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Changing the World One Reader at a Time

By Catherine Mahler, Early Childhood Education Specialist
October 5, 2018
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Children who are strong readers by the end of third grade are positioned to be strong learners for the rest of their lives. Minnesota Reading Corps helps make sure every student in the state is ready to learn by placing tutors who teach children how to read using evidence-based instruction in schools.

In YWCA Minneapolis Early Childhood Education Centers, we have staff who are trained in Reading Corps techniques along with Reading Corps members who serve in the classroom as additional support to help improve children’s literacy skills throughout the day.

Alliteration, Rhyming and Recognizing Letters

Reading Corps members work one-on-one and in small groups with children. They lead activities, like teaching children to write and working on skills that will help them in kindergarten, like recognizing alliteration, learning to rhyme and identifying letter names and sounds. Students learn at different paces and benchmark testing is done to identify exactly what each child knows and what they need more support in.

Learning English through Silly Songs and Fun Lessons

One educator told me she recognized a huge amount of growth with all of her students over the year, but one of her English as a second language (ESL) students had a special story. This student came to her classroom with very few English words and over the course of the year, he worked hard to follow the literacy lessons, like one classroom favorite, the “What is it?” song, which encourages new vocabulary words in a fun and exciting way. By the end of the year, the child was writing his own first and last name and picking up new words all the time. In fact, the student has taken it upon himself to take another ESL student under his wing and help her with the things he has learned.

Ready for Kindergarten with their ABCs

With Minnesota Reading Corps in the classroom, it is assured each child gets the special attention they need to develop their literacy skills. And when they go off to kindergarten, they are not only ready, but often ahead of their peers.

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