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Letter: Reading Corps support

To the editor:

While students are gearing up for winter break, I'm looking ahead to the remainder of the school year. As a Reading Corps tutor at Meadowview Elementary, I've been amazed by the significant strides students make in reading. I've seen children transform from shy, struggling students into confident learners. But many more need support. In fact, 1-in-3 Minnesota third-graders is not reading at grade level.

I'm one of more than 1,000 Minnesota Reading Corps tutors serving in schools and early learning centers. I love working with Farmington's children, and I'm hoping that my story will inspire others to join me in this life-changing opportunity.

I began serving at Meadowview over three years ago. As I was already an active volunteer at Meadowview, Reading Corps seemed like a great extension of my work and a way to have an even greater, lasting impact. Working with Reading Corps made me more aware of the challenges teachers face each day with a classroom of eager students at different reading skill levels. With 25 or more students, teachers often do not have as much time as they would like to work one-on-one to give that extra little push a struggling reader might need — Reading Corps provides that opportunity.

Students who struggled before Reading Corps are now some of the top readers in their class, with the confidence to raise their hand and engage in discussions. Reading Corps tutors use data-driven one-on-one and small-group instruction to get kids on track to read proficiently by third grade. As a result of this individualized attention and encouragement, most students read at their grade level within one year.

Tutors receive extensive training and support from on-site staff. We earn a living allowance, as well as a financial award for education or student loans, plus health care and child care assistance benefits, and opportunities to network and grow professionally.

I encourage anyone who is interested in tutoring to visit www.minnesotareadingcorps.org.

Reading Corps truly changes lives. It has changed my life — and the lives of the young learners with whom I work.

Darcy Lukkari

Minnesota Reading Corps tutor

Meadowview Elementary School

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