Updated: 05/22/2014 6:10 PM
Created: 05/14/2014 4:12 PM KSTP.com
By: Naomi Pescovitz
Changes to state reading and math exams led to lower standardized test scores in 2013. Now, the changes are causing a growing need for tutors across the state.
The Minnesota Reading Corps and Math Corps is recruiting 1,300 tutors, needed in place by August.
Nine-year-old Cami Grinde finished the Minnesota Reading Corps program at Middleton Elementary School in January. Reading did not always come easy for the third-grader.
"At the beginning of the year I never thought she would exit," Grinde's tutor Kallie Crowell said.
After a few months, Crowell and Grinde noticed a quick change of pace.
"It was all of the sudden she was just booming and sky-rocketing, and she would get off the graph and over 150 words," Crowell said.
Grinde's story of success is one the Minnesota Reading Corps hopes to tell for every student. However, the demand for tutors is high and growing.
"As Minnesota raises the rigor of its testing, then we have more students who are considered below, who might have been average two years ago," said Kery Reardon, Reading Specialist at Middleton Elementary School.
Based on state standardized test scores in 2013, 41 percent of eighth-graders are not proficient in math. Forty-three percent of third-graders are not reading at grade level.
"We know that kids learn how to read up until and through the third grade, but then after that, they need to be able to read in order to learn," said Anna Peters, Recruitment and Outreach Manager at Minnesota Math Corps and Reading Corps.
Though the organization has 1,300 tutoring positions, the need is even larger. Schools across the state have requested more than 1,600 literacy tutors and more than 350 math tutors.
"There's so many kids who lie in the middle, they're kind of floating out there, and they're not qualified for other services. We know that there are a lot of kids out there who we could reach and would like to reach," Peters said.
Positions with the Minnesota Reading Corps and Math Corps are paid. Full-time positions pay a little less than $1,000 a month. After a full year of service, tutors can access up to $5,600 to help pay for their education.
The organization is funded through federal and state dollars, along with private donations.
Click here to learn how to apply.