Education Act, which aimed to ensure quality education for
poor and rich students alike. At 76 years old, he wrote a concept
paper that served as the blueprint for the Experience Corps
cfm). In it, he argues that sending seniors out to pasture does a
disservice to them as well as to society, and that a program like
Experience Corps could capitalize on the wisdom of the elderly.
“We believe,” he wrote, “that the large numbers of us over
age 65 constitute a rich reservoir of talent, experience and
commitment potentially available to society.”
The Experience Corps now include about 2,000 seniors
nationwide, who mentor elementary school students for at least 15
hours each week, especially in low-income neighborhoods where
class sizes swell. Student attendance and reading comprehension
appear to improve in classes supported by volunteers. And based
on testimonials, the volunteers enjoy the program.
However, anecdotes may not be enough to keep the program
afloat when education and public health budgets are strained.
At the moment, the program relies on federal funding through
AmeriCorps (the Corporation for National and Community