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Mayor John Giles expressed his enthusiasm for the program, saying, "Reading skills are a key building block for success, and I'm thrilled that Mesa is launching the Experience Corps program to give our 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders extra support. Helping children with their literacy skills is both rewarding and a meaningful opportunity to have a lasting impact. I encourage every retiree in Mesa to consider getting involved."
Experience Corps has already been established in over twenty cities across the country, including Phoenix, Tempe, and Pinal County. With the support of Experience Corps and Read On Arizona, a statewide collaboration focused on childhood literacy, Mesa is proud to join in efforts to bring high quality literacy tutoring to Mesa Public Schools.
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Starting from January 2024, the program will provide 180 hours of support each week at six Mesa Public Schools tutoring and mentoring children who are not yet reading at grade level. Tutoring will continue through May 2024 with plans for continuation of the program in the 2024-2025 school year.
Dr. Andi Fourlis, Superintendent of Mesa Public Schools said: "In Mesa Public Schools we know literacy is a currency that is needed for a healthy and successful life. We are excited to welcome Experience Corp reading tutors into our elementary schools. Our students have so much to gain from working with trained tutors who will help them strengthen their reading skills and become confident readers."
To qualify as an Experience Corps volunteer one must be at least 50 years old with a high school diploma or GED and must undergo a screening process. All volunteers receive extensive training and on-site support.
AARP Foundation Experience Corps Mesa is currently holding informational sessions where interested individuals can learn about the program, fill out an application form, and complete an interview with City of Mesa staff members. To learn more about Experience Corps Mesa visit www.mesaaz.gov/residents/education-workforce-office/aarp-experience-corps-mesa or sign up today if you wish to volunteer your time for this noble cause!
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