Looking for corporate volunteer programs in San Francisco? Join Circle the Schools — the movement of San Francisco companies reinventing the model of corporate engagement in public schools! The San Francisco Education Fund and its partners sf.citi and San Francisco Unified School District will help you find a public school to support and organize meaningful volunteer projects for your employees.
Your company will be matched with a San Francisco public elementary, middle or high school for a minimum of one year. You and your employees will have the opportunity to develop relationships with local students and educators while filling a vital need in our community.
As a Circle the Schools partner, you and your team will introduce our students to the world of work, connecting them with experiences and role models that open their eyes to the careers and industries available to them right here in San Francisco. You will also address needs that require concentrated resources and/or people power, like volunteering at a back-to-school classroom set-up day or hosting a book drive to gather books to fill in the gaps in a school’s library.
The Education Fund will help you plan three to five events and projects that support students and teachers at your school. We will also help your staff gain the clearance necessary to volunteer at a public school. Sign up now or meet our corporate partners.
Elementary School Partner Activities
Literacy is one of the most important predictors of school success. Students who can read proficiently by the end of third grade are nearly four times more likely to graduate from high school. Through Circle the Schools our corporate partners participate in activities that help spark a love of reading, public speaking and writing. Partners also have opportunities to expose students to exciting careers and industries, show their appreciation for teachers and assist in school events. Here are a few examples of literacy-focused projects company partners have supported in elementary schools:
Interactive Read Aloud
Volunteers spark a love for reading in students by reading to a classroom. Interactive Read Alouds help students at all reading levels strengthen their listening skills and learn to engage with the text. The reader will be trained to ask questions before, during and after reading a book to boost students’ understanding and critical thinking.
Read Aloud +
Volunteers participate in a read aloud and stay in the classroom to provide additional help to the teachers. Support can vary but may include giving personalized attention to students in need, organizing classroom supplies, grading papers, helping to prep for upcoming activities and more.
Volunteers support students in advancing their writing skills in different topics and forms of writing assigned by the teacher. Activities include working one-on-one with students to help them craft their stories, giving feedback on their first drafts, helping students with their presentation skills or working with students on creating digital presentations.
Volunteers support and encourage students to advance their fluency, vocabulary and comprehension through various events including read-a-thons, pajama days, book fairs and more. Volunteers can read one-on-one or in groups, listen to students read out loud, staff the book fair, help students select a book to take home and organize the library.
Because “it takes a village to educate a child,” many schools host literacy nights to engage family members in their students’ literacy development. There are a range of activities that volunteers can support during these community nights, including handing out books to parents and running activity stations with the students.
Middle School Partner Activities
As part of its Vision 2025, the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) is increasing support for students and teachers in STEAM, particularly the Computer Science curriculum. STEAM learning is the purposeful integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics in school curriculum and lesson plans. Through Circle the Schools, our middle school partnerships focus on weaving STEAM learning with career exploration. Corporate employees offer real life experiences of applying these concepts in their day-to-day work, helping to stimulate curiosity about STEAM careers and concepts. Companies can work with schools and STEAM classes to develop projects that will guide students through the specific knowledge and skills they need to join the Bay Area tech economy. Here are a few examples of projects company partners have supported in middle schools:
Hour of Code
This global initiative occurs every December in tandem with Computer Science Awareness week. Volunteers visit classrooms to help students learn the fundamentals of coding through interactive games from code.org that break down some of the barriers to computer science.
Volunteers work with students on math concepts currently being covered in classroom curriculum. Volunteers undergo additional training from the Education Fund to go over with basic math concepts and tips to prepare them for working with students in a classroom setting.
Makers Fair Support
Volunteers support the school by monitoring rotations, tables, and other activities that encourage students to think differently learning through building, designing and creating.
Science/STEAM Night Support
Volunteers support school-hosted events by acting as science fair judges and activity leads, or providing general assistance to nights aimed at encouraging STEAM and Science learning.
STEAM Career Speaking Series
A speaker series is an interactive way to connect classroom curriculum to professions within the STEAM field. Volunteers come to the classroom to incorporate engaging activities as they share insight on their profession, their college and career path and answer student questions.
High School Partner Activities
The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) envisions that every student will graduate with the skills necessary for 21st-century success. To achieve this, SFUSD has implemented work-based learning curriculum into its schools that aims to increase students’ understanding of the workplace and help to cultivate their professional network. Through Circle the Schools, our high school partners focus on engaging students in career-related activities that will help them prepare to participate in San Francisco’s innovative job market. By partnering with high schools, corporate sponsors allow students to connect the skills and content they have learned and developed in class to career options they may not have considered. Here are a few examples of projects company partners have supported in high schools:
These visits expose students to the vast opportunities available at local companies, giving students insight into how what they are learning in the classroom can be applied after they graduate. The Education Fund will offer support in tailoring this event to fit a chosen theme, office size and age group.
Corporate volunteers facilitate workshops with students that will increase their job readiness skills. Workshops may take place at the school or office. Topics covered during these workshops could include resume writing, mock interviews and public networking.
College or Career Panel
Corporate volunteers speak to a group of students and share advice about achieving college success or how they embarked on their career path. These panels provide students with the opportunity to interact with professionals in an informal setting and gain insight into future opportunities through personal anecdotes.
Corporate volunteers work with student one-on-one or in a small group to craft personal statements and answer short essays on their College Applications as well as share their experience about their own college pathway.
The Path to Become a Circle the Schools Partner
Step 1: Sign up for the Circle the Schools Program.
Fill out a registration form.
Step 2: Attend a company orientation.
The San Francisco Education Fund will host a brief orientation to introduce you to the Circle the Schools Program, share best practices and answer your questions.
Step 3: Get matched with a public school.
Once you confirm your involvement, the San Francisco Unified School District will pair you with a public school partner.
Step 4: Attend a partnership planning meeting.
Company and school leads meet with your San Francisco Education Fund coordinator to discuss school initiatives and goals and create project plans for the year.
Step 5: Begin volunteering!
The San Francisco Education Fund will provide logistical support to help your company implement project plans throughout the course of the school year (includes three to five projects/engagements with the school).