By Willine Valentin, Staff Reporter
August 3, 2005
Just because 65-year-old Lizzie Brown is retired doesn't mean she has to stop working.
"I really wanted to do something to keep me busy," said Brown, of Morgan Park.
So Brown became one of the age 55-plus adults in the Experience Corps program, which puts them to work in classrooms to help teachers and work with students.
Brown, who worked as a registered nurse, said being a tutor allows her to contribute. "I feel like I owe the community something because when I was growing up poor I got a lot of help," said Brown.
She tutors at Bontemps Elementary School, 58th and Throop, where 88 students from Copernicus Elementary, 6010 S. Throop, are in summer school.
Students can relate to the older tutors: "They remind me of my grandma because my grandma taught me things before she passed," said Pete McKinney, 12, of Englewood.
The Experience Corps program began as a part of Working In The Schools, a not-for-profit organization involving community members in tutoring and mentoring children in Chicago Public Schools.
"It's such a growing resource -- 77 million baby boomers are going to be retiring," said Mary Ellen Guest, executive director of WITS. "Here you have this growing resource to work on solving illiteracy."