DULUTH, MN-- This summer, 10 AmeriCorps volunteers will walk the halls of several Duluth Public School buildings.
Their work will be part of the Duluth Area Family YMCA, ServeMinnesota, and several other agencies' efforts to launch the second Minnesota AmeriCorps Emergency Response Initiative.
The Principal at Homecroft Elementary School, Tom Cawcutt, says the pandemic has only made the achievement gap wider, and programs like this are meant to help close it.
“Whether it is a pandemic year or anytime, our focus is trying to close that achievement gap and provide equitable and fair access to education throughout the year,” said Cawcutt.”
The volunteers will work with district teachers in schools across the city.
They'll be helping high schoolers make up credits and lead hands-on academic programming for elementary and middle school students.
Alice Werle, the True North Americorps Director, says this is part of a much bigger effort to help school districts all across the state.
“In response to COVID-19, 'Serve Minnesota' (which is our state level of AmeriCorp), is bringing in 700 AmeriCorp members to schools and nonprofits all across our state. These numbers are there to help with issues caused by covid or exacerbated by that,” said Werle.
Cawcutt says they have seen great success working with AmeriCorp in the past and the opportunity to get help this summer during the pandemic was really exciting.
“We have partnered with Americorp for a number of years and this is the first summer though that we have been able to offer a program like this. So we're really excited about it. Because we have seen success with the AmeriCorp programs of math and reading corp. But having a first-time opportunity this summer is going to be a good thing for ISD 709 and AmeriCorp,” said Cawcutt.
In the end, Cawcutt hopes the program will help any students who may need any additional help in the midst of what has been a tough year.
The program will run from June through August.
If you are interested in working with AmeriCorp this summer, you can find more information here.