“Seventeen-year-old Mariah Valenzuela sat on a blue carpet decorated with letters from the alphabet, helping a third-grader practice his reading at Minneapolis’ Folwell Community School.
He knew the shorter words: I can dig. In the.
But he stumbled over the longer word: sandbox.
‘What I like to do is break it up into two words and put it together,’ Mariah told the boy, covering the second half of the word with a manicured nail. ‘Sond,’ he sounded out.
‘Sand,’ Mariah said.
She covered the other half of the compound word.
‘Box. Sandbox,’ she said. ‘Do you feel confident in that?’He nodded.
Mariah, a senior at South High School in Minneapolis, helps the third-grade classroom once a month. It’s part of a program designed to encourage diverse high school students to consider teaching. While 37 percent of Minnesota public school students are children of color, only 6 percent of their teachers are.”
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