Grant keeps AmeriCorps reading tutor in place at Pioneer Elementary

School is the only one in Clark County to receive such aid for 2014-2015

By Susan Parrish, Columbian Education Reporter

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Pioneer Elementary School in Evergreen Public Schools is the only school in Clark County to receive funds from a federal grant to provide an AmeriCorps reading tutor for the 2014-2015 school year, according to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

“Some students don’t come in with skills that we’d expect them to have as kindergartners,” said Jenny Roberts, principal at Pioneer Elementary. “This tutoring helps bring the kids up to speed, from the beginning kindergartner who doesn’t know how to sit still and listen to a story to an early reader who isn’t up to grade-level reading.”

Roberts gave a phone interview from Arkansas, where she was attending a conference on literacy and early learning.

Pioneer Elementary, a Title I school, has received an AmeriCorps tutor via the grant for several years, she said. The AmeriCorps literacy tutor works full time throughout the school year providing both small-group and one-on-one instruction, Roberts said.

The $1.86 million federal grant, coupled with funding from the state Legislature, will provide reading tutoring for 6,000 elementary students around the state by placing 150 Washington Reading Corps members into 53 school districts and community-based organizations.

The grant was made possible by a $950,000 state measure providing support for the Washington Reading Corps. The Reading Corps is part of the Washington Service Corps, administered by the state Employment Security Department using money from the federal AmeriCorps program.