AARP and Experience Corps Join Forces
Published October 3, 2011
A national leader in pairing adult tutors with K-3 students, Experience Corps builds on AARP’s legacy of service and offers AARP members a new way to give back
Washington, DC—AARP today announced it is joining forces with Experience Corps, one of the nation’s most highly-regarded service programs, which engages older adult volunteers to help improve K-3 literacy in underserved schools.
The new relationship supports the priorities of both organizations: AARP Experience Corps will be able to increase its ability to tap into the experience and dedication of older Americans who want to give back to their communities, and it will offer AARP members a new way to engage in one of their top service priorities – volunteering to tutor or mentor youth.
“AARP Experience Corps fits very naturally into the AARP family, by building upon the principles of service that our founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, set out for the organization,” said Barb Quaintance, senior vice president for volunteer and civic engagement at AARP. “The group also has built an incredibly successful model, where kids and older adults thrive in a dynamic intergenerational exchange.”
“Reading levels of young children in America are in crisis,” said Lester Strong, current CEO of Experience Corps. “Almost 70 percent of our nation’s children reach the 4th grade unable to read at a proficient level. By joining forces with AARP, Experience Corps will be able to make an even bigger difference for our children, and at the same time, leverage the experience and dedication of AARP’s millions of members.”
Experience Corps has a track record of improving literacy among American youth: according to research from Washington University in St. Louis, students working with Experience Corps tutors gain more than a 60 percent boost in two critical literacy skills—sounding out new words and reading comprehension—over similar students not being served by Experience Corps.
Additionally, 84 percent of its volunteers reported the participation has changed their lives for the better – including increased motivation, knowledge, confidence and skills. Currently, 2,000 Experience Corps volunteers serve 20,000 K-3 students in disadvantaged schools across the country.
For more information, go to www.aarp.org/experiencecorps.