Presidentially Appointed CEO Of CNCS Visits N.D. Reading Corps

Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service visits N.D. Reading Corps

On November 2, Fargo welcomed a presidentially appointed leader for community service. Wendy Spencer, Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) stopped in to speak with N.D. Reading Corps members and coaches to thank them for their service as they work to close the literacy gap in North Dakota. The group was gathered for a training focused on learning a new literacy intervention and using data to increase student achievement in reading.

Spencer began her duties at the CNCS CEO in April 2012 after being nominated by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Her efforts to engage elected officials include creating the annual Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service where 3,539 mayors and county officials express their appreciation for Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and volunteerism in general. This was Spencer’s first visit to North Dakota as CEO of CNCS.

N.D. Reading Corps is an AmeriCorps program that provides trained literacy tutors to support reading development for students in preschool through grade 3. Reading Corps tutors are trained to implement evidenced-based literacy instruction and assessment protocols. Members serving in two position types:

  • Elementary Literacy Tutors providing one-on-one literacy interventions to K-3 students who are just below proficiency in reading.
  • Preschool Literacy Tutors who are embedded in a classroom of 3 to 5 year olds to introduce a literacy rich environment and provide small group or one-on-one literacy interventions to students who are most at-risk for reading failure.

Spencer met approximately 40 AmeriCorps members and internal coaches at the training  to reaffirm their AmeriCorps oath. Members were reviewing actual graphs of student data collected for each student receiving intervention services. A Master Coach (literacy content expert) taught the protocols for graph review meetings so members and Internal Coaches understand how to analyze the graphs and use the information to drive intervention services.

Also – an exciting surprise was the coincidence of a Sandy’s Donuts fundraiser for the United Way of Cass & Clay Counties supported by the N.D. State College of Science. So… we had to buy donuts for all our members! Who can say no to Sandy’s Donuts?

CNCS is a federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Social Innovation Fund, among other programs that engage millions of Americans in national service and volunteering to solve problems for communities. Under Spencer’s leadership, CNCS has launched new partnerships for targeted initiatives for education, veterans and military families, STEM, summer youth programs, job training, and disaster response–including the national service response to over 200 disasters. 

ND Reading Corps is a strategic initiative of the South East Education Cooperative (SEEC) a Regional Education Association which provides support to K-12 school district members in the areas of professional development, student services, technology, and capacity building. Through collaboration with two sister REAs, ND Reading Corps is being implemented in 8 communities across North Dakota.

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