The Employment Security Department has been awarded $2.89 million in federal funds to support the Washington Reading Corps for another year.
The money will be used to support 230 Washington Reading Corps members, who work in school districts across Washington to provide one-on-one and small-group tutoring for struggling readers. The Corps members also recruit community-based volunteers to aid in the effort.
“Thanks to a broad base of community involvement, we have a very successful reading program that competes very well for federal funding,” said Nancy Pringle, director of the Washington Service Corps, which is housed within the Employment Security Department and manages the Reading Corps.
“There are very few jobs, even low-paying jobs, that do not require basic reading skills,” said Employment Security Commissioner Karen Lee. “If we are serious about moving Washington forward to compete better in the global economy, we need to make sure every citizen knows how to read. The Reading Corps is making an important difference.”
The Reading Corps was formed in 1998 and so far has served more than 85,000 students in 54 school districts. In the coming year, Reading Corps members will be placed in 54 school districts in 20 counties, which include Benton, Chelan, Clark, Cowlitz, Douglas, Grays Harbor, King, Kitsap, Klickitat, Lewis, Mason, Okanogan, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, Stevens, Thurston, Whatcom and Yakima.
The Reading Corps gets most of its funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service, which runs the nationwide AmeriCorps program.
Anyone interested in being a Reading Corps member or volunteer should contact Sandy Peterson toll-free at (888) 713-6080.