ServeMinnesota has been named as one of six organizations that will partner with Greater Twin Cities United Way and Generation Next to close the educational achievement gap in the Twin Cities. These organizations were selected because they implement replicable, evidence-based programs and have achieved robust results toward key benchmarks known to determine student outcomes.
ServeMinnesota, through its strategic initiative Minnesota Reading Corps, will partner with the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) to pilot a new literacy intervention called the Minnesota Assessment of Vocabulary for Reading Improvement and Comprehension (MAVRIC). Building on the existing Minnesota Reading Corps model, MAVRIC addresses the vocabulary deficiency that exists among elementary school-age students and stems from a growing body of research that indicates the achievement gap can be impacted with a focused effort to build vocabulary.
Defined as knowledge of words and word meanings, vocabulary lays the foundation for reading and reading comprehension. This innovation will be implemented in four MPS elementary schools during the 2013-2014 school year. MAVRIC will produce data for effectively identifying students struggling with vocabulary in PreK, Kindergarten, and 1st grade, as well as the data to ensure that research-based interventions are effective for specific students.
Greater Twin Cities United Way, host for Generation Next (formerly Twin Cities Strive), received $2 million in support over the next two years from the Social Innovation Fund created by President Obama through theCorporation for National and Community Service. Generation Next was launched as a Strive Network in 2012 to identify organizations achieving the strongest results for Minneapolis and Saint Paul and to maximize their impact by investing resources to fund their growth. In addition to ServeMinnesota, the five other Generation Next Social Innovation Fund subgrantees are: Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood (through Wilder Foundation), Achieve Minneapolis, Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation, Way to Grow and College Possible. This partnership comes in the form of a grant renewable for up to five years.