Help kids read by starting your next chapter with Experience Corps

Success Story

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.

Last week, we had a new group of volunteers take part in our 3-day training to prepare them for success in the classroom. We asked a handful of the volunteers why they wanted to give back, here’s what they had to say:


After a career working in Corrections, Vincent saw the first-hand effects of not being able to read at a sufficient level. Most of the people he interacted with during his career had a 6th grade reading level at best. Seeing the impact this had on the inmates, Vincent wanted to make a difference on a grass roots level and fell in love with the idea of volunteering with Experience Corps.
No matter what it is that inspires you to make a difference, reading is a fundamental tool that will help lift kids out of poverty. For more information on how to join our Experience Corps, click here. 


As a former high school English and history teacher, Diane knows that reading is a fundamental aspect of education. When she was teaching, it broke her heart when kids couldn’t comprehend the reading material and the writing was on the wall that they would eventually drop out of school leaving little hope for their future. After discovering United Way’s Experience Corps, Diane knew that she wanted to volunteer to make a difference in the lives of kids struggling with reading. It is her hope that she can pay it forward and help kids prepare for a successful high school career.

We need more volunteers to reach more children. Learn how you can volunteer or sign up for  our spring info-session.