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AARP Experience Corps: Helping Children Become Great Readers

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Our volunteers fuel our work in communities across the country. We are creating opportunities for people of all ages to help transform the lives of vulnerable older adults. (Stock photo taken pre-COVID).

The following was written by Tiffany Sanford, volunteer recruiter for AARP Foundation Experience Corps.

AARP Foundation Experience Corps is comprised of volunteers who are dedicated to helping children become great readers before completing the third grade. Together, with teachers and other volunteers, they can help change the course of a child's life by sharing their time, wisdom and experience.

AARP Foundation Experience Corps Baltimore has nearly 100 highly-trained volunteers working in several sites throughout the city and serve thousands of students yearly in high-needs elementary schools. The Baltimore branch offers one to one tutoring to the students.

Our volunteers receive rigorous training, allowing us to place highly qualified tutors throughout the Baltimore city school district. People from all walks of life, many who have never worked with children, come into the program and attain new skills to help them be successful in guiding the next generation of readers.

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Harmony, a first grader in Delilah Montemayor's class is tutored by AARP Experience Corps volunteer Margaret Plenty at Cramp Elementary School. (Photo taken pre-COVID).
Matt Roth

To give back to those who give to others, we offer life-enriching experiences to our volunteers such as health and fitness workshops, a monthly book club, technology workshops, and Spanish and French classes. We also hold signature member appreciation events such as our back to school rally, Senior Prom, Thanksgiving dinner, and our end of year celebration. The “End of Year Celebration” marks the end of the school term bringing together partnering school administration and educators, corps volunteers, EC local and national staff and other community stakeholders. The annual "Senior Prom" gives members the opportunity to reminisce on their hey-day experiences and allow those who did not attend their own high school prom to party like never before.

Thanks to the commitment of our volunteer corps, we recently celebrated our 20th year of service to kindergarten through third grade students.

We are currently seeking 150 volunteers to train and serve for the 2021-2022 school year. Volunteers must be 50 or older; have earned a high school diploma or  equivalent; be able to pass literacy screenings and criminal background checks; complete 25 hours of annual training; and be available to volunteer a minimum of five hours a week during the school year.

Serving with AARP Foundation Experience Corps is more than just something to do, it is a meaningful experience with great benefits. In addition to the social, physical and mental benefits, most members are eligible to receive a small monthly stipend to help offset the cost associated with volunteering.

If you are interested in joining, attend an Information Sessions. The one-hour sessions are scheduled biweekly August 2021 through October 2021. Call today to become a tutor, teammate and peer. We can be reached at 443-278-9400 ext. 114 or via email at joinECbaltimore@aarp.org

https://www.aarp.org/experience-corps/experience-corps-volunteer/

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