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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 Foundation Experience Corps: Stories From Volunteer Members

There was this one student who had some behavior issues. He wore a t-shirt one day that said, “You are a genius.” And I said, “What does your t-shirt say?” He didn’t know. I said, “Your t-shirt says, ‘You are a genius.’” I said, “Do you know what? You’re a genius. You can do anything that other students can do. So, I want you to remember that when you put that t-shirt on, you hold your head held high. You hold your head high and you say, “I’m a genius.” From that moment on, I saw him grow to excellent on the behavior chart.

Brenda Hall, Volunteer
Lakeland Elementary and Middle School

I had a great experience with one of my students. She couldn’t read. And when she met me, she said, “Ms. Gross, I wanna learn how to read.” I said, “Baby, I’m gonna do everything in my power to help you learn how to read.” It was an African girl and her parents didn’t speak English, so she didn’t have help at home. But by the end of the semester, she was reading Martin Luther King books. I was very happy for her, and that made me want to come back and help others.

Charlene Gross, Volunteer
PS 36

It makes me feel good inside when I’ve left for the day. I have reached some child and to help them to do it to help them improve their whole life. And I feel good that I did it. I’m glad I came here.

Emma Archer, Volunteer
PS 36

I can see the inner emotions of the young child, I can see the love. I can see the respect they have for older adults. Sometimes, when they go out to recess and are playing basketball, I’ll shoot a couple of hoops, and they say, “Oh, look at Mr. Borden. I didn’t know he could do this.” And I’ll look at them and say, “Well, you’ll be able to do this when you get older.” So there is some — a definite relationship there. There’s bonding. And over a period of time, they have developed trust in me.

Guy Borden, Volunteer
Federal Hill Preparatory

I like reading here with the kids because most of them are here from the community that I live in and I see them all summer long. And just being able to see the smile on their face when I see them outside or they're in the store trying to read something and I walk up behind them and I say oh, I see you can read that now. “I can read the card, Ms. Cherry! Look, I can read the card!” The parents will turn around and say, “Hi, how you doing? Nice to meet you.” And the student will say, “She helped me read, Mommy. She helped me read.” You know, that’s a great achievement. I can leave out the store, tears in my eyes and, a smile on my face. That’s the best to me.

Michelle Cherry, Volunteer
Blackstone Elementary


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