Meet the 2018 Partner of the Year: Craig Sweet

The East Side Learning Center (ESLC) announced the nominees and winner of the 2018 Partnership Award at the 2018 Super Hero / Super Reader Celebration in late April. In 2018, three exceptional organizations and/or individuals within an organization were nominated. The nominees were:

  • Experience Corps volunteers build strong relationships with the ESLC scholars they tutor. Scholars are always very excited when they know their Experience Corps volunteers are coming. Experience Corps volunteers and organizational partners give that extra effort. The volunteers up to fill in when ESLC paid staff or tutors are absent. They are well-trained in literacy promising practices as well. 
  • Craig Sweet, Site Coordinator at both Saint Paul Music Academy and John A. Johnson Acheivement Plus, goes above and beyond to ensure that ESLC staff are informed and included in activities and communications. He exemplifies all that ESLC represents by keeping the needs of children above all else.
  • The Edmentum company showed support and dedication for the work of the children by forming two teams of employees, who consistently tutored students.

All three demonstrated commitment to ESLC’s mission, “Unlocking each child’s potential through the foundation of learning.”

Craig Sweet WebThe 2018 Partnership Award was presented to Craig Sweet of the Wilder Achievement Plus program. Craig partnered with ESLC at two Achievement Plus schools. 

Chris Flippo, ESLC Executive Director, says of Sweet’s involvement, "As a partner, I appreciate it when he comes and says, 'Hey, did you know…' I learn something I truly need to know as a partner in the schools we serve. Craig and Wilder invited ESLC staff to attend several very important conferences that informed our strategic planning and stretched us to think differently about how we do it.”

When asked about his commitment, Sweet said, "I always think of the East Side Leaning Center as a mentoring center. Of course, students develop their literacy skills and use their oral language as they engage with their tutors. But they also receive dedicated one-to-one time each day. That's invaluable. Connections and relationships are forged and students are excited to come to school. It's a great model. We are fortunate to partner with the Learning Center."

ESLC is honored to partner with these dedicated organizations who embody the mission, striving to improve the lives of St. Paul children through teaching them the joys of reading while building a solid foundation for future learning. 

Nominees for the 2018 Partner of the Year Award


We nominate the company Edmentum for the Partnership award. They show support and dedication for the work of ESLC by collaborating with the ESLC through giving their time and talent to form two teams of employees who rotate and come consistently once a week to tutor at two different sessions. This organization certainly contributes to the mission of ESLC, "Unlocking each child's potential through the foundation of learning."

Craig Sweet, Wilder Achievement Plus

We nominate Craig Sweet for the Partnership Award because he goes above and beyond to ensure ESLC staff are informed and included in activities for JAJ and SPMA, particularly related to literacy activities. He exemplifies all that ESLC represents by keeping the needs of children above all else. We are honored to be in two schools working with Wilder in general, and Craig Sweet, specifically.

Experience Corps

I nominate Experience Corps to be considered for the ESLC Partnership Award because they build great relationship with our scholars. Our scholars get super excited when their Experience Corps tutors are here and ready to work with them. They step up and come help on days when our tutors or paid tutors are not here. The Experience Corps organization also provides extensive literacy training for the tutors they place at ESLC.

- By Kathryn Schleich