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AARP Foundation Experience Corps: Stories From Educators

Enriches the Entire School
Clint Wilkins, head of school, Civicorps Elementary School
Oakland

The presence of Experience Corps members at Civicorps Elementary School enhances our students' academic performance and helps them develop better social skills. Experience Corps members also enrich the entire school, through the positive and strong intergenerational relationships that ensue. We are also appreciative of the other improvements that the program brings, chief among them being fewer classroom disruptions and reduced conflict in the hallways and schoolyard. The result: a greater sense of community. And where there is a strong sense of community, everyone benefits. In brief, this is a win-win-win for all of us!

It Takes a Village
Debra Bates, kindergarten teacher, Adlai Stevenson School
Cleveland

To Whom It May Concern:
I would like to extend my sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Experience Corps program. This is my first year at Adlai Stevenson School and currently I teach regular education kindergarten students. I have taught in the Cleveland Municipal School District for 19 years and never had the opportunity to work with such dedicated tutors as I have this year. The tutors are extremely respectful of the needs of all the students in my classroom.

Recently, I received back the scores from diagnostic testing for my class. My students' scores from October to February have greatly improved. I believe that this was possible because of the amount of time that the tutors devoted to helping my students improve in those areas of academic need. Some of the tutors worked with small groups of students within my classroom as well as one-on-one tutoring during the school day. Many days some of the tutors stayed past their scheduled day to assist my students. The students look forward to their time with the tutors.

It is said that it takes a village to raise a child, and the Experience Corps program helps make that possible. As we work together as a team we can ensure the success of all the students. I look forward to working with the program again next year.

Makes a Huge Difference in Kids' Academic Performance
Ms. Gelormino, first grade teacher at Civicorps Elementary
Oakland

My Experience Corps member is incredible. She knows exactly what to do with the kids I send her. Sometimes she'll notice something and be able to articulate it even better than I could because she's spent time working one-on-one with a child. Having her as my own personal volunteer is making a huge difference in the academic performance of my kids. Almost every student in my class has benefited and has improved at an accelerated rate because of her.

Reading Scores Rise
Mary Maul, principal, Scranton School
Cleveland

Over the past six years we have seen our reading scores rise from a dismal 13 percent pass rate to a 51 percent pass rate. We are slowly climbing that mountain, and without the help of Greater Cleveland Volunteers/Experience Corps tutors, our students would not be as close to the top as they are today.

Our tutors are priceless, and the Greater Cleveland Community will feel the results of their work for years to come — seniors feeling valued, students feeling loved and important in the life of an older person.