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AARP 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: Stories From Volunteer Members

A Love of Reading
Ronnie Williams, Experience Corps volunteer member

Ron Williams sat on the floor of a third-grade classroom in Oakland, Calif.

"OK," he said, handing a book to two students stuck in the middle of an argument. "Who starts?"

"I do," one of the boys answered, getting down on the floor with Mr. Williams. "I read the first page. He reads next."

Williams was inspired to become an Experience Corps volunteer member, he explains, "Because I needed something to make me come alive. Being around adults my whole working life had caught up with me.

"I searched around for what was next. A long time ago, someone took the time to instill a love of reading in me. I wanted to do the same for other kids."

"People ask me what I do to stay so happy and full of energy," Williams says. "I tell them that working with Experience Corps has given me back my youth. I knew there had to be more to life. By tutoring these kids, I have found it."

Richard Przybyszewski, Team Leader
Baltimore City
Juanita Boyd, Highlandtown 215

Recently while riding the elevator at Highlandtown 215 I noticed Ms. Juanita Boyd carrying two large bags from Subway. When asked what was in the bags, she stated that there were breakfasts for her third-grade class. Later that day, I had lunch with Ms. Boyd, and as we chatted she stated she realized that many of her students were not having a proper breakfast. Through her own initiative she quietly talked with her students. Since beginning at Highlandtown 215, Ms. Boyd has purchased at her own expense, breakfast from either Subway or McDonalds. This is done several times each month. Also after chatting, with her teacher, I was informed, that over this past winter Ms. Boyd had purchased hoodies and sweaters for some of her students. This was done because Ms. Boyd had noticed that many of the third-grade class students were coming to school with no outer coats. Ms. Boyd has done all this quietly, behind the scenes, without much fanfare or recognition. After I thanked her for all that she is doing for her students she stated to me "to whom that much is given much is expected." A wonderful testament to all that is good about Experience Corps and its volunteer members.

An Impact That Could be Everlasting
Que Payne, Experience Corps volunteer member
Greater New Haven

It's really been a two-way street. I feel like I get a whole lot more than I could give out. I don't know how many times in my life I've heard a successful individual say that a neighborhood person or a teacher or a mentor said something or did something that made a change in them. You're not just working with a child today. You're making an impact that could be everlasting.

Featured Quote

The idea of engaging seniors in civic work is especially important in a society that will have a growing cadre of elderly Americans seeking new ways to use their gifts and to offer something back to their country.

—E. J. Dionne, The Washington Post

Experience Corps