- Training and coaching in research-based literacy strategies
- Professional skill building
- Deeper community involvement
- Biweekly living allowance
- Education award and student loan forbearance
- Health insurance
- Childcare assistance
Training and coaching in research-based literacy strategies
Our training is one of many things that make our program powerful. Reading Corps tutors receive training from well-respected literacy experts in Minnesota. They provide the knowledge and tools tutors need to be effective and confident in their ability to help children grow their literacy skills. Each tutor is also assigned an Internal Literacy Coach at their site to provide ongoing and individual support throughout the year.
The literacy strategies used by Minnesota Reading Corps are based entirely on research and are proven to be effective, evidenced in part by the high passing rates of Reading Corps students. Preschool Literacy Tutors are trained in SEEDS of Emergent Literacy, which teaches them to focus their literacy interactions with children on the “Big Five” emergent literacy skills. These skills include conversation skills, vocabulary and background knowledge, book and print rules, phonological awareness, and alphabetic knowledge. Elementary Literacy Tutors are trained to provide specific reading interventions to help K–3 students practice reading. These tutors introduce interventions to each student daily for 20 minutes each week to build phonics, phonemic awareness, and fluency skills.
Tutors may also attend non-literacy trainings throughout the year. These trainings grow the professional development of Reading Corps tutors, and are designed to be relevant, useful, and eye-opening experiences.
The children aren’t the only ones who grow skills. Minnesota Reading Corps tutors grow along with them. For tutors who are pursuing or continuing an education career, the hands-on experience and literacy training offer an invaluable stepping stone. Tutors work closely with on-site staff who can offer insight and a “foot in the door” in the field. For tutors not pursuing an education career, being part of Reading Corps builds essential career skills such as professionalism and communication, gives entry-level individuals real responsibility and provides the impressive AmeriCorps name to their resumes.
Deeper community involvement
By committing to a year of AmeriCorps service, Reading Corps tutors build a deeper connection and dedication to their community. In addition to daily tutoring service, Reading Corps provides the opportunity to participate in community service projects and activities throughout the year, becoming more active citizens and furthering their impact beyond their tutoring service.
All tutors (with the exception of Educator Corps Preschool Literacy tutors) receive a bi-weekly living allowance. This living allowance is taxed as income and members need to fill out a W-4 for this position. In order to help you determine how best to complete your W-4 form, we recommend that you visit this IRS site. It takes into consideration other factors such as additional income, previous filings, deductions, etc. You can also consult your tax adviser. Applicants must take a careful look at their financial situation to determine if they can afford to commit to a term of service with Minnesota Reading Corps.
Education award and student loan forbearance
Tutors who successfully complete their term of service will receive an education award at the end of their service. The education award may be used to pay educational costs at eligible post-secondary educational institutions, as well as to repay qualified student loans. The award has a seven-year expiration period and is considered taxable income in the year that it is used. Tutors who are 55 or older at the start of their service enjoy an additional option for the use of their award. They may choose to transfer their education award to a child (including step-child), grandchild (including step-grandchild), or foster child. The recipient of a transferred award has ten years to use the award beginning on the date the member earned the award.
Note: Individuals may only receive the total value of two full-time education awards.
If a tutor is making payments to a federally-backed education loan, payments can be put into forbearance during the term. Upon successful completion of the program, the accrued interest will be paid by the National Service Trust. Learn more about loan forbearance on the AmeriCorps website.
When deciding how to best use your Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, take into consideration the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, in which the federal government forgives the balance of your student loans if 1) you have worked full-time for a qualified non-profit for 120 months and 2) have made consistent payments toward your student loan debt. If you are on an income-driven repayment plan, you could potentially save tens of thousands of dollars.
Members serving in a full time capacity are eligible to enroll in a health insurance plan through Minnesota Reading Corps. The plan is managed through Cigna and includes medical, dental, and vision coverage. The plan does not cover dependents and members serving in the Educator Corps position are not eligible for health insurance.
The 2017-2018 Health Plan Summary will be availabe in August of 2017. While there will likely be changes to the plan each year, members can review the 2016-17 Health Plan Summary and 2016-17 Dental/Vision Plan Summary to gain a general understanding of what the plan covers and how it might meet their individual needs.
For greatest savings undert this plan, members are encouraged to use "in-network" healhtare professionals. You may search the Cigna website (using the plan option "Open Access Plus, OA Plus, Choice Fund OA Plus") to find a doctor/dentist or facility within the network.
Have more questions? Please read through our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
Members serving in a full time capacity may qualify to receive child care assistance. The program is administered through GAP Solutions, Inc. In order to be eligible for the assistance program, members must meet income requirements. The Child Care Assistance Program Information Guide provides more details regarding the application process as well as rules and regulations surrounding the program's administration.