Experience Corps Literacy Program


Help kids read through Experience Corps
Become a volunteer tutor

Photo by Matt Roth

You can volunteer to help kids learn to read. Experience Corps is an intergenerational volunteer based tutoring program that is proven to help children who aren’t reading at grade level become great readers by the end of third grade. We inspire and empower adults age 50 and older to serve in their community and disrupt the cycle of poverty by making a lasting difference in the lives of America’s most vulnerable children. By becoming a volunteer tutor, you’ll have the opportunity to work with small groups of students 2 days per week for 2-3 hours per day, to make a lasting impact on their lives, classrooms, and school. 

Research shows that reading at grade level by the end of third grade helps students shift from learning to read to reading to learn, and to master the more complex subjects they will learn in fourth grade. Fourth graders who can’t read at grade level are four times less likely to graduate from high school. Studies show that Experience Corps works. After one year, many students who work with Experience Corps volunteer tutors achieve as much as 60% improvement in critical literacy skills compared to their peers. 

Experience Corps is a national literacy program that has nearly 2,000 highly-trained volunteers working in 29 cities and serving over 30,000 students every year in high-need elementary schools. It improves the literacy skills of children, enriches the lives of volunteer tutors (age 50 and up), and strengthens schools in local communities. Join us in guiding the next generation of readers. 

For more information email ectutor@uwccr.org or call 916-856-3972.

Sacramento area school districts served in 2016-17:

  • Center Joint Unified School District (Antelope)
  • Elk Grove Unified School District (South Sacramento & Elk Grove)
  • Robla School District (North Sacramento)
  • Washington Unified School District (West Sacramento)
  • Sacramento City Unified School District (Led by The Center)

Interested in volunteering and want to learn more?

Sign up for one of these Information Sessions by filling out the short form below.​

Tuesday, Aug. 8
10 – 11 a.m.
United Way California Capital Region
​10389 Old Placerville Road, Sacramento

Wednesday, Aug. 16
2 – 3 p.m.
United Way California Capital Region
​10389 Old Placerville Road, Sacramento

Thursday, Aug. 24
11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
United Way California Capital Region
​10389 Old Placerville Road, Sacramento

Thursday, Aug. 31
10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
United Way California Capital Region
​10389 Old Placerville Road, Sacramento

Thursday, Sept. 7
2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
United Way California Capital Region
​10389 Old Placerville Road, Sacramento

Wednesday, Sept. 13
11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
United Way California Capital Region
​10389 Old Placerville Road, Sacramento

Monday, Sept. 18
2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
United Way California Capital Region
​10389 Old Placerville Road, Sacramento

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March into Literacy Month
Celebrate Reading All Month Long

National March into Literacy Month kicks off with the birthday celebration of beloved children’s book author, Dr. Seuss’, on March 2nd! Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!

For children, creating a relationship with books is critical. Statistics show that reading at a proficient level by the 4th grade is a strong indicator for high school graduation success. 

Success Story

Help kids read by starting your next chapter with Experience Corps

Research shows that having a mentor greatly increases a student’s potential for success so much so that children not only have higher self-esteem, they also perform better in school. Through United Way’s partnership with AARP Experience Corps, volunteers ages 50 and older, spend two hours a day two days each week in classrooms helping young children  improve their reading skills so they succeed in school and beyond. Our volunteers not only help improve reading skills, but also form special bonds with the children.


Experience Corps needs people like you!

United Way’s Experience Corps program has completed its first school semester and is going strong! Experience Corps is a reading tutor program which matches volunteers ages 50+ with small groups of kindergarten through third grade students in local schools.


Experience Corps Volunteer Reading Tutor Information
What does it mean to volunteer to help kids read?

©Matt Roth

As an AARP Foundation Experience Corps volunteer you are working as a partner in assisting schools reach their student achievement goals. After training, you will have the opportunity to assist students in small groups, two times a week throughout the school year.

As a volunteer, you will:

  • Help students read at grade level (or even beyond!)
  • Receive specific training prior to volunteering
  • Provide consistent support to the same school and classroom over the course of the school year
  • Receive on-going training and volunteer support
  • Have the opportunity to meet and network with fellow volunteers

Experience Corps specifically recruit adults who are 50+ years of age to be tutors. Volunteer tutors serve in teams with a higher commitment of hours per week, approximately 2 days per week, 2-3 hours per day. This allows the program to have a greater presence and impact on the school environment because there is consistency, dedication and reliability.


AARP Foundation awards grant to United Way to help kids improve reading

We’ve received a grant from the AARP Foundation to have volunteers age 50 and up help young kids with their reading!

United Way California Capital Region is one of only seven nonprofits across the country selected for this grant. We give a high five to our partner Sacramento Chinese Community Service Center for being another one of the grantees for this important project.

AARP Foundation, a grantee of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), has awarded a generous four-year grant to United Way California Capital Region to help grow Experience Corps, the evidence based AARP Foundation literacy program that improves the reading skills of children, enriches the lives of volunteer tutors, and strengthens schools in local communities.

Almost 70 percent of students in the U.S.—about 6.6 million children—are unable to read proficiently by fourth grade. AARP Foundation Experience Corps matches volunteers age 50 and up with students in kindergarten through third grade to help them improve their reading skills. The program offers both 1:1 and small group tutoring assistance.

We know that improving children’s early literacy has a direct impact on their success in higher education, and we know that higher education is the equalizer that breaks the cycle of poverty. This subgrant will allow us to build on the success of Experience Corps’ intergenerational model and help many more children grow up prepared for success.

You can make a difference in the life of a child.