Americorps Partner in Learning program provides crucial help to - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Americorps Partner in Learning program provides crucial help to Dubuque schools

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Inside Eisenhower Elementary School in Dubuque, it's a common sight to see blue-shirted tutors sitting outside of classrooms, working with students on their reading.

Sue Roerig is one of the members of Americorps' Partner in Learning program, which helps students who may be struggling with reading.

"I think the kids would fall through the cracks, and I hate to see any child do that," she said.

That program has provided more than 440,000 hours of help in Dubuque since 2000.

"Anytime we can have an extra caring adult in our building that's working with our students, it just benefits. It benefits the whole school, but it benefits those students that they're working with," said Eisenhower Principal Andy Ferguson.

Roerig says the extra time they spend with students makes a huge difference.

 "The rewards are the smiles. I call it that light bulb moment when it goes on and the kids learn a word, or they learn a sentence or they learn a story," she said.

Without the help of the program, Ferguson says they might not be able to provide the help those students need.

"It's priceless. I mean, it's wonderful with what they can do, because we wouldn't be able to have anyone else come with the current funding structure," he said.

Roerig says she's just happy to help.

"It means so much, because I think it's hard to be a kid nowadays. And I think if we can make just a little bit of difference, it makes the world a little better place to live," she said.

More than 40 Americorps members will help throughout Dubuque this summer.

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