Labor and Economic Opportunity
Laurie Lane recently wrapped up her second year of service and Morgan Painter recently wrapped up her first year of service with the Michigan Education Corps (MEC) Reading Corps program. Laurie served as Lead K-3 Literacy Interventionist at Charles Wright Academy in Detroit, MI. Morgan served as K-3 Literacy Interventionist at Lakeview Elementary School in Lakeview, MI.
The MEC AmeriCorps program is a statewide initiative to help every Michigan child become proficient in reading by the end of 3rd grade. AmeriCorps members provide supplemental one-on-one language and literacy interventions using proven research-based literacy instruction and tools, and ultimately help struggling students achieve reading proficiency.
As AmeriCorps members, both Laurie and Morgan delivered the program as intended with high fidelity. As a result, their students were improving and growing toward grade level targets. Unfortunately, with the school shutdown in March 2020 due to COVID-19, MEC Reading Corps members had to act quickly and shift their approach to continue providing service. Although the types of service MEC members provided varied, the impact of the service remained strong.
Laurie’s passion for her students prompted her to partner with MEC staff and her school service site to keep interventions going forward virtually. She created a tutoring corner, tested technology, and gathered tutoring materials to begin virtual tutoring with her students at Charles Wright Academy in mid-April, right about the time students would have returned from the normally scheduled Spring Break. Going to even greater lengths, Laurie expanded her reach through virtual tutoring to work with additional students, peaking at one point with a high of 41 students in a week! She also supported her students in creating a Mother’s Day activity, as well as facilitated letter correspondence with other students to remain connected during the Stay at Home Order.
Morgan quickly put her gifts and talents of making face masks to great use. The need to provide masks for many people, not just in Michigan, but in many communities across the country prompted Morgan to channel her service energy in this direction. Morgan completed more than 500 hand-sewn masks to serve and support others in need. Additionally, Morgan corresponded with her students through letters to encourage and support them in their reading and other school work.
Both Laurie and Morgan were consistent and steady into May and successfully concluded their service on May 30, 2020. Michigan Education Corps is incredibly proud of these members and their dedication and willingness to persevere through new challenges to ensure they could continue serving Michigan students and communities.