Washington, DC — AARP Experience Corps, a proven, award-winning program utilizing adult volunteer tutors to improve kindergarten through third grade reading literacy in schools, has been awarded two major grants, a $600,000 grant from the Deerbrook Charitable trust and a $400,000 grant from the Noyce Foundation. The $1 million in support from the two organizations will be used to strengthen and grow existing programs in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia and to invest in the expansion strategy of AARP Experience Corps nationally, to impact even more students who struggle with reading.
“We are delighted that the Deerbrook Charitable Trust and the Noyce Foundation continue to value our work. For years, these organizations have worked to improve the quality of life of people of every age. Their missions align with AARP Experience Corps’ efforts to provide older adults the opportunity to use their experience and knowledge to tutor underperforming students in literacy. These resources will allow our volunteers to continue to do their incredible work in the classroom,” says Lester Strong, CEO of AARP Experience Corps.
The Deerbrook grant will focus on the AARP Experience Corps programs in Washington, DC and Philadelphia, PA, supporting existing work and exploring expansion into new school districts in those two areas. Over the next two years, Deerbrook’s investment will enable these programs to grow from serving 6,200 students to serving a combined 8,700 students annually.
The Noyce grant will support the creation of a national strategic growth plan and the development of key resources and tools necessary to sustain existing sites and expand AARP Experience Corps into new locations around the U.S. New, multi-media, volunteer training tools and online resources for volunteers will be developed and implemented in the 2014-15 school year. These elements are fundamental to the program’s ability to grow the network and ensure that all current and future organizations can implement AARP Experience Corps with success.
The AARP Experience Corps model works as a reading intervention program currently offered in 21 cities across the nation with a 1,700 member strong volunteer corps. The program boosts student academic achievement, according to a randomized control trial by Washington University, as well as year-end reports.
“We are tremendously pleased that the Deerbrook Charitable Trust and the Noyce Foundation, two organizations with impressive funding track records, have recognized our work to positively impact the lives of older adults and K-3 students through mentorship,” says Strong. “This funding will translate into a greater number of children served through the AARP Experience Corps’ program model, and improved literacy for AARP Experience Corps students.”
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About AARP Experience Corps
AARP Experience Corps has a track record of improving literacy among American children. According to research from Washington University in St. Louis, students working with Experience Corps tutors gain more than a 60 percent boost in two critical literacy skills - sounding out new words and reading comprehension - over similar students not being served by Experience Corps. Additionally, 84 percent of its volunteers reported the participation has changed their lives for the better - including improved physical and mental health. Currently, more than 1,700 AARP Experience Corps volunteers serve nearly 30,000 kindergarten through third grade students in schools across the country. For more information, visit us at www.aarp.org/experiencecorps.
Hillary John, (202) 286-4583
Deb Jaquith, (202) 674-9250