Who is an academic mentor?
Academic mentors are caring members of the community who support students from the Boston Public Schools. Academic mentors meet students where they are – whether in-class or online – to serve as tutors in reading, writing and/or math. They commit to spending at least an hour a week with the same student, or small group of students, for the duration of the school year. Ideally, the match stays together over the course of a few years, thus forming a bond that reaches beyond academics.

What volunteer opportunities are available?
For the 2020-21 school year, all Boston Partners mentoring opportunities will take place remotely. Our online volunteer opportunities include one-on-one or small group tutoring in the subjects of math, science, reading and writing (ELA – English Language Arts), and other humanities subjects such as history and world languages. Volunteer opportunities are available in all grades from PreK-12. We also offer whole classroom mentoring support, but specifically for grades PreK-5.

Are there any requirements to volunteer?
Yes. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old to participate. We require annual Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) background checks (conducted at no cost to volunteers). Boston Partners in Education processes these background checks in conjunction with BPS.

To volunteer in a virtual classroom, BPS requires all volunteers to complete a short NDA form. Volunteers must also have access to reliable technology – including a computer with a camera – and must attend a 1.5 hour virtual training session. In addition, volunteers are required to abide by Boston Partners’ Policies & Procedures.

Where can I volunteer?
Any BPS teacher can nominate a student to receive volunteer support. Last year, our programs were available in over 50 of 125 public schools within the City of Boston. The choices depend on your availability and interests, as well as the needs of schools.

What hours can I volunteer?
Most volunteer opportunities occur during school hours (8:00 am – 3:00 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. For questions about the application form, or to learn more about becoming a volunteer, you can contact 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 mandatory 1.5-hour online volunteer training will address guidelines and expectations for mentoring with Boston Partners in Education. The training will help clarify your role as a mentor and reinforce the skills and attitudes necessary to effectively serve students. You’ll also receive an introduction to video conferencing technology, which covers some best practices for supporting students online. As a bonus, it’s a fun opportunity to meet other volunteers in the program and hear their perspectives on mentoring.

Training sessions are conducted online via Zoom by our Senior Partnerships Managers, Emelia Andres and Sue Li. Training schedules will be shared during the interview process.