We’re excited to share we’ve partnered with ServeMinnesota to launch a new initiative to help more kids build their skills and confidence! Scholar Squad offers one-on-one, online tutoring for Minnesota students in PreK-8th grade.
COVID-19 has made everything difficult this year, especially learning. That’s why we are bringing the proven Reading Corps and Math Corps programs directly to families at no cost to them. Scholar Squad is leveraging the power of our proven AmeriCorps programs to help reach kids outside of the classroom.
“Students are experiencing significant challenges,” explains Reading Corps and Math Corps Managing Director Sadie O’Connor. “We knew we had to innovate and find a way to support kids who need extra support.”
Families can request a consult with a literacy or math coach, who will conduct a short screening. If the screening shows their kids could use extra help, we’ll match them up with a tutor for extra practice and support.
We’re Already Hearing Great Things
Although tutors have only recently started working with families, we’re already hearing great things. “Families are incredibly relieved to have this resource,” says Alison Zellmer, Associate Director of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships. “Many have been looking for extra support and are excited that we can provide a tutor to help.” While navigating complex schedules and the challenges of COVID-19, Scholar Squad families are prioritizing tutoring.
Tutors deliver tutoring through Zoom, and even from a distance, are building strong relationships. Jenny’s daughter receives tutoring five days a week from Scholar Squad and has already noticed the impact. “Kyra loves working with her Scholar Squad tutor,” Jenny says. “She is excited every day when she gets home from school to get started.”
Do you know a family who could use some help from Scholar Squad? Please share this news and ask them to visit ScholarSquad.org to learn more and request help.
Suzanne PagelOnline tutoring from Reading Corps and Math Corps
With so much uncertainty surrounding the school year, Reading and Math Corps tutors are needed more than ever to support our students. Kim Nelson, a reading tutor at Sawtooth Mountain Elementary in Grand Marais, is an example of one tutor working to change the lives of the students she works with. “Kim adds so much as a tutor,” says principal Megan Myers. “We’re so thankful to have her!”
Before becoming a tutor in October 2019, Kim’s own life was changed by cancer and autoimmune disease diagnosis a few years prior. After multiple battles overcoming what doctors said was a 38% chance to live, Kim returned to the professional world and eventually found out about the opportunity to tutor in Grand Marais through a Facebook ad.
With COVID-19 continuing to be a threat to public health and safety, AmeriCorps is stepping up to help slow the spread with a new case investigator/contact tracer position this September. “To slow the spread of COVID-19, we need to follow where the virus may be spreading in our communities,” says Sadie O’Connor, managing director of Reading & Math, Inc. “Case investigation and contact tracing is essential because it helps to quickly identify people who should stay home and away from others.”
We’re excited to help launch a new strategic initiative of ServeMinnesota in September! Developed by a climate design team, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Department of Forestry, Minnesota Green Corps and Tree Trust, the Community Forestry Corps will engage a team of AmeriCorps members in the preservation and revitalization of Minnesota’s forests.
Suzanne PagelBe a Force of Nature: Announcing Community Forestry Corps
Minnesota Reading Corps is excited to partner with three great organizations to provide 5,000 learning kits for families in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area. With over 200,000 children in the metro area living in households with incomes at or around poverty levels, the PNC Foundation, Kids in Need Foundation, Science Museum of Minnesota and Reading Corps aim to ensure that all children, regardless of their circumstances, have access to quality learning materials.
Suzanne PagelTeaming up to help young learners thrive
Juneteenth originated in Texas where on June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, more than 200,000 enslaved people in Texas learned they were no longer property of their enslavers.
It became tradition to celebrate freedom every year around this time. Today as we celebrate Juneteenth, we examine our country’s past and work for a more equitable future.
Whether this is your first Juneteenth Celebration or a familiar tradition, we’ve curated resources to help you reflect, connect and celebrate.
No words feel adequate to describe the pain and grief our community is experiencing. George Floyd should still be with us. We see too many people’s lives stolen by systemic violence, be it through police violence, excessive force, or the inequities experienced by Minnesota’s communities of color and especially by Minnesota’s Black community
Our community is grieving & we honor that pain. We believe in the power of community-led action; we see every day the positive change our members bring through their service. While we recognize that many are shocked and hurting, we realize that there are different positions of proximity to this tragedy. Whatever your experience please be sure to care for yourself and for those around you. If you are in need of mental health support you can access free crisis resources from NAMI.
For our AmeriCorps members, please note that you have access to the Member Assistance Program (MAP) which provides free telehealth counseling and referrals from a licensed professional. Visit the Member Resource Hub to learn more. We thank our members, our partners, & everyone committed to building a better, equitable, and just community. May we honor George Floyd’s memory by supporting each other to build a better future.
Have you heard about the opportunity to serve this summer helping address urgent community needs related to COVID-19? As part of the AmeriCorps Emergency Response Initiative, there are amazing opportunities throughout the state. In fact, AmeriCorps Emergency Response Initiative members will provide essential community support at more than 65 locations this summer!
Suzanne PagelSummer Service Sites Announced Across Minnesota
Reading Corps and Math Corps combine the people power of AmeriCorps and the science of learning to provide a solution to help narrow achievement gaps and help students become successful learners by the end of third and eighth grade.