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By: Shayla Thiel Stern

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Hannah Berget: Stepping Up to Help Families With Kids Who Need a Little Extra Help Now

Reading Corps student

One of the experts consulting with parents about students’ participation in Reading Corps and Math Corps direct-to-families work is Hannah Berget, a Math Programming Specialist at Reading and Math Inc. (RMI). Learn more about her background and passion for helping students in this interview:

What is your background and how did you find your way to working at Reading & Math Inc.?

I went to college at St. Olaf, and I had some friends who were a year above me who served in Minnesota Reading Corps, and they really liked it. So as a senior, I was thinking about going into education, but I didn’t want to launch right into a teacher preparation program yet and instead, became a reading tutor in St. Paul at Highwood Hills for a year. I really liked it, and that experience convinced me to go back to school to get my special education degree. And so while I was doing that, I worked as a paraprofessional in a school for one year, and then for the next year, I worked at ServeMinnesota, answering help tickets for the data management system in Reading Corps. After getting my degree, I taught special ed for three years in Eden Prairie.

Hannah Berget and her family

One of the reasons why I went into special ed is because I loved that small group tutoring and the research-based interventions and decision making processes that were being used in Reading Corps. Unfortunately, I realized that in special education, there are a whole lot of other things involved in that position that aren’t really revolving around a small group learning model – and I wanted to get back to that work. That’s why I was so interested in going to RMI to become the Math Program Specialist. That means that I I’m a master coach for about 20+ sites in our grades 4-8 Math Corps program. Last year, I got to help write and create the content and curriculum for our K-3 math pilot program, which was so cool. I also learned how to be a trainer, which is something I’ve never done before but really enjoy.

And now I’m going to be involved in consulting with parents and caregivers in our new program bringing Reading Corps and Math Corps directly to families.

Why do you think this new initiative is so important?

A lot of parents are worried that since their kids aren’t in school, they’re not really learning as much as they could. Families are probably worried about them getting behind. And so I think it helps to have that extra support now when there’s just a little bit less support in schools with the pandemic.

How are you feeling about working directly with parents, caregivers and their students?

I’m excited to help connect them to tutoring services that they need. And I miss having more of that direct interaction with families and kids that I had as a teacher and don’t typically have as much in my work at RMI. So I’m looking forward to getting to know them a little bit through our conversations and making recommendations on how to best help their kids.

If they qualify to receive tutoring, we will adapt Reading Corps and Math Corps interventions to do virtually and that’ll be really helpful for kids to not fall behind in reading and math. Just to have that one-on-one support will be so great. Even if it doesn’t look exactly like it would in person in schools with Reading Corps and Math Corps tutors, it’s still going to be so helpful for kids to stay on track. 

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Do you want to learn more about this new initiative to bring Reading Corps and Math Corps directly to families? Here’s how to works:

If you are a Minnesota family with a child in PreK – 8th grade, it’s easy to get started:

  1. Visit Reading Corps/Math Corps online for a personal consultation – it’s FREE! — minnesotareadingcorps.org/families
  2. Meet with a literacy or math expert to discuss the needs of your learner(s)

Based on the identified needs of your student, you’ll either: 

  • Be matched with a reading/math specialist who will work with your learner(s)directly
    to provide skill building and practice (likely in a virtual setting) and/or 
  • Receive resources and activities you can do at home to support learning

Schools across the country rely on Reading Corps and Math Corps to support students who need extra help. Our highly trained specialists focus on skill building and use research-based activities proven to work. For homework help and other assistance, please contact your child’s school.

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