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 Emelia Andres or Sue Li. They will be happy to schedule you for an interview, which will last approximately one hour.
What kind of training is provided?
A 2.5 hour mandatory volunteer training will introduce you to a mindset that will help you to be successful in your match. The training will also address guidelines and expectations for mentoring with Boston Partners in Education. As a bonus, it’s a fun opportunity to meet other volunteers in the program and hear their perspectives on mentoring.
When and where does the training take place?
Training sessions are conducted at Boston Partners in Education’s office at 44 Farnsworth Street by our Training Manager, Mendie Welu. Training schedules will be shared during the interview.
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.