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 …

One Dad’s Impassioned Response to Saggy Pants

You might have seen the story this week about a controversial new dress code that bans saggy pants on the famous oceanfront boardwalk in Wildwood, N.J. You know the saggy pants syndrome: Jeans or trousers worn so low that you can see the person’s choices in underwear- brand and color, boxers or briefs. Not exactly attractive. It just so happens that saggy pants is a passion for one Virginia dad. Gil Knowles, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and father of …

Games for the 50+: A New Outlet for Mentoring

Over the past few weeks, I’ve written about the gaming study by Dr. Jennifer Jacobs Henderson, associate professor and department chair, and Dr. Aaron Delwiche, associate professor, of the Department of Communication at Trinity University. For the final installment in this series, I want to focus on a very interesting insight from Drs. Henderson and Delwiche – many older gamers really like the mentoring aspect of multiplayer online games. It’s not about the competition but about helping others. As we …

“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!  …