AmeriCorps volunteers serve crucial role
It takes a village to raise a child. Nowhere have I seen this proverb exemplified more than in the Duluth Public Schools. I'd like to take a moment to celebrate the excellent efforts of not only our teachers, but the parents, paraprofessionals, s...
It takes a village to raise a child. Nowhere have I seen this proverb exemplified more than in the Duluth Public Schools. I'd like to take a moment to celebrate the excellent efforts of not only our teachers, but the parents, paraprofessionals, specialists, administrative staff and countless others who help to send our children out into the world, ready to take it on. I am writing to tell you about a particularly selfless group of people serving in our area: AmeriCorps members.
As a volunteer coordinator with the Minnesota Reading Corps (MRC) for both Piedmont and Lowell elementary schools, I see firsthand the great work they are doing to shape the futures of the children of our community. I also know the reality facing today's students. According to data from 2013 state standardized tests, one in three of Minnesota third-graders are not reading at grade level.
The Minnesota Reading Corps is a statewide initiative designed to help every Minnesota child to be a proficient reader by the end of third grade. Working with a research-based curriculum, Minnesota Reading Corps is seeing positive results among students who have successfully completed the program. When you consider that 70 percent of today's jobs require some form of post-secondary education, it has never been more critical to ensure that our students are on the right track.
As one of 1,200-plus members of Minnesota Reading Corps, I'm proud to serve within the Duluth schools. In my unique role as one of only nine volunteer coordinators within MRC throughout Minnesota, I have been able to develop professional skills while serving a community I hold dear.
I became a member of MRC because I wanted to serve a community. I am able to accomplish this over and over through the volunteers who I help to support. The students and volunteers look forward to seeing each other each week, and that bond helps facilitate a love of reading in the students. Volunteers are able to be that extra help that is needed to boost them up to where they need to be.
In addition to my work as a volunteer coordinator, I am able to serve alongside members of other AmeriCorps programs doing extraordinary work in our city. True North and Math Corps are two of the valuable organizations that have members in the Duluth area. It's rewarding to know that we're making an impact.
March 9-13 is National AmeriCorps Week. If you see members wearing their gear, give them smiles or high fives. They are helping in our shared community.
Jaime Satko is a second-year member of Minnesota Reading Corps and a coordinator of the volunteer literacy tutors. For more details about AmeriCorps, visit www.MinnesotaReadingCorps.org or www.nationalservice.gov .
Related: Local volunteers help children learn