Wisconsin Reading Corps (WRC)
New in 2015-16, the Wisconsin Reading Corps (WRC) is an evidence-based one-on-one AmeriCorps tutoring program and part of a nationwide effort spanning 12 states and more than 35,000 students. In Wisconsin, the program served 388 students and 8 schools during the 2015-16 school year, outlined in table 1. Over the course of the year, 18 tutors worked to transform struggling students into confident learners and proficient readers.
The nationwide model is based on the Minnesota Reading Corps, started in 2003. More than two-thirds of the country’s fourth graders are not at a proficient reading level, many of which are minority children, from families suffering from the effects of poverty, English Language Learners, and students with disabilities. Milwaukee displays similar demographics and even lower proficiency levels for 3rd grade reading.
Higher proficiency in 3rd grade reading has been linked to significantly higher high school graduation rates, which, in turn, lead to higher lifetime earnings and a better overall quality of life. In its inaugural year, the WRC has shown positive results, with students, on average, achieving higher scores than the target, shown in Figure 1. It is important for under-performing students to score above the target level in order for them to catch up to their higher performing peers.
 Markovitz, C. E., Hernandez, M. W., Hedberg, E. C., & Silberglitt, B. (2014). Impact Evaluation of the Minnesota Reading Corps K-3 Program. Corporation for National and Community Service.
 Hernandez, D. J. (2011). Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation. Annie E. Casey Foundation.