Free program offered to elementary students struggling to read

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DENVER -- Reading skills are crucial to success and hundreds of elementary school students in Colorado are getting some extra help thanks to at the Colorado Reading Corps.  

The program is supported by the Mile High United Way and Serve Colorado. There are 12 pilot schools in Jefferson County that are offering daily one-on-one literacy tutoring for kindergarten through third grade students struggling to read at their respective grade levels. There are 20 tutors, all of whom are AmeriCorps members.

Beth Larson, Principal of Patterson International Elementary in Lakewood said she has been impressed by the tutors.

“They do reading interventions 20 minutes a day with each student we have seen phenomenal growth,” she said.      

Participating schools include Stott, Warder, Fremont, Peiffer, Columbine Hills, Dutch Creek, South Lakewood, Patterson, Vanderhoof, Glennon Heights, Green Gables and Peck.   

AmeriCorps tutor Karen Bainter says it’s a privilege to be able to help students learn and grow

“Each child is an individual and you work as hard as you can to help them reach that potential,” Bainter said.   

The program is modeled after the Minnesota Reading Corps project, which has placed more than 1,000 tutors in schools across the state this year. 

Financial requirements are met by the Mile High United Way, The Jefferson Foundation, Target and Serve Colorado and the Governor’s commission on community service. 

According to the program’s date, 97 percent of the students in the program have shown improvement.


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