Portal > Cretia | Reading Corps K3 Scholar Coach at NSJ

Cretia | Reading Corps K3 Scholar Coach at NSJ

Our partner, Minnesota Reading Corps is currently hiring! We’re featuring Cretia today to help give some insight into this vital program.

Cretia is a Scholar Coach through the Reading Corps Total Learning Classroom Program. Reading Corps is part of the Americorps network.

She’s also a mother to one-year Ayvah Rayne, six-year-old Donald, and nine-year-old Ayanna.

“I come from a family of educators, so I’ve always worked at a daycare or something. When my daughter started kindergarten and I noticed she was having a tough time reading. I didn’t have the skills to help her or to understand. I heard that Reading Corps needed people from a co-worker. So I went to the institute,” she says.

The institute is a three-day program that teaches evidence-based literacy training and fluency in preparation for being placed in a school as a Coach or Specialist.

“I love the fact that they gave me all the knowledge that I needed and all the materials I needed and the training that I needed. I would take these trainings and these classes and I would use my daughter as a guinea pig. My daughter is an excellent reader now because I am reading with every day. It was such a challenge for her, so the reason why I truly joined Reading Corps was to help my kid, but it grew into so much more,” she explains.

Before her current role as a K3 Coach, she was in the pre-K room as a Vocabulary Specialist.

“Last year, we had this student who as soon as he hit the classroom he would just ball out crying. We would ask, ‘What’s wrong,’ and he would say, ‘I don’t want to be in school, I don’t like it, learning is stupid!’ He would be so furious with just being there.

He couldn’t identify letters he couldn’t tell you the sounds. I would hold a picture of a ball up or an apple and we’d asked him what it was. He couldn’t do it, he wouldn’t even try.

I made him a deal. I told him to work with me for two weeks and I would bring his favorite stickers. Kids love stickers! We worked one-on-one, [at the beginning] he didn’t know any letter sounds, he couldn’t identify any letters. I started working with his name, he couldn’t even tell me the sound.

He came to me at the end of the year and his mom spoke to me, ‘It was a real difference after coming to the reading corps program, he seemed happy about coming home with work, he seemed happy that he could tell me a new word.’ That was a good moment for me, the parent is actually noticing the good that her child was doing when he was so negative at the beginning of the year. She’s seeing that he wants to learn, he can’t wait to show her new words he learned or new letters he practiced. That was a moment I said to myself, ‘That’s what I do what I do.’

I see him and he’s a second-grader now, and he comes to me and he’s so excited. Now, this scholar who didn’t know how to identify letters and was furious at having to be at school at all is reading at grade-level.

I talk to his teacher sometimes and they’re telling me he’s right up there.

I recommend this program to anybody. Especially people who love kids.

I want to be a teacher and being in this Reading Corps program gave me more passion for education, I became knowledgeable in a lot of things I didn’t know. I gave me a hunger to want to better kids. I am so much more confident now. I’m even confident at home when I’m helping my kids. It gives me different ways to help my kids. I’m more patient.”

Cretia plans to stay with Reading Corps while finishing her teacher’s license.

“Even when I become a teacher I know that Reading Corps is something that will be embedded in my classroom.”

This is the way we make multi-generational change, by working as a collaborative and addressing the achievement gap from multiple angles with evidence-based methodologies. We’re proud of our partnership with Nellie Stone Johnson and Reading Corps!

You can learn about the job here: