Read to Succeed Buffalo (RTSB) is expanding its AARP Experience Corps Volunteer Program to serve more students throughout the Buffalo Public Schools (BPS). The organization’s goal is to expand the program to a total of 125 tutor/mentors which will require the addition of up to 65 new volunteers. This expansion will enable RTSB to provide individualized literacy support to nearly 400 below grade-level students.

The recruitment initiative is part of the three-year contract awarded to RTSB from Buffalo Public Schools to expand the implementation of its Experience Corps Buffalo program. RTSB will receive $50,000 per year to provide this evidence-based 1:1 tutor/mentoring model to below grade-level students in PreK-3rd grade. This funding comes at a critical time as nearly 80 percent of Buffalo’s 3rd Graders are not reading with proficiency according to 2022 NY State ELA test results.

“This is an important step towards fulfilling Superintendent Williams’ goal of all students reading proficiently by the end of 3rd grade,” said Anne Ryan, Executive Director of RTSB.  “If a student is not able to read at grade level by fourth grade, they are four times more likely not to graduate from high school. 1:1 high impact tutoring is one of the only interventions that has proven benefits for students; resulting in statistically significant growth in their reading skills.”

Experience Corps Tutor/Mentors meet individually with each student two-three times per week for 30 minutes per session, during the school day. Sessions are very structured and focus on building fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills in students in 1-3rd grade through repeated reading practice and models of fluent reading. PreK and kindergarten tutor/mentors work on preliteracy skill development.

Although AARP Experience Corps is targeted to support reading proficiency for students, there are many benefits for the volunteer tutor/mentor as well.

“Volunteer tutors can connect with the community and make an impact while experiencing mental and physical benefits throughout the year-long program’, added Ryan. “According to AARP Foundation, 98 percent of volunteers nationally reported that participating in Experience Corps helped them stay physically and mentally active, and 96 percent of volunteers reported that the program increased their sense of purpose in life.”

The only requirement to becoming a volunteer tutor/mentor with Read to Succeed Buffalo is that you are 50 years of age or older and have a desire to share your experience and your love of reading with students who need it the most.  Your time and talents can change a child’s life – the experience may even change your own!

Please visit our volunteer page to become a tutor/mentor today!