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AARP Foundation Experience Corps is looking for adults 50 years and older interested in tutoring K-3 students who are struggling to read.

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AARP Experience Corps Minneapolis/St. Paul

Join us in guiding the next generation of readers!

AARP Foundation Experience Corps is a proven, award-winning program that brings older adult volunteers into schools and community organizations to help kindergarten through third-grade students become better readers. Our unique approach to working with students produces significant gains in reading skills, increased attendance and fewer disciplinary problems. It strengthens the schools and communities we work in. Research shows that when tutors help students with their literacy skills, those children become better readers for life. Tutors work under the direction of a classroom teacher, providing assistance to students one-on-one or in small groups. On-going training and support is provided to AARP Foundation Experience Corps volunteers, as well as stipends for those who qualify.   


Despite persistent efforts, nearly 40 percent of all American fourth-graders read below the basic level on a national reading test. The percentages are even higher in many urban schools. Here in Minnesota, we have one of the largest achievement gaps in the nation. Studies have shown that reading ability in the third grade is a major predictor of future educational success−being a proficient reader by third grade dramatically increases students’ chances of graduating from high school. AARP Foundation Experience Corps (EC) tutors directly contribute to this milestone by providing one-on-one reading tutoring as well as serving as a consistent, caring adult in each of their students’ lives.

Program Impact:

In the 2014-2015 school year:

  • 656 students were served by 85 tutors who volunteered 18,376 of tutoring.
  • 95 percent of teachers rated EC volunteers as being good or excellent in their ability to address students’ learning needs.
  • 75 percent of EC students improved by one or more grade levels in reading over the course of the year which demonstrates reading improvement at a rate indicative of catching up.
  • 100 percent of EC tutors reported that participating in the EC program helped them stay physically and mentally active and 99 percent of tutors reported that the program increased their sense of purpose in life.


Training is provided for AARP Foundation Experience Corps volunteers prior to starting service at a school site and throughout the year in large group and small group settings. Training topics include Tutoring Basics, the ABCs of Literacy Tutoring, The 5 Components of Literacy, Mentoring, Behavior Management during Tutoring Sessions, Understanding Survival-Based Youth, Exploring Children’s Social and Emotional Development, and Cultural Competency & Intercultural Development. AARP Foundation Experience Corps staff also help tutors find free, community trainings on additional topics of interest.


AARP Foundation Experience Corps volunteers who serve 10 hours per week are eligible to be enrolled as AmeriCorps members and receive a small stipend and an educational award on completion of 300 hours of service. 

Become an AARP Foundation Experience Corps Tutor in the Twin Cities!

Studies show that being a proficient reader by 3rd grade dramatically increases students’ chances of graduating from high school. Time spent reading with your students will have a meaningful impact—bright futures for the children you work with and the enrichment of your community!

Request Information: send your request to Erin Simon, Volunteer Coordinator:

Apply Online


Program Manager: Paul Simone

AARP Foundation Experience Corps is hosted locally by Volunteers of America – MN & WI

School & Community Partners


Freedom Academy Charter School
Lucy Craft Laney Community School
Lyndale Community School
Marcy Open School
Southside Family Charter School
Whittier International School

St. Paul:

Barack and Michelle Obama Service Learning Elementary School
Chelsea Heights Elementary School
CommonBond Communities
Cornerstone Montessori Elementary School
East Side Learning Center
Higher Ground Academy
Maxfield Elementary School
Phalen Lake Hmong Studies Magnet
West Side Summit

Additional Resources

Article: Researchers Find Sustained Improvement in Health in Experience Corps Tutors Over 55

Frequently Asked Questions

Featured Quote

When I retired, I was most looking forward to not having to rush off to work in the morning. Now I am hustling off in the morning to a first-grade classroom of high energy, sometimes emotionally needy, children with coughs, runny noses and fingers and pencils in their mouths, and I wouldn't trade it. What makes it worth it? Seeing a girl who knew only seven letters of the alphabet after a year of intensive work in kindergarten now reading a few words, eager to work and proud of her accomplishments. Seeing children who push classroom limits intently focused on reading when given some individual attention and support. If one just looked at outward behavior for brief moments, it would be easy to miss the intense desire of children to learn. I am grateful for the chance to get to know them and support this desire.

—Volunteer tutor at Maxfield Elementary (St. Paul)

Experience Corps