A Tutoring Adventure With AARP Experience Corps

Beth Dugan, 58, loved volunteering at her kids’ elementary school. Now that her kids are adults she wanted to help out in a classroom again. A friend pointed her to AARP Experience Corps, a program of the AARP Foundation that tutors and mentors more than 20,000 kids in disadvantaged schools in 23 cities across the country. Dugan liked the structure, the 25 hours of pre-service and ongoing training and especially the kids. “I have grown very fond of the children,” …

Good Mentoring: The Next Best Thing to Good Parenting

While the fond memories of family and festivities are still fresh enough to make us smile, let’s commit to spending time with family, friends and loved ones beyond the holidays. And, in the year ahead, let’s not forget to specifically spend time with young people. I had some wonderful moments with my kids around Christmas. We took our biennial theater trip to New York City to see Motown the Musical. It was a great show and such a joy hanging out …

AARP Experience Corps: Working with Kids Yields Rewards

Kids Aren’t the Only Ones Who Win with Experience Corps In 2007, a Washington University research study confirmed what volunteers have been consistently saying all along.  AARP Experience Corps volunteers become more active and energetic as they participate in the program. From the study: “At the end of the academic year, about two-thirds of the low-activity group was classified as high-activity, as they became more active in [non-Experience Corps] activities. ” Experience Corps members become more active through their work …

“The Gasp” and the Growth of a Child

My elementary school kids desperately want to please their teacher.  So much so, they frequently let their emotions get the better of them.  Actually it’s daily.  And here’s how I know: Each and every day that I’m in the classroom I hear the “gasp”! A little background: Good teaching requires a high level of engagement between teacher and student.  And one of the best ways to build such rapport is through questioning.  Active questioning helps ensure-nothing completely ensures!-that the students …

Building a Story – The Roles of Authors and Illustrators

Every story has a beginning, middle and end.  And in the details of that telling, we can be transported to times and places that fill us with a range of emotions – from wonder, hope and, mirth – to fear, sadness and dread.  And the best stories usually have a blend of both! My Experience Corps kids are currently engaged in “author studies.”  What you and I – if you’re a Gen Xer, boomer or older – used to call storytime!  …

A Handy Trick for Learning to Read

“Aoccdrning to rscheearch…” We all bring different experiences and backgrounds to our reading.  Our comprehension skills, vocabulary and language fluency all factor into what we take away from the series of letters and spaces on the page in front of us.  But the foundations of how we decode those characters comes from our learned ability to translate “letters into sounds” and “sounds into words.” And so, most of us can “read” the subtitle of this blog as “According to research…” …