America Reads is a federally-funded work study program. College students who participate must be eligible for federal dollars to fund their education. Hourly wage: $6.33, or $6.73 for those who have traveling expenses into St. Cloud, Albany and Avon. The programs mission is to serve low income children, ESL children, and children with special education needs to ensure that they can read independently by 3rd grade.
Many tutors do individual tutoring in pull-out types of programs. Many also float around classrooms and may serve as many as 20 children/day. Some tutors work 5-6 hours/week. Others work 2-3 hrs per day. The number of hours varies with the tutors financial aid allotment.
Sites used by this America Reads unit:
- St. Joseph Laboratory School
- Kennedy Elementary School, St. Joseph
- Avon Elementary School
- Albany Elementary School
- St. Joseph Elementary School, Waite Park
- Family Literacy Program in St. Cloud
- McKinley Elementary School, St. Cloud
- Roosevelt Elementary School, St. Cloud
- Madison Elementary School, St. Cloud
This America Reads unit currently carries about 25 tutors. That number could conceivably grow to 40-50 (depending on whether financial aid office can support that many). There is room for more tutors at McKinley, Roosevelt, and Madison.
Training is provided by the sites (individual teachers). Three Education Department faculty/staff serve on the America Reads Advisory Council. Dr. Lynn Moore, Jeanne Coffell, and Dr. Janne Lillestol will also assist with the training of mentors during the 2000-2001 academic year.
Tutors are asked (though not required) to attend a monthly meeting (1 hour) for debriefing, to get ideas for how to work with the children, etc.
During the orientation session, tutors are introduced to the program. The session is aimed at developing sensitivity to the problems associated with not knowing how to read, tutoring tips, sharing. Classroom teachers who take America Reads tutors often participate in the training.
(In her other 20 hours job, Emily works in Albany in the Family Literacy Team. Her target audience there is participants in the Welfare to Work program.)
Director: Emily Schlough, New Academic Offices Building