EXPERIENCE CORPS AND THE NEW WAVE OF CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Photographs by Alex Harris U.S. Senate Russell Building Rotunda July 11-15, 2005
Experience Corps, an award-winning program, engages people over 55 in meeting their communities greatest challenges. Today, in 20 cities across the country, 2,000 Experience Corps members serve as tutors and mentors to children in public schools and after-school programs, where they help teach children to read and develop the confidence and skills to succeed in school and in life. Independent research shows that Experience Corps boosts student academic performance, helps schools and youth-serving organizations become more successful, strengthens ties between these institutions and surrounding neighborhoods, and enhances the well-being of the older adults in the process.
“When they read a page, and I can smile and say with joy in my voice, ‘Oh look how much you’ve been able to do today’…that’s what I call the million dollar reward. It doesn’t come easy.” Elizabeth J. Deucher, Cleveland
Experience Corps is a signature program of Civic Ventures.
“Some days they come to school and they want to be mentored, and somedays they don’t. They might have gone to bed hungry and get to school the next day and don’t feel like doing anything. So when they’re having a bad day, you know it. You just have to sit and wait and feel them out, be there for them when they come to you.” Henry Holman, Washington, D.C.