Math Corps

Coming Back to School

Guest Writer: Maria Jimenez Perez, Math Enrichment Tutor at Middleton Elementary in Woodbury, MN

I worked as a math and science teacher at the high school level for nine years. My family had just moved from Puerto Rico to Minnesota and we had decided I was not going to work the first year to help the kids with the transition. One day, I was volunteering at their school, and I saw a Math Corps sticker at the main office’s window. I was intrigued, took a picture, came home and did some research. I thought that it was a great opportunity—especially when I couldn’t teach in Minnesota since I didn’t have a teaching license. Plus, I had seen firsthand how my 9th graders lacked basic skills needed before taking algebra. I kind of saw it as a sign.

Now, I learn so much every day—my students are great teachers! I have discovered myself, my passions, my strengths and my areas of opportunity. But I think the best part about being a tutor with Math Corps is being witness of the incredible transformation these students make. They start off a little hesitant and reluctant, then they start to understand what we are doing, having fun with it, and their confidence levels go up the roof. At the end of the year they all say that they didn’t know math could be fun! Not only does their confidence improve, their attitude toward math changes—which I think is a great thing!

The relationships we build with our students are also so important. One time we were working on the box method for division in our sessions. One of my students asked if she could apply this method to the decimal division problems problems she was doing in class—they had a test that day and she was not feeling ready. I didn’t know if the process would work, but we tried it together and it did! A few days later I came to my desk, and her graded test was on it. She had gotten a B+. I think this was the first passing grade she had gotten in her math class. I thought the teacher had left it there for me to see, but when I asked her she said she had not left it—my student left it there for me to see! She was so proud of her grade, she brought the test over to me first instead of taking it home for her parents to see.

Serving as a Minnesota Math Corps tutor has been one of the most enriching opportunities I’ve had. You don’t have to be a teacher or have experience teaching/tutoring. Anybody with a will to help, to learn and to make a difference can do this! If you are not sure, just give it a try—you will not regret it!

Kelsey CummingsComing Back to School
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We’re Looking for Great People: Help Us Find Them and Earn a Free Jacket!

Can’t get enough of Reading Corps and Math Corps? Constantly telling your friends to join our dedicated community? Want to ensure more Minnesota children have the help they need to build strong skills in reading and math?

Turn your passion for our programs into perks with our referral promotion! Refer a new applicant and receive a limited edition black softshell jacket.

Here’s how it works:

1) Tell a friend about Reading Corps or Math Corps!
We’re looking for great new applicants. Know someone who is looking for a way to give back during retirement, needs experience for their teaching degree, or who is just passionate about helping children succeed? Share how service has been impactful for you and about all the great work our tutors are doing across Minnesota—they’re sure to be inspired!

2) Direct them to apply at www.readingandmath.net
New applicants can search for opportunities at schools near them by clicking “Apply Now” and navigating the dropdown menu options to find a position that suits them best.

3) Remind them to list your name on their application
When they fill out their online application, there will be a place for them to list how they heard about our programs. Make sure they list your name so we know who referred them!

4) Check your email inbox
After your candidate completes Institute, we’ll be reaching out to you to confirm your jacket size and preferred shipping address, so be sure to keep an eye on your inbox (and your Spam folder!) so you don’t miss our message.

5) Wear your jacket proudly!
Thank you for being such a great advocate for Minnesota learners and helping to spread the word about service. Wear your new jacket with pride!

And that’s it! Still have a few questions? Email us at recruitment@servetogrow.org or call 866.859.2825 and we’ll be happy to help.

Alumni, current tutors, coaches, principals and staff are eligible for this promotion. New applicants only.
 
 
 
administratorWe’re Looking for Great People: Help Us Find Them and Earn a Free Jacket!
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New Member Benefits Starting 2018-19!

 

Living in the Twin Cities can sometimes wreak havoc on your budget. With the high cost of living, those daily expenses can add up faster than expected. But should you have to choose between serving your community and keeping up with your finances?

We at Minnesota Reading Corps and Minnesota Math Corps say “no!” That’s why starting this 2018-19 school year, we’re piloting new benefits aimed at making managing your budget just a little bit easier.

