A new tutoring program starting up in DeKalb County aims to increase reading proficiency by connecting students and senior citizens.

The DeKalb County Human Services Department is recruiting volunteers to participate in a new tutoring program. The program, AARP Experience Corps, is an evidence-based literacy initiative aimed at enhancing reading skills of children in kindergarten through third grade who are behind by at least two grade levels.

According to officials, recent data shows that DeKalb students on average have a reading proficiency of 26%, which means that 74% of students are reading below grade level. The new tutoring program is designed to help DeKalb students improve literacy skills.

The Human Services Department is hosting informational sessions at the Lou Walker Senior Center, 2538 Panola Road in Stonecrest at 11:30 a.m. on the following days:

♦ Wednesday, Aug. 14

♦ Thursday, Aug. 15

♦ Wednesday, Aug. 21

♦ Thursday, Aug. 22

The tutoring program will begin on Oct. 21 and will follow the DeKalb County School District 2019-20 calendar. Participating schools include Stoneview Elementary, Murphy Candler Elementary, E.L. Miller Elementary and Redan Elementary.

Volunteers must be at least 50 years old and have a high school diploma or G.E.D to participate. The Human Services Department is working in collaboration with the United Way of Greater Atlanta, the AARP Foundation and the DeKalb County School District on this initiative.

To register to attend an informational session or to learn more, contact Debra Furtado, Human Services administrator, at dlfurtado@dekalbcountyga.gov or 770- 322-2969.

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