Help Children Become Better Readers

AARP Foundation Experience Corps (AARPFEC) is looking for volunteers to make a difference in a child’s life by helping them become better readers. The national, intergenerational, volunteer-based tutoring program is proven to help children who aren’t reading at grade level become great readers by the end of third grade. 

Fourth graders who can’t read at grade level are four times less likely to graduate from high school and by committing 4-10 hours per week, AARPFEC volunteers can set the foundation for academic promise for years to come. 

Older adult volunteers (50+) are placed in a neighborhood school and matched with several students identified by their teachers as struggling readers. In addition to one-on-one intensive reading time, volunteers also spend time with other students in a classroom, all while building rapport with students and serving as an additional positive adult in the classroom who kids can look to as a role model. Volunteers get to see their students learn and grow as readers and as humans, and the literacy gained will open doors for the students.

Volunteer Pete felt he couldn’t have had a better childhood, having two English-speaking parents who encouraged him to go to school, do well and help him with homework when needed. He feels for children in less fortunate circumstances and said, “I thought maybe I could do something with these kids and it really did change my life.” 

He received a card from a student he had worked with for three years, now in fifth grade, who had lived in a Thai refugee camp before coming to the US. In part it said, “I was given a great gift from you, your time.” Pete says the feeling is mutual.

The Portland chapter of EC is housed within local non-profit Metropolitan Family Service and questions/information about volunteering for the 2022-23 school year can be directed to volunteer@mfs.email or 593.290.9427. 

Additionally, there are three opportunities to attend an upcoming virtual informational chat (Tuesday, July 12, 2 pm; Wednesday, July 27; 10 am; Tuesday, August 9, 10 am) at metfamily.org/get-involved/aarp-experience-corps/

All volunteers must enjoy working with children, be age 50+, commit to serving throughout the entire school year, have proof of US citizenship, complete an application and be able to pass state, criminal and FBI background checks.

Help Children Become Better Readers

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