AARP Experience Corps

At a Glance

National Office: 
401 9th Street 4th Floor
Washington, DC 20049
Phone: 202-434-6416

Lester Strong
People Served: 
22,000
Year Founded: 
1995
Tax ID: 
263698436

Focus area(s):

Mentoring
Aging
Reading/Math

See These Reports For More Information

Description

AARP Experience Corps (AARP-EC) engages well-trained, older adult volunteers to work one-on-one and with whole classrooms with elementary school students in their communities. The goal of the program is to build reading skills and to get students to read on grade level by the end of the third grade. AARP-EC’s highly effective reading intervention not only supports educational progress by placing skilled volunteers in high-need public schools around the country to improve literacy levels, but also results in positive health benefits for older adults participating in the program.

Impact and Outcomes

A study by Washington University in St. Louis of the Experience Corps program found that students participating in the one-to-one model with Experience Corps tutors made over 60% more progress in reading comprehension and sounding out new words than similar students not served by the program.
In the 2011-2012 school year, 91% of students were rated as below grade level in their overall reading skills at the beginning of the school year. Teachers rated 64% of those students as having demonstrated improvement by the end of the year.
A study of the Experience Corps program in Baltimore by Johns Hopkins University revealed that participating third-grade children in the classroom assistance model scored significantly higher than control group students did on state standardized tests.
Participating schools reported a 50% decrease in principal-office referrals, and "overall improvement in school climate" due to the presence of an Experience Corps volunteer.

Mission & Goals

Mission:

To create powerful opportunities for 50+ adults to meet society's greatest challenges.

Vision:

50+ adults in service to children are an integral part of the education strategy across America. Through this generational exchange, children succeed, 50+ adults thrive, and communities are made stronger.

Strategic Focus:

To engage 50+ adults as tutors and mentors to produce outstanding literacy results for children in grades K-3.

Ahead of the Curve

Our work today lays the groundwork for the millions of boomers who will look for purposeful opportunities today and tomorrow. We offer:

  • A new model of community engagement that values and leverages the experience and leadership of people over 50.
  • Measurable results to demonstrate our success.
  • A learning laboratory to study and strengthen our model.
  • A commitment to publish research findings to help expand opportunities for boomers to serve.

Program

AARP Experience Corps’s approach is simple but highly effective: volunteers are trained and deployed to high-need public elementary schools, offering one-to-one and whole classroom tutoring that builds reading skills for K-3 students identified as in need of intervention. EC volunteers provide support in the five components of reading recommended by the National Institute of Child Health and Development and the Secretary of Education: phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary development, fluency, and comprehension.

A truly innovative model, EC is the only national program that provides an intensive level of reading intervention from well-trained, adult volunteer members within a standardized practice. Volunteers develop strong, long-lasting relationships with the students they serve and become role models, not just tutors.  Volunteers often serve in the communities in which they live: more than half are African-American and one in five is a former educator.  The intergenerational interaction AARP Experience Corps provides helps build respect, caring, and civility in relationships and communities.

Impact

AARP Experience Corps engages approximately 2,000 older adults who serve over 20,000 children in 19 cities across the country, with a goal of serving 100,000 per year by 2017!

The AARP Experience Corps model actively engages at-risk children who are in need of additional literacy support by providing them with a consistent, caring adult to meet with at least twice-weekly for the entire school year. The program has been proven to increase children’s literacy skills. The most profound proof of Experience Corps’s ability to significantly improve student achievement and attainment in partnership with LEAs and schools is detailed in a research study that Washington University in St. Louis conducted with Mathematica Policy Research to measure the one-year effect of Experience Corps tutoring on specific literacy skills for first through third grade students. This is one of the largest studies of a community-based tutoring program conducted in the past 10 years and the US Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse recognized the study as “consistent with What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards,” and as a “well-implemented randomized controlled trial.”

A study of the Experience Corps program in Baltimore by Johns Hopkins University revealed that participating third-grade children scored significantly higher than control group students did on state standardized tests. Participating schools reported a 50% decrease in principal-office referrals, in part due to an “overall improvement in school climate” due to the presence of an Experience Corps volunteer.

Growth Plan

Experience Corps is embarking on a significant period of growth, driven in part by a partnership with AARP that will expand member recruitment exponentially.  The new relationship supports the priorities of both organizations: AARP Experience Corps will be able to increase its ability to tap into the experience and dedication of older Americans who want to give back to their communities, and it will offer AARP members a new way to engage in one of their top service priorities – volunteering to tutor or mentor youth.  EC's goal is to be serving 100,000 students per year by 2017. Experience Corps will develop sustainable resources for this growth through fundraising from foundations that support education, youth development, and healthy aging; from fees from school systems that recognize the value of the model; from corporations who recognize the power of the AARP Experience Corps partnership; and from individuals who want to invest in a high-impact program that will change the live of thousands of children.

The Experience Corps model can be scaled effectively and efficiently because of:  

  • Extensive external evaluation data that will allow the scaling of the model with fidelity
  • Frequent internal assessment that allows continual program improvement
  • Sharing best practices throughout the network of affiliates to improve efficiency and solve problems
  • Having developed a financial model that delivers decreased per students costs as the program grows 

Guided by clear metrics for growth and a commitment to ongoing assessment and evaluation, Experience Corps can effectively grow to serve more high-need students over the course of five years.

Location of Sites

National Office: 
401 9th Street 4th Floor
Washington, DC 20049
Phone: 202-434-6416
List of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

  1. Click on the "Make a Contribution Now" button and include the name, city and state of the program you would like to support, in the "notes" text box on the organization's donation form, if available.
  2. If a "notes" or "designation" box is not available, write the city and state on your check in the "notes" section or call the national office to designate your contribution to a local program site.

Locations in the following states:

No results found.

Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2012

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$3,381,115
Foundation Grants: 
$1,868,766
Government Funding: 
$2,513,082
Contributions from Individuals: 
$50,000
Special Events: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$323,408
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$8,136,371

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$4,764,175
Occupancy: 
$86,371
Travel & Entertainment: 
$166,956
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$79,533
Telephone & Communications: 
$50,000
Payments to Affiliates: 
$1,472,970
Other Expenses: 
$1,481,523
Other Expenses (Description): 

Volunteer recruitment, training and stipends, meetings and conferences, corporate insurance, and depreciation.

Other Expenses (Description): 

Total Expenses: 
$8,101,528

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$34,843

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2011

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$0
Foundation Grants: 
$0
Government Funding: 
$0
Contributions from Individuals: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$0
Other Revenue (Description): 
Actual revenues and expenses for 2011 will be provided by 12/31/2012. This information has been delayed due to Experience Corps's integration into AARP financial systems.
Special Events: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$0

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$0
Occupancy: 
$0
Travel & Entertainment: 
$0
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$0
Telephone & Communication: 
$0
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$0
Total Expenses: 
$0

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$0

Major Funders

AARP

Baltimore City Public Schools

Corporation for National and Community Service

Deerbrook Charitable Trust
 
The Eisner Foundation
 
The Niles Foundation
 
The Noyce Foundation
 
Philadelphia Public Schools
 
Target

US Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Wachovia/Wells Fargo