Students falling behind in reading will again get the help they need this year. Oskaloosa Elementary School has been awarded funding for two full-time reading tutors in the 2016-2017 school year.
The tutors are part of the Iowa Reading Corps, a statewide initiative to help ensure that all Iowa students are on track to read at grade level by the end of 3rd grade.
In July, Iowa Reading Corps was awarded $1.6 million by the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service that will fund more than 100 tutors throughout the state, including two in Oskaloosa.
Those funds will then be matched locally through the support of United Way of Mahaska County.
“The program has seen tremendous growth,” said Amy Meyer, director of United Way of Mahaska County. “When Reading Corps was introduced four years ago, there were only 10 tutors in Iowa and Oskaloosa had two of them. So we saw pretty early the potential this program had to impact students in our community.”
Each school day, tutors meet 1-on-1 with students in Kindergarten through 3rd grade for 20-minute tutoring sessions. Students selected for the program are ones who need some individual attention to reach their reading goals.
“Students who aren’t reading as good as they should be by third grade are four times more likely to not graduate, so keeping them on track is very important,” said Meyer.
Oskaloosa Elementary School is currently working to fill the two Reading Corps tutor positions. Shannon De Penning, a reading teacher at OES, said the job is a great opportunity to change lives.
“Tutors have a positive impact on students learning to become stronger readers while also boosting their confidence in themselves,” said Penning.
For more information or to apply to be a reading tutor, go to www.uwiowa.org/IowaReadingCorps or contact Amy Meyer at United Way of Mahaska County at 641-673-6043.
Story provided by Osky News