Helping America's most vulnerable™

AARP Experience Corps

Hope through bridging the literacy gap

AARP Experience Corps engages people age 50 years and older in boosting literacy and academic performance of children in urban schools. More than 2,000 Corps members in 20 cities nationally, serve as tutors and mentors that help teach children to read and develop the confidence and skills they need to succeed in school and in life.


Volunteers of America-Minnesota
Education Center

924 19th Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 55404


Monday – Friday,
​8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


Adults age 50 and over

How we help

Here in Minnesota, AARP Experience Corps is sponsored by Volunteers of America - Minnesota. AARP Experience Corps literacy tutors work with children in kindergarten through third grade in several Minneapolis and St. Paul schools to help them become better readers. AARP Experience Corps members work under the direction of the classroom teacher, providing assistance to students one-on-one, or in small groups. On-going training and support is provided to AARP Experience Corps members, as well as stipends for those who qualify.   

The AARP Experience Corps program helps schools become more successful, strengthens ties between these institutions and surrounding neighborhoods, and enhances the well-being of the Experience Corps members in the process.   

Additional information


Despite persistent efforts, nearly 40 percent of all American fourth-graders read below the basic level on a national reading test. The percentages are even higher in many urban schools. Here in Minnesota, we have one of the largest achievement gaps in the nation. Studies have shown that reading ability in the third grade is a major predictor of future educational success−being a proficient reader by third grade dramatically increases students’ chances of graduating from high school. AARP Experience Corps Tutors directly contribute to this milestone by providing one-on-one reading tutoring as well as serving as a caring adult in each of their students’ lives.

School & community partners


  • Freedom Academy Charter School
  • Lucy Craft Laney Community School
  • Lyndale Community School
  • Marcy Open School
  • Southside Family Charter School
  • Whittier International School

St. Paul:

  • Barack and Michelle Obama Service Learning Elementary School
  • Chelsea Heights Elementary School 
  • CommonBond Communities
  • Cornerstone Montessori Elementary School
  • East Side Learning Center
  • Higher Ground Academy
  • Maxfield Elementary School
  • Phalen Lake Hmong Studies Magnet
  • Twin Cities Housing Development Corporation
  • West Side Summit


Training is provided for AARP Experience Corps members prior to starting service at a school site and throughout the year. Initial training on tutoring beginning readers is provided by the Minnesota Literacy Council. Additional training topics include Behavior Management During Tutoring Sessions, Understanding Survival-Based Youth, Exploring Children’s Social and Emotional Development, and Cultural Competency & Intercultural Development. 


AARP Experience Corps members who serve 10 hours per week are eligible to be enrolled as AmeriCorps members and receive a small stipend and an educational award on completion of 300 hours of service. 

For more information, contact Paul Simone
Phone: 612-202-7209