Tutors Needed in the Northland

We met up with a mother-daughter team that has stepped up, and into, the classroom.

DULUTH, Minn.–If you’re looking to make a difference, there are a lot school children who could use help. There is a shortage of tutors to help kids bridge the gap after a couple of tough school years.

We met up with a mother-daughter team that has stepped up, and into, the classroom.

AmeriCorps reading tutor, Amy Hill, said, “It’s amazing. That smile and that like proud little like, as they gain their confidence, that is my favorite part. Like, they’re no longer looking at me questioning. They can just read it. So that part is amazing, watching them grow their confidence, but that proud smile makes me come back every day”.

Standing in front of the reading garden, where kids get to add something when they do well, Amy Hill can’t hide her joy.

A chip-off-the-old block, her mother Cathy is a retired pre-school teacher–who couldn’t stay retired.

AmeriCorps reading tutor, Cathy Hill, said, “I love making a relationship with the children, and I love making a difference. I feel as we watch the kids grow, it’s very rewarding for them, as well as it is for me”.

Cathy and Amy are two of the faces of the Reading Corps program, and happen to be at Stowe Elementary. Others work with math, or early learning.

Duluth has 34 tutors, but they are looking for another eight. Minnesota needs another 500 state-wide.
COVID was a double whammy: kids falling behind, combined with more difficulty in finding people to step up as tutors.

Mikayla sot 28:19 Usually a tutor’s day-in-the-life, they come to school. They have their little space, we have interventions ready for them. They’re trained on the interventions before they perform them with the students. And they go in and they take students from the classroom, and have kind of one-on-one or group work with them. And about twenty minutes interventions each, and just kind of helps them get their reading and math skills up to where they need to be.28:41

The program welcomes anyone from the age of 18 to the retired. You are fully trained by the program, get paid a stipend, and can even get help with student loans or tuition.

But it’s clear the motivation is not financial. And it’s a toss-up as to who receives more, the student, or the tutor.

Amy Hill went on to say, “When they’ve conquered something that they’ve been working on. I think the most challenging word lately has been “together”. and once they can get that word, that smile is worth it”.

Cathy Hill went on to say, “Well my favorite part of the job is the kids. There’s no doubt about that. They get excited to see us, they know when it’s their turn. I don’t even have to call a name. I walk into a room and they’re, ‘Ooh, it’s my turn. and the hugs work'”.

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