As AmeriCorps prepares for its reading and math tutors to return to schools for in-person support this fall, the agency is seeking tutors to help meet the likely growing need for extra academic help.

Ten more tutors are currently needed for the 2020-21 academic school year in Duluth, said AmeriCorps Director of Service Experience Lindsey Molstad. That's eight for reading and two for math.

"We can't really fully gauge the pandemic's impact, but we definitely know that the positive impact of really high-dosage tutoring, like they get from reading or math corps, are able to make an impact," Molstad said.

The number of tutors needed in the area this year is pretty consistent to previous years, however, Molstad said if a site needs more tutors, they've been trying to meet that extra demand.

Tutors work either 35, 25 or 18 hours a week. Reading Corps serves students age 3 through third grade, while math tutors help students in fourth through eighth grade.

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"Usually we're working with the students that are just right below grade level," Molstad said. "They just need a little extra skill building, and that's where our tutors come in."

Teachers help identify who would benefit from extra help during the school day, and then the tutors check the student's literacy and math skills to make sure they're a good fit for the program.

"Tutors are really a vital part of the school's learning environment," Molstad said. "They really work strategically with the classroom teachers to help build up extra support, confidence."

Tutors receive training and coaching throughout the academic year. Molstad said it's an opportunity that often opens doors to careers in the education world, and even social work.

AmeriCorps' hopes to help more than 30,000 students statewide, and is hiring roughly 1,700 tutors across the state.