BY STEPHANIE FOX
Minnesotans can boast about being number one in a lot of positive categories, but having some of the largest educational disparities among minority and low-income students in the country is no reason to brag. One factor in this disparity is that where white parents have higher incomes and more education than Black parents, they can provide more educational support for their kids. This is true in the Twin Cities.
The Minnesota Reading and Math Corps wants to change the outcomes for these students. Right now, they are looking to expand the number of scholar/coaches to attend classrooms in Minneapolis and St. Paul, working alongside licensed teachers in kindergarten through third grades, beginning in January 2022. They hope to recruit 25 people for schools in Minneapolis and 22 in St. Paul. The program is asking those who are interested to apply by Dec. 15.
Scholars need to be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalency. But older people, even those retired, are welcome to apply.
This is not a volunteer position. Scholar/coaches work 40 hours a week, making $16.66 an hour, and those who haven’t already earned an associate degree can complete a degree in early childhood or elementary education at little or no cost, as part of a new Education Fellowship in partnership with PNC Bank and Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Scholars also qualify for individual health insurance at no cost. Scholars who are age 55 or older may choose to gift the money they earn for tuition to a child, to help them cover their college costs. Those who are accepted to the program will receive two weeks of paid training.
Each scholar will work one-on-one for 20 minutes a day with a minimum of nine students, helping to improve literacy skills. They will also work with groups of students, partnering with the classroom teacher.
“This experience is valuable for the kids when they get to have an adult focused and interested in them,” said Laura Isdahl, the Corps program manager. “Across the country, the program has helped 30,000 students. We are looking for people who are passionate about working with the community, particularly for people interested in getting into the education field or other kinds of public service.”
“The need is great in the metro area,” said Gary Young, media relations director with the Corps. “This has been an especially tough year for school staffing. And, while COVID has impacted learning for all students, the impact has been disproportionate for populations already experiencing educational disparities. The Corps is looking for people who students can identify with as they work on building their own success stories.”
National experts are studying the opportunity gap in Minnesota. “What’s exciting is we have a solution that works to bridge this gap. Independent research shows that by providing students a tutor for extra practice and skill building, students make incredible progress, more than their peers who don’t receive tutoring,” Young said.
Anyone who is interested in applying should go to readingandmath.org and then click on “apply.”
Minneapolis/St. Paul sites looking for Scholar Coaches
• Anne Sullivan STEAM Magnet
• Ascension School
• Benjamin E. Mays IB World School
• Jackson Elementary School
• Maxfield Elementary School
• Nellie Stone Johnson
• Phalen Lake Hmong Studies Magnet
• Sojourner Truth Academy
South Minneapolis Schools looking for Reading & Math Tutors
• Anishinabe Academy
• Anne Sullivan STEAM Magnet
• Bancroft Community School
• Barton Community School
• Bryn Mawr Community School
• Field Community School
• Folwell Community School
• Friendship Academy of the Arts
• Green Central Dual Language Magnet
• Hiawatha Academies –
• Hiawatha College Prep – Northrup
• Hiawatha Community School Hiawatha Campus
• Seward Montessori Magnet
• Universal Academy Charter School