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May 13, 2013

Delano Elementary School looking to fill two full-time positions for 2013-14

By Starrla Cray
Staff Writer

DELANO, MN – As Minnesota Reading Corps literacy tutors, Deborah Dieterich and her daughter, Lydia, have been transforming Delano Elementary students’ views on reading – one story at a time.

“Some kids find reading very hard,” Deborah said. “It takes a lot of effort on their part.”

But, within a few weeks of 20-minute reading sessions with a tutor, the children’s skills – and confidence levels – are significantly boosted.

“By the time they leave, they always want to read a book,” Lydia said. “We’re giving them the one-on-one help they need.”

Delano Elementary School has two literacy tutor openings for the 2013-14 school year. Both positions are full time, but there is the option of dividing them into part-time positions, if needed. No experience is necessary, and tutors will be fully equipped during a three-day training session in August.

“You’re given all the tools you need to get started,” Lydia said, adding that tutors in Delano also have support from other staff members.

According to internal literacy coach Lisa Downer, serving in the Minnesota Reading Corps looks impressive on a resumé, especially for people interested in a career in the education field.

“It’s a very good way to get plugged into a school,” she said.

The minimum commitment is 11 months, which includes sessions with students during the school day, as well as involvement in other community service activities, such as volunteering at a library or leading an after-school program.

Deborah has spent four years as a literacy tutor, which is the maximum allowed.

Lydia came on board two years later, encouraged by her mother’s enthusiasm.

“I knew I wanted to do something with teaching, but I didn’t know what,” Lydia said. “With MN Reading Corps, I’ve been able to experience what a public school in Minnesota is like, and talk to teachers to get their perspective.”

For Lydia, another benefit of the program is the $11,000 education award she received ($5,500 for each year of service).

She recently started taking classes at St. Cloud State University, with plans to earn a master’s degree in teaching English as a second language.

Lydia said the children she’s tutored have made her two years of service highly memorable and rewarding, from notes that say “thank you for teaching me,” to smiles and waves in the hallway.

“The best part is seeing their progress, and how excited they get,” Lydia said.

“When we go into classrooms to get the students, they all raise their hands, wanting it to be their turn next,” Deborah added.

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