Answering the Call to Service
This year AARP Foundation, AmeriCorps, and Points of Light bestowed a President’s Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement Award upon Calvin Leonard, who has served as an Experience Corps tutor for the last 20 years, dedicating over 4,463 hours to helping students in kindergarten thru 3rd grade learn to read. He was honored at the organization’s national conference held earlier this summer in Washington D.C. The three-day conference brought together hundreds of committed tutors and program partners who are responsible for serving thousands of students throughout the year with an early literacy tutoring intervention. The event featured keynote speaker Deputy Secretary of Education, Dr. Cindy Marten, who championed the work of the Experience Corps community. Deputy Secretary Marten called Experience Corps a “game changer for students. To have that one caring, experienced, well-trained and supported adult for focus time. It changes everything.”
This annual get-together of invested individuals who answer the call to service year after year illustrates what can happen when an evidence-based tutoring model is delivered by individuals who care about and are committed to kids. Experience Corps tutors are over the age of 50 and serve an average of 6-7 years. They bring to the table a lifetime of experiences and skills that nurture a human connection and motivate students to reach their potential. What’s more, studies from the field of volunteer engagement show that older adult volunteers are particularly interested in becoming experts in their service. That drive to become an expert in literacy education in combination with a highly structured tutoring session and additional training on student behavior is key to ensuring Experience Corps tutors are confident stewards of model fidelity and success.
Finding the right individuals to serve as tutors is top of mind for schools and recruiters as we gear up for the fall. Those hiring tutors often have to balance the soft skills that develop relationships with the qualifications needed to advance achievement. Experience Corps is one of the 14 ProvenTutoring coalition partners who work with schools to implement road-tested tutoring models that include ongoing training and coaching for tutors who possess a wide range of skills and talents. Some of our programs prepare school staff to tutor students while others train university students, AmeriCorps volunteers, and members of the community.
A committed human tutor like Mr. Leonard is at the heart of so many effective tutoring initiatives. ProvenTutoring and its coalition partners are here to support school tutoring efforts by offering road-tested programs that facilitate relationships with caring adults and accelerate learning. Below is a list of ProvenTutoring programs and the types of tutors they coach and train.