Our Mission & Vision

Boston Partners in Education enhances the academic achievement and nurtures the personal growth of Boston’s public school students by providing them with focused, individualized, in-school volunteer support.

With the commitment and involvement of the entire community, all students in Boston will develop the skills, self-confidence and motivation to recognize and achieve their full potential.

Our Story

Helping students realize and achieve their full potential since 1966

Boston Partners in Education was founded in 1966 with a single goal: to give the children who are struggling in school the tools necessary to become better learners. We achieve this by mobilizing community members to serve as volunteer academic mentors to K-12 students in the Boston Public Schools (BPS).

Fostering community involvement to close achievement gaps

We are dedicated to building sustainable partnerships with individuals and organizations in order to support the entire BPS community.  For over 50 years, we’ve placed academic mentors directly in the classroom, during the school day, to help students fill gaps in their knowledge. The consistent service of our trained volunteers provides students with the additional support they need to stay in school and graduate!

Connecting community to classroom so students can make the grade

At Boston Partners in Education, we believe all students have the potential, and should have the opportunity, to succeed. By matching academically at-risk children with caring adults who believe in them, we are investing in their futures… and in ours.

Our Process

Process infographic (web)

Our Impact

On Students

Our academic mentoring programs not only help students reach their academic goals, but also give them the confidence to achieve beyond the classroom. Through the committed work of our volunteers, most students achieve the following:

  • Increased interest in academics
  • Improved academic performance in math and English Language Arts
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Improved habits of mind (purpose, flexible thinking, communicating clearly, taking risks, demonstrating social responsibility and making connections/finding relevance)

On Teachers

Some of the advantages of a Boston Partners in Education volunteer academic mentor to a teacher are:

  • Our academic mentors benefit the whole classroom, allowing busy teachers to concentrate on the kids who are struggling more and need their attention most.
  • Students receiving extra attention during the school day show an increased interest in school, improved academic performance in math and literacy, enhanced self-esteem, and a better work ethic.

On the Boston Public Schools

For over half a century, we have been a strong and trusted partner of the Boston Public Schools system. Our 50+ years of experience understanding education policy, successful training models, and curriculum development allows us to effectively address the needs of today’s students.

On Volunteers

This year, Boston Partners in Education mobilized over 500 volunteer academic mentors through our core programming. Our volunteer academic mentors tell us that they’ve been impacted by their work with Boston Partners in Education and inspired by their students.

Some of the ways Boston Partners in Education’s volunteer academic mentors are impacted include:

  • Making a difference in the life of a child in a meaningful way
  • Improving the Boston Public Schools one student at a time
  • Giving back to their community
  • Developing a connection to the local community
  • For volunteers studying to become a teacher, it’s a valuable way to gain experience working in an urban classroom setting
  • It’s a great addition to a resume


Boston Partners in Education was started as School Volunteers for Boston (SVB) in 1966 in an effort to improve the American educational system. Spurred on by a grant from the Ford Foundation, the Public Education Association proposed a National School Volunteer Program in twenty cities around the US, including in Boston. When SVB began its operations on March 14, 1966 it placed 28 volunteers in six Boston schools.

“One-to-one and small-group tutoring has long been the backbone of the School Volunteers for Boston program. Working under the direction of a teacher, the tutor can provide the individualized instruction that is essential for some children to learn basic skills or to progress in advanced concepts. But the tutor, who can concentrate on one child at a time, assists not only with skill development but with the improvement of self image. The tutor almost invariably becomes a special friend who develops tutoring sessions around the child’s interest, patiently encourages and shares in the joy of each achievement.” 

— From a 1976-1977 evaluative survey of SVB


Today, our school volunteer organization continues to help struggling students in grades K-12 by recruiting, training, placing, and supporting volunteers to work with students one-on-one or in small groups, primarily during the school day. This year, we helped 628 volunteers form a special bond with 3,774 students in 48 Boston Public Schools, furthering the model on which we were founded over 50 years ago.