Who We Are

Amir Tazel CropOur Mission
Unlocking each child’s potential through the foundation of reading. 

Our Vision
To be a major force in ensuring that all children have the opportunity to read at grade level by the 3rd grade.

How We Began
In 1998, as part of a long-range effort to revitalize the East Side of St. Paul, the East Side Neighborhood Development Company approached the School Sisters of Notre Dame about helping to address unmet 
educational needs. In 2001 the Sisters partnered with St. Paul civic and educational leaders to establish the East Side Learning Center, to provide one-on-one reading tutoring for children reading below grade level at no cost to families unable to get help elsewhere.  

The program was first piloted at John A. Johnson Achievement Plus Elementary with 25 volunteers, one School Sister of Notre Dame, and 19 children. We have expanded to multiple sites and tutored more than 2,500 children. 

Where We Go From Here
The current Strategic Plan developed by our dedicated Board and Staff provides direction for the next three years:

  • Prevent children from falling behind in reading
  • Seek opportunities to reach more children
  • Maximize tutoring impact
  • Ensure funding adequate to maintain and expand programming
  • Maintain organization strength and sustainability