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Reading Corps program helps students acheive their reading goals

Everyone can use a little help now and then.

That's true in Riverview Elementary School, where Lisa Schlosser has been helping kids in kindergarten through third grade reach their reading goals through a new program, Minnesota Reading Corps.

The program isn't new to Farmington schools -- it's been around Farmington Elementary School and Akin Road Elementary for a couple of years -- but this is the first year for Riverview.

Funded through the AmericCorp program, the Minnesota Reading Corp gives kids who might not be reading at their appropriate grade level the push they need to achieve that goal, Schlosser said.

"It's a one-on-one tutoring service that helps 'bubble kids' who don't meet the requirements for Title 1 help, but don't meet the special education qualifications, either," Schlosser said.

"These are the kids who fall into that gray area, who just need a little more help to push them to that level they should be at," she said.

AmericCorp trains the tutors. Tutors are college students or parents who volunteer in the classroom. They have to work in a classroom for 1,200 hours a year to receive some of the incentives offered by AmericCorps, too.

But more importantly, they work one-on-one with students for 20 minutes each day. Sometimes the students only need assistance for about a month to reach their reading goals. Sometimes it takes a little longer.

The program uses a series of benchmarks to make sure kids are reaching their reading potential. Teachers and tutors try to identify the reading deficiencies in the younger students because reading is a skill they will need through the rest of their education, Schlosser said.

"It really focuses on reading because if you can't read, you can't even do things like math eventually. You'll need that skill," she said. "It does build base for those kids that they're going to carry through their educational journey."

What's more, the program is free. A letter is sent home to parents, and all they need to do is give the nod to let Schlosser go ahead and register the students.

For more information on the Minnesota Reading Corp, contact Schlosser at 651-460-1681.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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