While students in our area are thinking about how nice it is to sleep in and enjoy these somewhat warm days, I’m thinking ahead to the start of the new school year. I’d love every student to have one-on-one support, but our schools simply don’t have the resources. 

Fortunately, Bemidji Schools partner with awesome programs called Minnesota Reading Corps and Minnesota Math Corps, that help our students get on track to be successful readers by the end of third grade and algebra ready by the end of eighth.

To help our students succeed, we’re looking for reading and math tutors in Bemidji, Solway and Laporte (and maybe a school near you) for the 2019-20 school year. You may be wondering if you can really make a difference -- you can. I know first-hand that Reading and Math Corps work.

Reading Corps tutors support teachers by providing extra help and daily practice to students who need a boost. They work on specific interventions such as letter identification, letter sounds, reading fluency and comprehension. Students are monitored weekly to check their growth over time. Math Corps tutors in Bemidji work with pairs of sixth-eighth graders for 90 minutes per week on fact fluency and breaking down skills as a team, that they can later rebuild independently and with confidence in their classroom. 

My Internal Coach in the school would review the students’ data frequently with me, the tutor, to make sure the kids were on track to being the best possible reader or math star they could be. What we saw each time was amazing growth. For the past 15 years, Minnesota Reading Corps has had a successful track record of bringing kids up to reading level by third grade. I have witnessed the difference we, as Reading Corps literacy tutors and Math Corps tutors, make for Bemidji kids. 

Reading and Math Corps tutors are AmeriCorps members who give their time for the school year. In return, they receive a number of perks, including a stipend every two weeks, up to an additional $4,200 for college tuition or student loans and an incredible sense of satisfaction.

Tutors come from a variety of backgrounds -- recent graduates, parents, retirees and veterans. What they have in common is a desire to help children succeed. I’d encourage anyone who wants to be the difference for students to consider becoming a tutor. You can learn more by visiting readingandmath.net or calling (866) 859-2825.

Bradi Kirkpatrick

Former Math and Reading Corps tutor