Partner Spotlight: Howe Elementary Community School + The Wisconsin Reading Corps


Foster the Love of Reading in Our Community 

Reading is a cornerstone for learning, yet in Brown County, Wisconsin, only 33% of 3rd graders read at a proficient or advanced level as of the 2022-2023 school year. In the heart of this challenge emerges a beacon of hope: we reside in a community that supports and acts on improving reading levels. One such support that entered Brown County this past year is The Wisconsin Reading Crops. This AmeriCorps literacy program is on a mission to transform the educational landscape by empowering local communities and fostering a love for reading among students. In recent conversations with Howe Elementary Community School and Wisconsin Reading Corps, we gained insights into the program’s impact, its expansion into Brown County this past year, and the transformative journey it offers to both students and tutors alike.

What is Reading Corps

At its core, Reading Corps trains individuals from diverse backgrounds to serve as Reading Corps Tutors in local schools. These tutors work either part-time or full-time during regular school hours, providing personalized support to students either one-on-one or in small groups. The results speak volumes: students who receive tutoring from Reading Corps demonstrate faster progress and greater gains compared to their peers.

April Bud, a full-time Wisconsin Reading Corps Coach at Howe Elementary Community School shares of her experience as a Reading Coach, “Even though I never saw myself in a teaching role, I found so much fulfillment seeing students’ growth over this past year. One student who stands out from this year is a 2nd-grade English Language Learner who went from struggling through reading kindergarten stories at the beginning of the year to reading 3rd-grade level stories fluently. The best part of the role is having that one-on-one relationship with the students. Not only are you helping them grow in their reading, but you are also someone that they can come to for support.”

The Journey to Brown County

Wisconsin was Reading Corps’ first expansion state, a testament to its proven success elsewhere. With a steadfast commitment to student success, Reading Corps found its way to Brown County through leveraging the work of the Community Schools strategy at Howe, which focuses on partnering with community to integrate quality academic, enrichment, health, and social services into a school to increase student and family success in school and in life. Reading Corps Director of Wisconsin Programming, Eric Hoffman, who continues to emphasize the evidence-backed impact of Reading Corps.

Making Strides at Howe Elementary Community School

This school year, two tutors have been serving at Howe Elementary Community School, collectively impacting over 60 students. Howe Community School, nestled in the heart of Brown County, serves as a hub of learning and growth for its students. Progress is tangible, with an impressive 71% of students exceeding their targeted growth.

Howe Principal, Amy Kallioinen, shares “The partnership with Wisconsin Reading Corps has been a welcomed addition to our school team. Their work both supported and accelerated the work already happening at Howe, and it felt like it was the missing piece of the puzzle for our scholars. Not only have we witnessed literacy growth for all scholars receiving their services, but we have also seen them build their confidence as well. We are excited for what another year with this program can offer our scholars!”

Looking ahead, Reading Corps aims to expand its footprint in Brown County, with plans to deploy six tutors across three elementary schools during the 2024-2025 school year. The potential reach means over 350 students could be impacted. Partnerships with institutions like the Green Bay Area Public School District underscore the program’s commitment to equitable access to high-quality tutoring for all students.

Carissa Grasse, Literacy Coach at Howe shares more on the impact she sees with this program. “Reading Corps Tutors have greatly impacted our student success and student engagement in literacy learning. One of our kindergarten scholars came into school unable to write his name, but now is able to quickly identify the letters needed to write words during our shared writing experiences.”

A Call to Action

The Wisconsin Reading Corps serves as a shining example of how grassroots initiatives can catalyze transformative change in a young learner’s educational journey. As the program continues to expand its reach and impact, it beckons individuals to join the Wisconsin Reading Corps. Explore Reading Corps Tutoring Opportunities



About Us

The Achieve Brown County Partnership: The Achieve Brown County Partnership (The Partnership) is a community-wide network that aims to advance educational equity for every child in Brown County by transforming the way we all work together. The Partnership is not one organization, but the collective will and action of the Brown County community. We are a coalition of any individual or organization who commits to helping to advance educational equity in Brown County by developing and taking action on The Partnership’s community vision. Achieve Brown County Website 

Wisconsin Reading Corps: Students who are strong readers by the end of third grade are positioned to be strong learners the rest of their lives. But in the United States, more than half our students reach fourth grade without learning to read proficiently. Together, we can change this! The amazing thing about our program – we train ordinary people to make an incredible impact as tutors. Wisconsin Reading Corps Website

Howe Community School: Howe Community School is different. We are a Community School, a neighborhood hub that supports students, families and neighbors by providing access to community supports such as academic, emotional, health and social services. Howe Community Elementary School Website