Volunteers help area students become successful readers

Published 9:11 am Friday, June 3, 2011

Minnesota Reading Corps is a statewide initiative to help every Minnesota child become a successful reader by the end of third grade. From preschool through third grade, children’s time in school focuses on learning to read. From third grade forward, students are reading to learn. Minnesota Reading Corps’ focus is the importance of this window in the life of a young learner and building the foundation for a lifetime.

Minnesota Reading Corps Volunteers in front row: Marie DeGenaro, Tina Talamantes, Sue Lee, Janice Lesterud and back row: Rick Mammel, Beth Spande and Shirley Gray. Not pictured: Mary Laeger-Hagemeister, Christma Lange, Pat Waters, Nancy Martin, the Rev. Tom Biatek and Sally Ehrhardt. -- Submitted photo

District 241 is fortunate to have Reading Corps tutors in three of four elementary schools this year, and all four next year. Each elementary applies for these positions and goes through a screening and hiring process along with Minnesota Reading Corps to train Reading Corps tutors in the interventions they deliver and monitor. All interventions are research based and therefore proven to work.

Reading Corps has also been supportive in increasing the number of volunteers available to assist in schools as well. This year, Sibley was awarded a position that is specific to volunteer recruitment. Reading Corps vision was helpful in determining how to best utilize those volunteers as they assisted students one-on-one in interventions or spent time with students reading. In fact, Sibley trained many of their volunteers, in the same research based interventions that Reading Corps tutors are trained. This is something they will look to grow next year and the district is excited about the opportunity to have all elementary buildings equipped with a Reading Corps tutor for grades kindergarten through third.

Students received Reading Progress Awards. -- Submitted photo

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On May 19 there was a celebration at Sibley Elementary with students receiving Reading Progress Awards from Minnesota Reading Corps. Reading Corps served 85 students this year at Sibley Elementary with a full time MRC tutor and 15 volunteers that were trained to provide intervention stratagies that assist students in reaching their reading goals.

Volunteers are needed for the next school year. Questions or inquiries can be directed to Linda Bottelson Reading Corps volunteer coordinator for Sibley Elementary at 383-1466.