Reading Program for At-Risk Children Brings Joy

Lexi Jadoff, 31, is a driven, ambitious Washington, D.C., consultant with a unique way of de-stressing. She volunteers with The Reading Connection (TRC), a nonprofit that promotes reading for at-risk families. Jadoff is among the Read-Aloud volunteers who read each week with children at shelters and affordable apartment complexes. Four rotating teams read children’s books about a pre-selected topic to the kids once each week, then the kids do a related activity. “Breakfast” is this week’s theme. Put your time, …

What They Saw in Me

When I was 8 years old, my teacher told my parents that I was failing third grade, that I was mentally retarded (a label used frequently in those days) and that I was essentially unteachable. Thankfully, she didn’t have the last word. Three adults in my neighborhood – a barber, a Methodist minister and a friend’s mother – saw something in me that neither my teacher nor my parents could see. With their strong encouragement and even stronger discipline, I …

Books Program Exposes Kids to the Joy of Literacy

Some people take a fitness class before heading to work. Others jog a mile or two. Jennifer Kenealy, 45, gets her morning workout by hauling boxes of children’s books to schools, recreation centers, youth-focused nonprofit organizations and other sites. These are spots where children of low-income families congregate as part of Alexandria Book Shelf (ABS), a citywide literacy program run by the uber-creative DreamDog Foundation. It is 8 a.m. on a humid, 90-plus-degree morning as Kenealy and I meet in …

Library of Congress Offers Free Book Service to Visually Challenged

AARP Bulletin and AARP The Magazine are among the periodicals and 150,000 books available to visually or physically challenged Americans through a free service of the Library of Congress. With the help of a nationwide network of libraries, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) mails Braille publications and audio books to your door. You can also download them using the BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) mobile app. About 150,000 books and 75 magazines are …

Help Your Grandchildren Keep Learning This Summer

This summer, AARP Foundation Experience Corps and PBS KIDS are collaborating to help prevent learning loss. New episodes of the popular PBS KIDS Word Girl TV show will air on your local PBS affiliate and on YouTube throughout the summer. A Super Summer Fun Book has been created to accompany each show. You can download the activity book, set your own pace to watch the program on YouTube and reinforce those lessons with the book’s fun activities all summer long. …

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,” …