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|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|Tuesday, September 16, 2003
||Contact: AoA Press Office
New Campaign Encourages Older Americans To Help Children In Urban Schools
Assistant Secretary for Aging, Josefina G. Carbonell, of the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and John Gomperts,
CEO of Experience Corps, today unveiled a new campaign to recruit
thousands of older Americans to participate in a tutoring and
mentoring program sponsored by Experience Corps. This recruitment
effort, which expresses President Bush’s strong call to
service and his emphasis on the importance of literacy, is supported
by a grant of almost $790,000 from the Administration on Aging
Experience Corps is the innovative and award-winning program
that creates opportunities for older Americans to take part iny
vital public and community service. Today, more than 1,000
Experience Corps members are serving as tutors and mentors to
urban public schools in a dozen cities across the country.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said, “Older
Americans are a powerful resource for communities all around
the country. This administration is pleased to partner with Experience
Corps, an exceptional program for retirees to do real work with
kids in schools and community organizations. I’m confident
that everyone – children and older citizens alike – will
gain by bringing more people into Experience Corps.”
“By placing older Americans in tutoring and mentoring
relationships with children in urban public schools, Experience
Corps is helping to ensure that children will be able to read
by grade three,” said Assistant Secretary Carbonell. “We
know from experience and research that by volunteering, those
older volunteers also improve their own health. Experience Corps
is a tremendous intergenerational program and we are delighted
to support the effort to recruit thousands more older Americans
to join Experience Corps.”
Gomperts said, “We are extremely grateful for the support
that AoA and HHS are providing to Experience Corps. The recruitment
campaign we are launching this month will help bring thousands
more older Americans into service. And, it will give thousands
of children the benefit of a caring adult and tutor.”
The recruitment campaign encourages Americans over 55 to join
Experience Corps by emphasizing the value of their work and life
experience, the ease of joining a team of volunteer to tutor
and mentor children, and the importance of the societal contributions
they can make in retirement.
Each campaign poster pictures a student working with an Experience
Corps member. The headlines for the 50 different posters reflect
the pictured volunteer’s past profession and current contribution.
For example, a retired graphic designer is “Still Bringing
Magic to the Page,” a retired chemist is “Still Getting
Good Reactions,” and a retired actor is “Still Playing
Important Roles.” Photos of groups of older volunteers
run with the headline, “Here Comes the Future.”
The ads have appeared in venues from the Cleveland Plain Dealer
to San Francisco bus shelters to the Boston subway system. In
addition, they have been posted in community gathering places
and handed out as fliers.
“Experience is the best teacher,” the posters proclaim, “and
you have a lifetime’s worth. Don’t let it go to waste.
Experience Corps is currently operating in 12 cities – Baltimore,
MD; Boston, MA; Cleveland, OH; Indianapolis, IN; Kansas City,
MO; Minneapolis, MN; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Port Arthur,
TX; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA and Washington, DC.
To learn more about Experience Corps and to view the recruitment
posters, please visit www.experiencecorps.org.