Experience Corps Literacy Program


Change lives through reading
Become a volunteer literacy tutor and help young students succeed!

AARP Foundation Experience CorpsResearch shows that the ability to read at grade level by the end of third grade helps students master complex subjects in fourth grade and beyond. Today, four out of five low-income students and two-thirds of U.S. fourth graders have missed this important milestone.

Together we can change this.

With the AARP Foundation Experience Corps program, we are bringing volunteer tutors, ages 50 and older, together to help local schools turn their struggling students into successful, confident readers. With approximately 2 days per week, 2-3 hours per day, you can make a lasting impact in a child’s life.

As a volunteer you will receive: 

  • Tutoring skills to help students reach their reading goals (and beyond!)
  • Training support to become an impactful mentor and role model
  • Opportunities to meet and connect with fellow volunteers
  • The chance to build better, stronger communities in the Sacramento region

See how you can make a difference!

Fill out the form below to learn more about becoming a volunteer.

Wednesday, November 1     
11 am-12 pm    
United Way California Capital Region

Thursday, November 9     
2-3 pm     
United Way California Capital Region

Tuesday, November 28
11 am-12 pm     
United Way California Capital Region

Monday, December 4     
2-3 pm     
United Way California Capital Region

Thursday, December 14     
10-11 am     
United Way California Capital Region

Monday, December 18     
1-2 pm     
United Way California Capital Region

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About United Way California Region and AARP Foundation Experience Corps Program

United Way California Capital Region is leading the effort to end poverty in the Sacramento region by supporting education through the Square One Project. This project is our promise to our community to significantly increase the number of kids who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond over the next 20 years.


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.