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Letter: Literacy tutors have an impact

I’d like to take a moment to celebrate the excellent efforts of our teachers in Kerkhoven, Murdock, and Sunburg. As a literacy tutor with the Minnesota Reading Corps for KMS 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. 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 a tutor, I’m proud to be serve in this school to help struggling students get their footing. In my role as a preschool literacy tutor, I got to help so many children succeed in their reading skills. Minnesota Reading Corps was a great steppingstone to the working world after being home with my children for seven years. It was flexible enough where I could still be with my children when they came home from school and go to their school activities.

It’s gratifying to know that we’re making an impact. 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. (This is significant when you consider that these students were on track to fail, and are now are effectively catching up to their peers!)

This year there are over 1,000 tutors serving with the Corps, and we are looking for people for the 2014-15 school year. For details, please go to or

Again, I salute the great work our teachers are doing, and encourage anyone who is willing to serve to step up! Our children and their futures are certainly worth it.

Barbra Zimmer