March 17, 2016 – AARP Foundation, a grantee of the Social Innovation Fund, awarded a generous subgrant to United Way of Central Georgia to help grow Experience Corps, the evidence based AARP Foundation literacy program that improves the reading skills of children, enriches the lives of volunteer tutors, and strengthens schools in local communities.
Almost 70 percent of students in the U.S.—about 6.6 million children—are unable to read proficiently by fourth grade. AARP Foundation Experience Corps matches volunteers age 50 and over with students in kindergarten through third grade to help them improve their reading skills. The program offers both 1:1 volunteer and small group tutoring assistance, which is the focus of the Social Innovation Fund grant.
“Strong communities don’t just happen. Strength requires investment, and thanks to this grant from AARP Foundation, we are going to be able to significantly increase our investment in our area’s most important resource---our children” said George McCanless, President and CEO of United Way of Central Georgia. “Partnering with AARP Foundation Experience Corps will help us reach more children faster, and the data shows that these reading support efforts will improve their reading scores and ultimately, our area’s graduation rates. We look forward to partnering with Dr. Curtis Jones and his team at Bibb County Schools to implement this transformative initiati
“This grant aligns directly with our district’s strategic goals by building community support to provide reading assistance and mentorship in our schools,” stated Dr. Curtis Jones, Superintendent of Bibb County Schools. “We are excited about this opportunity and the positive impact it could have on student achievement in Bibb County.”
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 dollars 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.
These subgrant awards are 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.
“Experience Corps’ proven track record of matching older adults as 1:1 volunteer reading tutors with children in grades K-3 is not only working but the results are most impressive. The Social Innovation Fund is eager to provide funding to this cutting-edge intergenerational model that is potentially increasing the number of children being served and expanding this volunteer delivery system to include smaller reading groups. We are looking forward to building a dynamic program with AARP Foundation that supports these efforts while creating new opportunities for people 50+ to be engaged in their communities,” said Damian Thorman, Director of the Social Innovation Fund.
The Social Innovation Fund requires that each federal dollar granted be matched dollar for dollar by intermediary grantees and again by the organizations they select to receive grants. Therefore, this federal grant will leverage approximately $6 million in private funds.
The Experience Corps Social Innovation Fund subgrantees include:
• Aspiranet – San Francisco, CA
• The Children’s Initiative, San Diego, CA
• Generation Inc., Boston, MA
• Read to Succeed Buffalo
• Sacramento Chinese Community Service Center
• United Way California Capital Region, Sacramento, CA
• United Way Central Georgia, Macon, Georgia
About United Way of Central Georgia
United Way of Central Georgia is a leading funder of health and human service organizations that have a measurable impact in fourteen Central Georgia counties and improve the lives of more than 200,000 local people annually. The annual campaign supports 46 programs delivered by 31 local Partner Agencies. United Way of Central Georgia also funds a free, confidential seven-days a week, 24-hours a day information and referral line serving all of Central Georgia. Simply dial 2-1-1 to find or give help. United Way initiatives include VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program), FamilyWize discount prescription card, Early Education Empowerment Zone (First Steps, Parents as Teachers, Quality Rated Child Care) and Read2Succeed elementary school tutoring. UWCG also hosts 3 AmeriCorps Education VISTA’s.
About AARP Foundation
AARP Foundation is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. By coordinating responses to these issues on all four fronts at once, and supporting them with vigorous legal advocacy, the Foundation serves the unique needs of those 50+ while working with local organizations nationwide to reach more people, strengthen communities, work more efficiently and make resources go further. AARP Foundation is AARP’s affiliated charity. Learn more at www.aarpfoundation.org.
About the Social Innovation Fund
The Social Innovation Fund is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.