Who is an academic mentor?
An academic mentor is a community member who volunteers in a K-12 classroom in the Boston Public Schools (BPS) and tutors students in reading, writing and/or math. They commit to spending the year with the same student, or small group of students, every week for an hour a week during the school day. Ideally, the match stays together over the course of a few years, thus forming a bond that goes beyond academics.
What volunteer opportunities are available?
Our current volunteer opportunities include one-on-one or small group tutoring in the subjects of: math, sciences, reading and writing (ELA-English Language Arts), and other humanities such as history and language. We also offer whole classroom academic mentoring support, but specifically for grades K-2.
Are there any requirements to volunteer?
Yes. We require annual Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) background checks. Boston Partners in Education processes these background checks in conjunction with BPS. In addition, volunteers are required to abide by the following Policies & Procedures.
Do I need a car in order to volunteer?
No. Most schools are accessible by public transportation. We can place you at a school that is conveniently located near a T or bus stop.
Where can I volunteer?
Any BPS teacher can nominate a student to receive volunteer support. Last year, our programs were in 63 of 128 public schools within the City of Boston. You can choose to volunteer at a participating school that is conveniently located near your home or work. The choices depend on your availability and interests, as well as the needs of the school.
What hours can I volunteer?
Most volunteers opportunities occur during school hours (7:30 am – 3:20 pm, depending on the school).
How do I get started?
Complete the Volunteer Application form and a staff person from Boston Partners in Education will contact you. If you prefer, after filling out the registration form, you can call the office at (617) 451-6145 and ask for Peter Darling. He will be happy to schedule you for an interview, which will last approximately one hour.
What kind of training is provided?
Training is required before being matched with a student, and the session lasts about two and a half hours. Training materials vary based on the subject matter one will provide academic mentoring support in and currently include: Elementary Math, Elementary Literacy, Secondary Math and Secondary Literacy.
When and where does the training take place?
Boston Partners in Education holds training sessions during the mornings, afternoons, evenings and some Saturdays. Sessions begin in September – April, and volunteers are assigned dates and times during their interview. Training sessions take place at our offices at 44 Farnsworth Street, Boston. Custom training organized by schools can be arranged off site for groups greater than 10 people. For further information about custom training contact Marc Saunders, Director of Education and Training, or call (617) 451-6145.
How does a parent get an academic mentor for his/her child through Boston Partners in Education?
Because we match students and volunteers in response to student nominations from teachers, parents should speak with their child’s teacher if they feel s/he could benefit from having an academic mentor. The teacher will need to fill out a Student Nomination form. After the teacher returns the completed form, we can begin recruiting a suitable volunteer.