2009 News

Generations United recognizes Experience Corps research with award

At a ceremony on July 30, Generations United will award the 2009 Brabazon Award for Evaluation Research to Stacey McCrary, Project Manager at CSD and Nancy Morrow-Howell, Ralph and Muriel Pumphrey Professor of Social Work at the Brown School, and Faculty Associate at CSD. The award recognizes the rigorous research Dr. Morrow-Howell and Ms. McCrary have led on Experience Corps (EC), an intergenerational tutoring program that places older adults in public schools to help students who have been identified as poor readers. Specifically, their research investigates the program’s effects on participating students and on the older adults who provide the tutoring.

The research finds that both students and tutors benefit from participating in Experience Corps. Over a single school year, students with Experience Corps tutors made over 60 percent more progress in learning two critical reading skills—sounding out new words and reading comprehension—than similar students not served by the program. Older adult tutors, meanwhile, experienced positive changes in their physical and mental health as a result of participating in the program.

When the Experience Corps research was released earlier this year, it drew the attention of national news outlets, including the Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. More recently, Jay Mathews, author of the popular education column “Class Struggle” in the Washington Post, praised the research for its rigorous approach and use of a randomized selection process.

Generations United is a coalition of over 100 organizations that promotes “intergenerational public policies, programs, and strategies.“ Coalition members include the National Council on Aging, AARP, the Child Welfare League of America, and the Children’s Defense Fund. Generations United presents the Brabazon Award each year in recognition of outstanding evaluation research in the intergenerational field.

Read more about the Experience Corps research findings in a series of CSD research briefs.