What It Takes to Help Students Graduate

By Lester Strong We had good news this year in education. U.S. graduation rates are up by 6.5 percent since 2001. For those of us who work to improve children’s potential to graduate, it’s a validation that we’re making strides. Still, many problems remain that impact graduation rates in this country. One major challenge is that many children are still not reading proficiently by the end of third grade. In fact, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, students who …

New Hope for Older People in a Disaster

It’s hurricane season. Yes, until Nov. 30. In May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted an active or extremely active hurricane season. That means we could see 13 to 20 named storms, of which three to six could be major hurricanes (categories 3-5).  This is well above the seasonal average. As we know from Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, older people are particularly at risk during a hurricane. That’s true for all forms of disaster – natural, man-made …

Chained CPI Petitions Delivered to Capitol Hill: 1.5 Million Say No

Fifteen cardboard boxes. Ten thousand pages. And about 1.5 million people who want to be heard signed their names on one or more petitions, for a total of 2.3 million signatures. A group of AARP volunteers – known as the Capitol Hill Strike Force – descended on the U.S. Capitol this morning to deliver their messages to the House Ways and Means Committee. “As members of Congress consider proposals to reform these vital retirement security programs, it’s critical that they …

Saving One Baby at a Time

This is a guest post by Philip L. Graitcer and the second in a five-part series about a group of dedicated Rotary volunteers helping to eradicate polio in Kaduna, Nigeria.   Fomwan Maternity Hospital, Kaduna For most of the team, this is a new experience. They’ve never been in a developing country or given polio immunizations. Now, on our second day in Kaduna, they’re getting their sea legs – learning how to give polio immunizations in a maternity clinic, where 40 crying infants, held by their …

AARP Volunteer Receives Community Service Award

We’ve got some really fantastic volunteers in Illinois and around the country. The range of activities they work on is quite stellar. From Driver Safety to Tax Aide, to lobbying down in Springfield,  or assisting with office projects, this organization wouldn’t exist, and wouldn’t have nearly the impact that it does, without help from volunteers. That’s why we’re always excited when volunteer work is honored and recognized! So props to our longtime AARP Driver Safety Program volunteer Stanley Fukai  who …

Volunteers Washed Away in Severe Weather

Here in Washington, D.C. most people have stocked their cabinets with water, batteries and non-perishable foods and settled into their cozy homes to weather the severe rain and wind that Hurricane Sandy is unleashing. But what about those who don’t have a roof over their head? The reality is that their situation becomes very fragile during these times because many of the services the homeless rely on operate only with the generous help of volunteers. And with the severe weather …