Pilots and Innovation

Piloting Innovative Solutions

Our pilots team works to develop and implement innovative solutions to maximize the impact of national service. By collaborating with the research and development team at ServeMinnesota and a variety of community partners, the pilots team helps incubate, refine and scale new programs as well as enhancements to existing models.

Featured Pilots

Total Learning Classroom

Family Child Care

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Click the expanders below to see program descriptions.

Reading Corps in Family Child Care (FCC) is helping more Minnesota children become ready for Kindergarten. Sometimes described as a “traveling preschool”, FCC members visit family child care providers bringing early literacy activities and support each week. The model helps infuse evidence-based programming in family child care settings.

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Reading Corps’ Child Development Associate (CDA) Program, creates a career pathway for individuals interested in a career in early childhood education. By serving with the program, members receive 120 hours of free training, gain experience and earn their CDA at no cost. While serving, members receive a stipend every two weeks, earn additional money for tuition or student loans and qualify for health insurance at no cost. While helping launch careers, the program also is creating a pipeline of early educators and working to improve the racial diversity of early childhood educationon staff.

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The Minnesota Grow Your Own Teachers program is a partnership with the University of Minnesota to help create a career pathway for tutors who are interested in becoming teachers. Rooted in service, the program is designed to build on Reading Corps experience and be completed while serving as a tutor. The five-semester program is 36 credits and prepares participants for K-6 licensure. Coursework is completed through a hybrid model that includes weekly online classes and in-person learning twice a semester. After the two year commitment members earn a MN teaching license and a Masters in Education!

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Did you know researchers are able predict high school achievement based on elementary math scores? That’s why having a strong foundational math skills is so important! Mastering math concepts like fractions and whole number division helps put students on a path for success in high school. K-3 Math Corps tutors work with pairs of students in kindergarten up to third grade to help them build their skills and confidence. The program is currently being piloted in Georgia and Minnesota.

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COVID-19 has made learning especially difficult and Scholar Squad is here to help! At a time when many parents and caregivers are overwhelmed with the challenges of distance learning, Scholar Squad offers free virtual tutoring to students at home. Tutors work one-on-one with students to provide extra practice and skill building. Families can request help for their children by visiting ScholarSquad.org. 

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Total Learning Classroom (TLC) was developed to help address educational disparities by infusing resources into schools with high needs. TLC members (Scholar Coaches) are embedded in kindergarten through third-grade classrooms where they collaborate with teaching staff to provide academic support. Scholar Coaches provide one to one and small group tutoring but also assist teachers with core instruction.

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Phillip HallPilots and Innovation