Mission: Experience Corps is a community based nonprofit organization that has two primary missions.
First we focus on helping K-3rd grade students in public schools reach grade-level reading proficiency by 3rd grade. Studies show that students who fall behind by the end of 3rd grade have increasingly difficult times in keeping up, graduating and becoming contributing members of their community.
Secondly, we focus on providing people 50+ years of age with the opportunity to utilize their knowledge, experience and understanding to help the next generation of readers. Studies continue to show that older Americans who remain active and engaged tend to live healthier and happier lives.
Combining the experience, love, and expertise of older adults with public school youth creates lasting bonds which build stronger schools and stronger communities.
In addition to providing Experience Corps volunteers with training, team building opportunities, and on-site support, we also provide monthly stipends to older adults able to serve 10 hours a week or more.
Results: Winner of 2012 Eisner Foundation Award for Intergenerational Excellence.
- 73% of students improved by one or more reading grade levels
- 91% of teachers rated Experience Corps volunteers as good/excellent in the quality of support they provided
Target demographics: young students in grades K-3 who are struggling with their reading skills
Direct beneficiaries per year: 217 volunteers help 3, 224 students with over 27,000 hours of volunteer service
Geographic areas served: San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Redwood City
Programs: Since 1994, we have been placing adults over the age of 50 to work with young students one-on-one or in small groups. The experience of our volunteers, plus the on-going training they provide, insures the success of our program.
In my involvement with Experience Corps - Bay Area, I have been impressed time and time again. I have seen young students drastically improve their literacy skills, and better yet...they were excited to learn more. I have seen these older adults inspire these young children to succeed in school and become invested in their own futures. It has been heart warming to see senior citizens light up and thrive in their involvement. I have seen older adults at the risk of isolation come together to socialize and network over a shared passion for education. I heard a stories from volunteers about finding a new purpose in life when they thought they had surpassed the feeling of inspiration, and stories of finding time and discovering new passions in retirement. With this enthusiasm, Experience Corps volunteers not only witness academic growth, but a child who is excited to grow older and a child who admires their life-learned wisdom. Preconceived notions and misconceptions are reconsidered. And along side these blossoming students and seniors with rejuvenated quality of life, are the communities that flourish as a result of a more educated future citizenship and tangible proof of a community who cares about it's children.