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MA Reading Corps at Springfield College

Photo: AmeriCorps Member and Springfield College Student Nicole Parolisi engages in a visual discrimination activity with a Pre-K student at Square One. Developing visual discrimination using shapes will foster this student’s ability to discriminate letters, an essential skill when learning to read and write!
Photo: AmeriCorps Member and Springfield College Student Nicole Parolisi engages in a visual discrimination activity with a Pre-K student at Square One. Developing visual discrimination using shapes will foster this student’s ability to discriminate letters, an essential skill when learning to read and write!

The Springfield College Student Success Corps is an AmeriCorps program that focuses on providing academic and social-emotional support to students in the Springfield Public Schools. AmeriCorps members implement interventions with students in grades Pre-K to 12, targeting risk factors for dropping out of school, including poor early literacy, low attendance, course failure in English and math, and behavioral/disciplinary issues.

With support from the Funder Collaborative for Reading Success, the Student Success Corps is replicating the Minnesota Reading Corps' Pre-K Intervention Model in six classrooms in Springfield. The Minnesota Reading Corps is the largest and one of the most successful State AmeriCorps programs in the country, with more than 1,000 AmeriCorps members serving in 750 schools throughout Minnesota.

Reading Corps tutors serve more than 100 students at Square One, Margaret C. Ells Elementary School, and Head Start. They are trained to support the development of preschool children's early language and literacy skills using research-based intervention techniques primarily targeting the "Big 5" language and literacy skill areas: oral language, conversation, and comprehension; vocabulary and meaning; book and print concepts; phonological memory and awareness; and alphabetic knowledge.

Tutors provide embedded and explicit instruction to support the core curriculum and also provide targeted small-group and one-on-one support to children needing more intense supplemental instruction. Tutors assess early literacy skills and monitor their students' progress, collaborating with a Master Literacy Coach, an Internal Literacy Coach, the classroom teacher, and the principal to utilize data when making decisions about interventions and instruction.

For more information on the Springfield College Student Success Corps, visit www.springfieldcollege.edu/americorps. For more information on the Minnesota Reading Corps, visit www.minnesotareadingcorps.org. The Springfield College Student Success Corps is funded in part by the Massachusetts Service Alliance and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

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