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Older Adults As Volunteers

(credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

(credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

mattleman_125 Education Reports
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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Once a week, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade students go to churches, nursing facilities and retirement homes for an hour where they have been paired with older adults as “reading buddies.”

Currently there are 350 kids involved and founder Pat Quigg, 82, organizes snacks, buses, school schedules, 14 meeting places and 250 mostly older volunteers, some of whom read with and mentor more than one child.

Lavera Higgins, blind since 18, asks her buddies to read to her and if they stumble on a word, they spell aloud and she helps them.

May is Older Americans Month and the US Census tells us many good things about people over 65. A high percentage own their homes, have finished high school and college and vote heavily in elections.

They also assist in programs like the Experience Corps, and in SCORE Philadelphia.

Read more about Reading Buddies and other volunteer opportunities in the May AARP Bulletin.