June 28, 2007
On May 24, 2007, the first thirteen members of Experience Corps Greater New Haven gathered at Helen Street Elementary School in Hamden to celebrate the Experience Corps program, which launched at Spring Glen and Helen Street Elementary Schools.
In attendance were Thenera Bailey of Experience Corps National, Lynette Kelleher, Principal of Helen Street School, Cheryl Townsend, Principal of Spring Glen School, and Carol Ireland, Elderly Services Coordinator for the Town of Hamden, as well as the President and CEO of the United Way of Greater New Haven, Jack Healy, and the Executive Director for the Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut, Neysa Stallman Guerino.
“It has been an honor to host the launch celebration and to have members of Experience Corps tutoring the students in our school,” said Kelleher. “The children’s’ improvement is obvious, and the program is truly a winning situation for everyone involved.”
The launch included performances by the 3rd and 4th grade school chorus, a video created to showcase student perspectives on the program, and stories about the program’s impact on its members and the students. Members of United Way of Greater New Haven and the Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut also addressed those present at the celebration.
An expansion of the Experience Corps program to all eight Hamden elementary schools is planned for September 2007 due to successful results in the pilot program.
“I love seeing children looking forward to reading,” said Fran Nelson, an Experience Corps member from West Haven. “One of the goals of Experience Corps is to get the children more interested in reading, and building a nation of readers, and I am helping to do just that.”
Experience Corps is a volunteer initiative that encourages retirees to utilize their wisdom and education to tutor elementary school children, grades K-3, in the subjects of reading and writing. Tutors receive training and proceed to work with students in the classroom, in small groups, and one-on-one between 10 and 20 hours a week. The program was launched by United Way of Greater New Haven and the Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut in February 2007 at two schools in Hamden. An expansion to six more Hamden elementary schools is planned for September.
If you would like to share your knowledge by tutoring, please contact Sheila Greenstein by phone at (203) 752-3059 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About United Way:
United Way brings together the caring power of our community to create measurable, sustainable change and to improve lives. To do this we: help identify our region's greatest needs and best opportunities for change; raise dollars and invest those dollars for results; connect people to their caring through volunteer opportunities.
More information about United Way of Greater New Haven's community leadership and how you can help can be found at http://www.uwgnh.org/.