50years ago, a national volunteer movement was gaining momentum in an effort to improve the American educational system. Here in Boston, a concerned group of community members took notice, forming Boston Partners in Education (then called School Volunteers for Boston or SVB) to help create greater educational parity for students in Boston’s public schools. When SVB began its official operations on March 14, 1966, it placed 28 volunteers in six Boston schools.

For the first time, students had a conduit to interact directly and positively with volunteers – mentors, career counselors, business people and individuals working in higher educational institutions. Fostering these partnerships and exploring the possibilities for student enrichment and academic support became the trademark of these early years.

Boston Partners in Education has since evolved to respond to the ever-changing educational and emotional needs of vulnerable children in the Boston Public Schools. Today, our academic mentors make a commitment for the entire school year to work with students identified by teachers as needing extra academic support and attention. Though much has changed over five decades, our commitment to BPS has never wavered. Fifty years later, Boston Partners proudly stands as the oldest active nonprofit partner of the Boston Public Schools.

Moving forward, we strive to engage more academic mentors, who continue to act as positive role models to developing minds. Our programs will always remain free of cost, giving all students equal access to mentoring and tutoring services. For the next 50 years, Boston Partners in Education will be there for students on their journeys to graduation, providing an encouraging voice or guiding light along the way.

But for now, we celebrate. We celebrate our forward-thinking community members who built the foundation for student support services in Boston; our hard-working youth who pushed themselves to grow as students and as people; our dedicated volunteers who met with students in the classroom each and every day; and our caring teachers and school leaders who sought other ways to complement their students’ growth. We celebrate 50 years of academic mentoring in the Boston Public Schools. And, most importantly, we celebrate you.

Thank you for supporting Boston Partners in Education and students in the Boston Public Schools for 50 years!

Erin McGrath
Executive Director, Boston Partners in Education