Stories of Service


Reader’s View: Reading Corps volunteer helps students succeed

As 2016 begins, we with the Minnesota Reading Corps want to publicly praise a person who plays a huge role in contributing to the success of struggling readers at Congdon Park School: Reading Corps tutor LeVearne Hagen.

It is a fact that reading skills are necessary for success in school and in life. As a teacher at Congdon Park in Duluth, I know what children can achieve when their reading is improved. If children pass crucial reading milestones when they are young, research and history show they reap lifelong benefits. When children reach reading-proficiency goals by the end of third grade, it launches their learning so they are more able to reach their potential in math, science and other subjects. They are four times as likely to graduate high school as kids who aren’t reading well by the end of third grade. They are more likely to go on to higher education.

Unfortunately, too many children struggle with reading. In Minnesota, one in three third-graders is not reading at their grade level.

At Congdon Park School, LeVearne works daily to ensure students who need extra assistance to move up to grade level in reading get the individualized instruction they need.  She teaches and practices phoneme segmenting and blending, letter-sound correspondence, and comprehension strategies so students can make great leaps in their learning. Those of us at Congdon Park School are proud to call LeVearne our colleague.

Others can be urged to support Reading Corps and to support teachers. We have a common goal: our young students’ success in education — and in life.

Cindy Miller


The writer teaches fifth grade at Congdon Park School and is a Minnesota Reading Corps internal coach.

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