Fourth-graders who can’t read at grade-level are four times less likely to graduate from high school. AARP Foundation Experience Corps is an intergenerational volunteer-based tutoring program that is proven to help children who aren’t reading at grade level become great readers by the end of third grade. We inspire and empower adults age 50 and older to serve in their community and disrupt the cycle of poverty by making a lasting difference in the lives of America’s most vulnerable children.
Experience Corps has nearly 2,000 highly-trained volunteers working in 21 cities and serves over 30,000 students every year in high-need elementary schools. Each AARP Foundation Experience Corps site operates one of three tutoring models: one to one; small group; and literacy assistance (where volunteers tutor and help teachers with classroom-wide activities).
Studies show that Experience Corps works. After one year, many students who work with Experience Corps volunteer tutors achieve as much as 60% improvement in critical literacy skills compared to their peers. Volunteers provide an average of 6-15 hours of support each week throughout the school year.
The Experience Corps approach is simple, but effective. As an anti-poverty strategy, AARP Foundation Experience Corps is helping to provide both older adults and children with opportunities to enrich their lives through literacy.
Become an Experience Corps volunteer! Get started by filling out the volunteer application.
Soledad O’Brien Interviews Lester Strong, AARP Foundation and Ron Wideman, Experience Corps Volunteer
“I’ve always liked working with youngsters. And I get a sense of enjoyment of being able to sit down and helping them read better. It’s a great feeling when you start and they can hardly pronounce a word, and when you get done and they're actually reading books.”
– Jordan Wexler, volunteer tutor for 10 years
“I think you should volunteer because we have many students that need help, and this would give them the encouragement to perform better in the classroom and feel good about themselves and to have good self-esteem.”
– Viola Roy, Mae Jones Clarke Elementary, Volunteer
“I could remember the times that I may have struggled or some other students struggled and the older, mature individuals always gave back. So, this is my time to give back.”
– Harlan Taylor, Sr., Glenwood Leadership Academy, volunteer for 5 years