Experience Corps Bay Area

AARP has joined forces with Experience Corps, one of the nation’s most highly regarded service programs, which engages older adult volunteers to help improve K-3 literacy in underserved schools.

The new relationship supports the priorities of both organizations: AARP Experience Corps will be able to increase its ability to tap into the experience and dedication of older Americans who want to give back to their communities, and it will offer AARP members a new way to engage in one of their top service priorities – volunteering to tutor or mentor youth.

“AARP Experience Corps fits very naturally into the AARP family, by building upon the principles of service that our founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, set out for the organization,” said Barb Quaintance, senior vice president for volunteer and civic engagement at AARP. ‘The group also has built an incredibly successful model, where kids and older adults thrive in a dynamic intergenerational exchange.”

“Reading levels of young children in America are in crisis,” said Lester Strong, current CEO of Experience Corps. Almost 70 percent of our nation’s children reach the 4th grade unable to read at a proficient level. By joining forces with AARP, Experience Corps will be able to make an even bigger difference for our children, and at the same time, leverage the experience and dedication of AARP’s millions of members.”

Your Experience Matters

As a mature adult age 55 or over, you have much to offer your community – an open heart, a life full of rich experiences, and the willingness to make a difference in a child’s life. Experience Corps offers you the opportunity to connect, inspire, and encourage the well-being of young people through an intergenerational network designed to help students struggling with literacy.

We invite you to join our community and connect with other Experience Corps members as they help our students embrace life with confidence, heart, and courage.

Volunteer qualifications and responsibilities:

  • High school degree or equivalent
  • English proficiency
  • No previous teaching or youth experience necessary
  • Attend initial trainings and ongoing workshops to develop skills for working with youth
  • One full school year commitment
  • Volunteers 55 and older – must be committed to developing intergenerational relationships and strengthening the Experience Corps team


  • Attend free workshops to expand knowledge on best practices for helping youth
  • Receive stipends, educational awards, and travel reimbursement for those who qualify
  • Improve mental health and well-being by encountering new challenges and meaningful experiences
  • Develop rewarding relationships with children and fellow volunteers
  • Make a real difference in your community

Since 1998, Experience Corps Bay Area (ECBA) has expanded to connect 212 members in 23 schools to tutor and mentor 2,600 students throughout the cities of Oakland, San Rafael, and San Francisco. Our program has improved the literacy skills of children in Grades K-3 by 60%, compared to those who have not received special instruction.

Our members are committed to helping elementary age children recover lost ground before reading problems affect their academic performance and limit future opportunities. Experience Corps is a gentle reminder that people of all generations are deserving of happiness, success, and connectedness.

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