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The Effect of the Experience Corps® Program on Student Reading Outcomes

A randomized field trial involving 883 students at 23 schools in three urban cities assessed the effectiveness of Experience Corps® (EC), a program that places older adult volunteers in elementary schools to tutor students who are poor readers. Students were assessed at the beginning and end of the academic year with standardized reading measures. Program effects were analyzed using Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) to adjust for clustering effects. Findings demonstrated that EC students made statistically greater gains over the academic year on passage comprehension and grade-specific reading skills. The gains were stronger for students who received at least 35 tutoring sessions. These findings indicate that older community volunteers can be effectively deployed to improve reading achievement in low income, ethnic minority children who are at risk of reading failure.

Project: Experience Corps School-based Tutoring Project


Lee, Y. S.Morrow-Howell, N., Jonson-Reid, M., & McCrary, S. (2010). The effect of the Experience Corps® Program on student reading outcomes. Education and Urban Society, 44(1), 97–118. doi:10.1177/0013124510381262