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Phoenix residents needed to respond to literacy crisisPhoenix residents needed to respond to literacy crisis<div class="ExternalClass89ACFF72B2814E00809D782AAC210FC6"><table cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:100%;"><p>It's an astounding fact, but only 28 percent of Arizona fourth grade students were reading proficiently in 2013, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The City of Phoenix is working to fix this problem, but we need your help.</p><p>Working with Experience Corps Phoenix, trained volunteer tutors aged 50 and older are helping children become proficient readers by the time they finish third grade. The program taps into the experience and passion of older Arizonians to ensure that every child has a chance to succeed in school and in life. And it's working.  Ninety percent of the students who receive one-to-one coaching with Experience Corps Phoenix have shown gains in critical literacy skills.  Teachers report that the tutors make a positive impact on attendance, reducing disruptive behavior, and increase participation. </p><p>So far, we have over 100 volunteers in local Phoenix schools. But we need more. To learn about volunteering with the city of Phoenix AARP Experience Corps program, residents are encouraged to register for one of these upcoming information session at <a href="http://lists.phoenix.gov/t/1224250/604394/11651/3/">surveymonkey.com/s/ECPHX</a> or by calling 602-256-3248.  Locations for the training will be provided at the time of registration.  </p><table cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default"><tbody><tr class="ms-rteTableEvenRow-default"><td class="ms-rteTableEvenCol-default" style="width:100%;"><p>10 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 9</p><p>10 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 23</p><p>10 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 8</p><p>1 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 22</p><p>10 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5</p><p>1 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19</p><p>10 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9</p><p>1 to 2:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14</p><p>Mayor Greg Stanton was instrumental in securing the program for Phoenix schools as part of Read On Phoenix, his program to get local students reading at grade level by the third grade.  Read On Phoenix is part of the statewide effort of Read On Arizona, a partnership of agencies, philanthropic organizations and community stakeholders committed to creating an effective range of services to improve language and literacy skills for Arizona's children.</p><p>Experience Matters, a local nonprofit, is teaming up with Experience Corps Phoenix to leverage the AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and Encore Fellow programs and provide management, coordination and resources to place reading tutors in designated Phoenix elementary schools. </p><p>AARP Foundation Experience Corps currently serves more than 32,000 students nationwide.  Phoenix is the 22nd city to offer AARP Foundation Experience Corps in its public schools.</p></td></tr><tr class="ms-rteTableOddRow-default"><td class="ms-rteTableEvenCol-default"> </td></tr></tbody></table><p><br></p><p><br></p></td></tr></tbody></table></div>5/20/2015 12:25:00 AMChuck Emmert602-534-5100