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UWCG Chosen For Study of AARP Literacy Program

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United Way of Central Georgia (UWCG) announced today that it has been selected by the AARP Foundation to participate in a national impact evaluation study. The evaluation will examine whether small group tutoring administered by senior-citizen volunteer tutors is an effective model for accelerating literacy achievement among K-3 students who are below grade level in reading.

UWCG’s tutoring program received high marks on several criteria, including the consistent use of the small group model. Central Georgia was joined by Boston and Buffalo as the three communities chosen for the study.

“We’re honored to be included with Boston and Buffalo as one of three programs selected for this national impact evaluation,” said George McCanless, President/CEO of United Way of Central Georgia (UWCG). “To be recognized nationally for the great work our Read United staff and volunteers have been doing is humbling, to say the least.”

The AARP Foundation’s Experience Corps is an evidence-based literacy program that improves reading skills of children, enriches lives of volunteer tutors, and strengthens schools in local communities. The foundation’s analysis will also investigate expansion of small group tutoring (two to four children) and small group plus classroom-wide assistance models.

Central Georgia’s entire Read United effort, which includes the Read2Succeed tutoring initiative, depends on support from the Peyton Anderson Foundation.

“We applaud United Way's impact through Read2Succeed and the Experience Corps’ volunteer-led efforts as champions of continued literacy success,” said Karen Lambert, President/CEO and a Trustee of the foundation.

Literacy volunteers work in partnership with the Bibb County School District, which focuses on improving reading skills for younger students.

“Stakeholders from all walks of life are coming into our schools to tutor students, mentor students, and help students achieve new levels of success,” said Bibb County Schools Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones. “Through our community’s strong investment in our schools and students, we will achieve Victory in Our Schools.”

UWCG was one of seven community-based organizations to receive a four-year grant award in 2015 from the AARP Foundation, which collaborates with the Corporation for National and Community Service to fund these programs.