City of Lakes AmeriCorps Member Receives National Recognition for Her Dedication, Creativity

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Tutors and mentors worldwide will be helped by a reading comprehension strategy developed by the AmeriCorps member.

America Learns announced today that Minneapolis Public Schools AmeriCorps member Elena Kamenetzky’s strategy “Keeping Track of Characters While Reading” has been named August’s National Strategy of the Month. Throughout August, Elena’s strategy will be available for free to thousands of teachers, tutors, mentors and parents worldwide through the America Learns website and monthly e-newsletter.

Elena noticed that several of her high school English students were struggling to keep track of characters as they read difficult, complex pieces of literature. Her strategy allows students to quickly and easily organize necessary character information, improving their understanding of the story and their overall comprehension skills.

“Elena is a fabulous tutor,” said Jennifer Valley, Director, City of Lakes AmeriCorps. “She jumped into a new high school site we started this year and flew with it. She started a speech and debate team and the students competed across the state. Most of the students in her group were new to the U.S. and still learning English - so imagine the challenge in helping them research and debate topics such as Eminent Domain!”

“It isn’t every day that a tutoring session held in Minneapolis affects children nationwide, yet alone worldwide; but just that is happening today,” said Gary Kosman, Founder and CEO, America Learns. “All of us at America Learns are thankful that Elena made time to share her success online via the America Learns Network.”

Elena’s strategy may be accessed for the remainder of August at, and will be permanently available to all America Learns Network members.

About America Learns, LLC (America Learns):

America Learns is the leader in helping nonprofit reading tutoring and mentoring programs provide superior support to their students, tutors, mentors and staff. America Learns’ primary service is the National Performance Measurement & Support Network (the “Network”), an easy to use, cost effective Web-based service that helps organizations streamline their reporting and evaluation efforts, build institutional memory, and provide personalized lesson planning and interpersonal skills support to tutors and mentors. In 2003, Echoing Green, the social venture capital organization that financially backed organizations including Jumpstart, City Year, Teach for America, College Summit and Citizen Schools, awarded two years of seed funding to America Learns out of an applicant pool of nearly 1,000 applicants worldwide. Additional information is available by calling 310-689-0542 or visiting

About City of Lakes AmeriCorps

The mission of the City of Lakes AmeriCorps program is to help ensure all our children succeed both socially and academically regardless of race, culture, ethnicity, native language, gender, poverty level, disability, or any other status. Since the inception of the program, AmeriCorps members have tutored and mentored over 6,000 low-achieving students in the areas of reading and math and have provided approximately 10,000 children with after school enrichment programming. Members have also participated in service projects in their communities and worked together to develop teamwork and leadership skills. Additional information is available by calling (612) 668-4193 or visiting


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