achieved significantly higher literacy levels than students without such tutors, and that the impacts were statistically significant even among students at higher risk of academic failure (ethnicity, Dual Language Learners, Free/Reduced-Price Lunch). Read more about the study.
- The Minnesota Reading Corps model was determined to be “replicable in multiple school settings using AmeriCorps members with varied backgrounds” in a process assessment evaluation conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago (2013).
- Research conducted by the Center for Learning Solutions (2012) has shown that Reading Corps participants are three times less likely to be assigned to special education than non-participants, thus creating a permanent benefit to children and a significant on-going savings to schools that can be redirected back into the classroom for the benefit of all children.
- Numerous studies focused on pre-school students have confirmed that Minnesota Reading Corps participants outperform children in a matched sample comparison group on validated assessments that predict school readiness. [Bollman, Silberglitt, and Heistad (2008); Heistad (2009)].
Minnesota Reading Corps tutors serve in over 900 preschool sites and elementary schools across Minnesota. Visit our Locations page for a complete list of partnering schools.