Experience Corps Chicago Driven by Passionate Latino Leaders

AARP Experience Corps Chicago aims to improve child literacy rates among young Chicago Latinos. As the office gears to open in March, Myrna Torres takes her position as Experience Corps Chicago’s new Branch Director. Tomas Revollo, a retired principal and educational thought leader, volunteers his time and expertise to connect Experience Corps with current Chicago Public School principals. Both have a deep interest in serving the Latino community, and that interest is invaluable in completing EC’s mission.    If you …

AARP Experience Corps Seeks Volunteers in Chicago: Help Kids Learn to Read!

Experience Corps is hosting a series of community conversations in Chicago with AARP members and the general 50+ public from Jan. 18 through Feb. 16.  The conversations, which are scheduled for about 1-1/2 hours, will serve to provide those interested with more information on AARP Experience Corps and the work we do with local schools, as well as an opportunity to learn more about volunteer opportunities to work with children in grades K-3 during the 2013-2014 school year. Why volunteer for AARP Experience Corps? Just ask …

The Essential Agreement of the Classroom

  Maintaining discipline in a classroom of elementary school kids is seldom easy.  My teacher has a number of tactics that she uses.  When a couple of kids aren’t paying attention or picking at each other, she says, “I’ll wait.”  She then silently pauses her lesson, the room gets quiet, and the kids that aren’t focused realize all eyes are on them and they settle down. If things get worse and more kids “don’t have their eyes on the speaker …

Provide a Mentor for a Child Through Giving Tuesday

This is a guest post by Deborah Jaquith of the AARP Experience Corps Program. Everyone’s heard of Black Friday and most have heard of Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, but what about Giving Tuesday?  We spend so much time around Thanksgiving shopping for Christmas. What about “shopping” online to invest in the work of the many nonprofits who give every day to others?  After all, isn’t that what the season is all about? Giving Tuesday is a campaign to create a …

Pumpkins and Punctuation Marks!

Great excitement colors every Halloween.  Kids happily don their costumes – some out of the box, some handmade – carve their jack o’lanterns, then set off to troll neighborhoods in the dusk and dark for candy galore. At my AARP Experience Corps school, the students woke up Halloween morning and put on their costumes for the school day.  Teachers and administrators dressed up as well and the entire school stepped outside for a street parade.  They marched about five blocks …

The View From 14 Inches

Earlier this month I began my Experience Corps work with Washington, D.C. elementary school kids to build their reading skills.  It has been both exhilarating and exhausting.  And although I’m having a tremendous amount of fun, I am already developing calluses on my back side getting used to sitting in a chair that’s only 14 inches off the ground! H. L. Mencken once famously said, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”  My Experience Corps corollary …