AARP AARP States Volunteering

A Message from AARP Illinois State President Merri Dee

We here at AARP Illinois are incredibly grateful to have Merri Dee as our State President! As an active member of the volunteer community, she is very experienced in bringing people together to Create the Good. Today we present an important message from Ms. Dee herself...

Merri Dee
One of the advantages of aging is garnering increased wisdom. If you are retired, you know that you have learned so much and have much wisdom to share. There are countless children in the community who need our wisdom. As State President for AARP in Illinois, I am very excited to talk about a new opportunity for you to share your wisdom and make a significant difference in the lives of children in your own community.

AARP Experience CorpsSM is coming to the Chicago area in 2013. AARP Experience Corps is a proven, award-winning program that brings older volunteers into public schools to help kindergartners through third-graders become better readers. This program uses the wisdom and experience of volunteer members, to improve the literacy and reading skills of the children in those schools.

Experience Corps’ unique approach produces significant gains in reading skills, increased attendance and fewer disciplinary problems. [...] Volunteer members can make a phenomenal difference by tutoring children who need basic literacy skills, mentoring students who need guidance, and partnering with classroom teachers to make schools better places to learn. The goals of Experience Corps are to improve children’s literacy, strengthen our communities, and help develop cultures of inspiration inside the classroom.

AARP Experience Corps is a Triple-Win Scenario; it’s a win for older adults who become role models for future generations - they can participate in meaningful service in their own community while joining a worthwhile social activity with peers, and gain a boost of both physical and mental health.

It’s also a win for young learners, as a trusted adult consistently gets involved in their lives, classroom assistance improves their academic performance, lasting relationships are built with older adults and youth learns the importance of volunteering and giving back.

Finally, it’s also a win for the schools and communities involved in the program, because of improved literacy skills for students and classroom support for teachers. Utilizing this program, schools become an intergenerational community hub, successfully tapping into the experience and talents of community members.

For over 17 years, Experience Corps volunteers have changed the lives of thousands of children in schools across the nation. With your help, as Experience Corps comes into Chicago, they can do even more. There will be more information in the months to come, but if you are already as excited as I am, want to be part of this “Triple-Win” and make a difference in the lives of children, visit www.aarp.org/experiencecorps for more details.

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