Volunteers Age 50+ Needed to Read to Kids Through United Way

Local residents ages 50 and up are needed by September to help kids read, as part of United Way California Capital Region’s partnership with AARP Foundation’s Experience Corps. Volunteers will be placed in Sacramento-area schools and will partner with small groups of students in kindergarten through third grade to help them improve their reading. For more information, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org/experiencecorps to sign up for an upcoming information session.

“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,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “As adults, we can give back by helping many more children grow up prepared for success.”

The program will take place in Center Joint Unified, Elk Grove Unified, Robla and Washington Unified school districts. Volunteers will spend two to three hours a day in the classroom two days a week helping students read at grade level and beyond, and providing consistent support to the same teacher and students over the course of the school year. Volunteers receive 25 hours of training in literacy and classroom management.

United Way California Capital Region is leading the program in the Sacramento region through a four-year grant from AARP Foundation, a grantee of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF). In August 2015, AARP Foundation received $3 million from SIF, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service programs. The SIF fosters public and private collaborations to evaluate and grow innovative community-based solutions that work. In just five years, the SIF and its private-sector partners have invested more than $876 million in compelling community solutions. As a result of $295 million in federal grants and more than $581 million in non-federal match commitments, the SIF has made grants to 39 institutions and 353 nonprofits working in 40 states and the District of Columbia. This subgrant award is the result of an open competition held by AARP Foundation to identify and select promising organizations in high need communities to implement and rigorously evaluate the Experience Corps model.

The local program is part of United Way California Capital Region’s Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of local students who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond. Through nine decades of work and research across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties, the local United Way now believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones for success in college. To donate or volunteer, visit www.yourlocalunitedway.org.