Members serving in the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul can now receive up to $2,000 in housing assistance! The benefit will be paid biweekly (every two weeks) and no sign-up is required. Most metro members will also qualify for reduced transit fares through a new collaboration with Metro Transit’s Transportation Assistance Program. Members will pay $1.00 per ride (vs. the $2.25- $3.25 standard fare) using TAP cards that will be distributed during Institute.

Our hope is that these new benefits will help offset the higher cost of living in the Twin Cities and allow those who would like to make a difference in their communities serve without financial worry.

“I think these new benefits are great! I was already planning on taking the bus when the weather gets cold, so the discount for Metro Transit will save me a lot throughout the year!” says Reading Corps tutor Chelsea Smith of Saint Paul. “The additional housing assistance also makes choosing service over work easier when it comes to finances.”

While these new benefits do not currently apply to 3 day/week members or those serving in Reading Corps pilots, we are working hard to study the impacts of these benefits with an eye toward possible continuation and expansion in the future.

If you have any questions about how these new benefits pertain to you, please email us. We’d love to hear your feedback!

 

administratorNew Member Benefits Starting 2018-19!
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Making a Major Impact

Guest Writer: Michael Gilleo, Math Enrichment Tutor at Northeast College Prep in Minneapolis, MN

On a Friday morning in late March, I walked into my classroom and found a stack of handmade thank-you cards on my desk. On top of the pile was a sticky note with “From your 5th graders” and a heart scribbled on it. I only work with six kids from 5th grade, but all 24 students in the class had made me a card. Except for the students in Math Corps, the only interaction I have with their class is during the last hour of the school day on Fridays. During this time I hang out in their classroom, helping with projects or playing games. I later talked to their classroom teacher and she told me that the whole class had elected to make me cards during recess. I asked what I had done to earn such a gift.

“I don’t think it was specifically anything you did,” she told me. “These kids are smart, they can just tell. They’ve grown up in a lot of different environments, and they can sense when someone really cares about them. They know that you care and I think they appreciate that more than anything.”

My goal had always been to make a difference in my students’ lives, but I thought I was limited to the kids I tutored in Math Corps. I quickly realized that “my students” were not just the ones I tutored—I had been able to impact an entire classroom.

I love when students come into my room before school to say good morning, or ask if they can stay with me for recess. It is even more rewarding when a student asks if they can call home to share their most recent benchmark score, or when their parents tell me that they talk about Math Corps all the time at home. Not only have I developed a positive and fun relationship with my students, but they have also taken an active role in their learning and are proud to share that with others.

Your experience serving with Math Corps (and Reading Corps) will be what you make it. When I was considering becoming a tutor, I was going to take a gap year after graduating so that I could apply to medical school. I wanted to spend that year doing something that would help me grow as a person and better prepare me for the career of a physician. Since serving with Math Corps, I have been accepted to the University of Minnesota Medical School and will start classes there this August!

administratorMaking a Major Impact
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Continuing a Lifetime of Service

Dan Carlson, Math Enrichment Tutor at Staples-Motley Middle School in Motley, MN

 

For retired police officer Dan Carlson, giving back to the community is more than just a weekend hobby. With 30 years of experience in law enforcement, Dan devoted his career to service. Now as a Math Corps tutor at Staples-Motley Middle School, he’s found a whole new way to give back!

“After my retirement from public safety, I found I had a great amount of time to fill. You can only do so much fishing, golfing and relaxing,” Dan says. “I felt the need to continue serving my community, but in a different way.”

He first got to know Reading Corps through his daughter Brianna Mielke, who serves as a Reading Corps tutor. She spoke highly of the program and Dan decided to give Math Corps a try.

Throughout his first year of service, he’s learned a lot about himself and his school, but what he really enjoys is the interaction with his students. The best part? Seeing students light up when a concept finally clicks.

And the benefits for Dan don’t end there—whether it’s with a simple thank you, a smile or an exciting story they’ve shared, Dan’s students, he says, help him stay young at heart.

While serving in the 3-day a week position, Dan has found the perfect balance between serving the community he loves and still finding time to enjoy all the benefits of retired life. Throughout his career—and now his retirement—he’s approached everything he does with a service mindset, and hopes others will do the same.

“You don’t have to be a ‘math person’ to do Math Corps—I’m not,” Dan explains. “You just need to be willing to help students who need that little extra to get them back up to where they need to be.”

 

administratorContinuing a Lifetime of Service
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