Approximately 30 literacy and math tutors gathered in Detroit Lakes this week for an AmeriCorps pledge ceremony, raising their right hands in commitment to a year of service to students in the community.
The event, held at M State on Tuesday, Aug. 6, served as a kick-off to the 2019-20 Minnesota Reading Corps and Minnesota Math Corps programs, which aim to make students successful in reading by the end of third grade and proficient in math by the end of eighth grade.
Currently, one in three Minnesota third graders is not reading at grade level. Minnesota Reading Corps places trained AmeriCorps tutors in schools and preschools, where they deliver proven literacy strategies to help children get ready for Kindergarten and on track to become successful readers.
Similarly, state exam results in math show 40 percent of Minnesota eighth graders do not demonstrate grade-level proficiency in that subject. Minnesota Math Corps places AmeriCorps tutors in schools to deliver research-based math strategies that help students in grades four through eight build the skills needed to succeed in math.
Reading Corps and Math Corps are statewide initiatives that help approximately 35,000 students across Minnesota every year. The tutors that took part in Tuesday’s pledge ceremony at M State will serve in Detroit Lakes-area preschools, elementary schools and middle schools.
AmeriCorps members may serve up to four years. Several attendees at Tuesday’s ceremony were recognized for serving their third or fourth year, which speaks to their dedication, the quality of the program, and the value they see they're making for young people.