AARP Foundation Experience Corps Tempe is an early literacy skills tutoring program designed to provide support to struggling students in first through third grade by placing trained volunteer tutors in high need schools in the Tempe Elementary District. Experience Corps specifically engages adults 50+ in the community to volunteer as tutors. Through this generational exchange, children succeed, 50+ adults thrive and communities are made stronger.
The tutors commit to an entire school year, meeting with their assigned students twice weekly. Students recommended for the Experience Corps program are considered to be at risk and have tested below benchmark standards in reading for their grade level. In addition to strengthening academic skills, the tutors work on motivating and encouraging students through the positive relationship they build together. Teachers report that, in addition to the obvious benefit of boosting students’ reading skills through the program, students also show increased self-confidence. The effectiveness of the program is measured by student reading scores, surveys of teachers, principals, and volunteers. Volunteers receive extensive training and on-site support during the school year.
AARP Foundation Experience Corps Tempe is hosted by the City of Tempe Human Services Department, Social Services Division.
Program Launch: 2006
Program Data (2013 – 2014 school year)
Students served: 350
Volunteer members: 80
Schools/centers served: 9
In the 2013 – 2014 school year:
- 100 percent of principals and language arts coaches rated their impression of AARP Foundation Experience Corps as favorable or very favorable.
- Of the students whose overall reading skills were rated as being below grade level at the beginning of the year, 62 percent reached or exceeded expected growth in fluency by the end of the school year.
- 100 percent of volunteer members would recommend Experience Corps as a volunteer opportunity to others.