Volunteer

 

With just one hour, once a week, you can make a difference in San Francisco’s public schools.

As a school volunteer, you serve as a caring adult figure in a student’s life and help your student develop the skills they need to succeed.

Volunteering is also fun and rewarding. You get to witness the moments when a student learns a new concept, reaches an important goal and grows their confidence in a school subject. You also join a community of like-minded San Franciscans who want to make a difference in their city by supporting public education.

You will receive special trainings, regular check-ins and other ongoing support from the San Francisco Education Fund along the way. Volunteering with us is flexible, and we have a variety of opportunities to dedicate time according to your schedule.

  • Literacy Program Help a K-3 student learn to read.
    5 schools

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    Become a Literacy Program Volunteer!

    With just one to two hours a week, you can help a child learn to read. Students who can read proficiently by the end of third grade are nearly four times more likely to graduate from high school. By helping a student master literacy, you increase their odds of going to college, completing a degree and earning a living wage. But beyond that, you help open new worlds. Reading invites children in to experience adventure, excitement and discovery. It sets them up for a lifetime of learning (you can’t get far in learning math, science or history without learning how to read!)

    Designed with input from local teachers and literacy specialists, our Literacy Program will train you to tutor students who are reading just below grade level. Along with making a big difference in the life of a child, your support goes a long way in helping teachers focus their attention on other students who need individualized instruction. Volunteering is also fun and rewarding. You get to help a child learn and grow while joining a community of like-minded San Franciscans who want to make a difference in their city.

    “It has been so awesome and humbling to work with the kids. I am always very excited to work with them. So far, this experience has honestly been priceless and very rewarding. Those students work so hard during their sessions and I notice improvements every day that I am with them!” – Literacy Volunteer, first-grade, El Dorado Elementary

    What will you do as a volunteer?

    You will help students in kindergarten, first-, second- or third-grade improve their literacy skills. You can work with individual students as a one-on-one Literacy Volunteer or support an entire classroom as a Group Literacy Volunteer. You will read books with students, ask questions about their reading material to promote comprehension, play literacy games, review vocabulary words and more.

    All Literacy Volunteers:

    • Support students’ reading comprehension, letter/word recognition and overall confidence in their reading ability.
    • Commit to volunteering one hour a day, one to two days per week, for one school year. Days and times are usually Monday through Friday between 8:30 and noon (Note on scheduling: School sites will have varying schedules of when they need Literacy Volunteers, and we will post these schedules here as soon as they become available).

    One-on-one Literacy Volunteers are matched with students in kindergarten through second grade and provide additional individual literacy support to them. Group Literacy Volunteers are matched with a kindergarten through third-grade teacher and assist the entire class during their literacy block.

    Which schools can you volunteer in?

    While we match volunteers with students in public elementary schools across San Francisco, we focus our literacy programming most deeply in five high-need elementary schools: Bessie Carmichael FEC (PreK-5 campus South of Market), Dr. George Washington Carver Elementary School (Bayview), El Dorado Elementary (Visitacion Valley), Junipero Serra Elementary (Bernal Heights) and Sheridan Elementary (Oceanview-Ingleside). Our staff works closely with the volunteers, teachers, principals and other staff at each of these schools to help students reach literacy benchmarks.

    Our current need (as of 10/19/2017)

    Bessie Carmichael: no openings
    George Washington Carver: 7 one-on-one and 3 group placements available.
    El Dorado: 3 one-on-one and 3 group placements available
    Junipero Serra: 2 one-on-one (Spanish bilingual only) and 4 group (3 Spanish bilingual) placements available.
    Sheridan: no openings

    For up to date placement information, please contact Isabella Gordillo.

    How will we prepare you?

    You will receive:

    • A three-hour training in which you will learn about the Literacy Program model, effective Literacy Volunteer practices, session planning and tips and activities for letter and word study as well as reading comprehension.
    • Access to a toolkit of literacy resources, including a curriculum with reading activities, a small whiteboard, markers, pens, pencils, notebooks and stickers to use during your volunteer sessions.
    • Ongoing support, check-ins and visits from an Education Fund staff member.
    • Invitations to volunteer parties, supplemental trainings and other special events throughout the school year.
    • A chance to become part of a larger community of volunteers who care deeply about San Francisco public schools.

  • Math Program Help a 6-8 grade student master math.
    4 schools

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    Become a Math Volunteer!

    With just one hour a week, you can help a student improve their math skills. Mastering math is the key to unlocking careers in STEM, one of San Francisco’s most successful sectors. Students scoring in the top quartile in eighth-grade reading and math standardized tests are 61% more likely to enroll at a four-year college.

    By helping a student master math, you increase their odds of going to college, completing a degree and earning a living wage. Getting involved in one of our schools is also fun and rewarding. You get to help a student learn and grow while joining a community of like-minded San Franciscans who want to make a difference in their city.

    “Volunteering is not only about teaching kids math, or helping kids with their math homework. You build a relationship with these kids because you see the same group every week for an entire school year. Volunteering is also a great way for us to get a break out of our work day. Interacting with kids in the middle of a work week when you’re surrounded by professionals is a great refresher.” – Math Volunteer, Bessie Carmichael K-8

    What will you do as a volunteer?

    You will help sixth- and seventh-grade students better understand math concepts underlying the new Common Core State Standards. You will work one-on-one with a student after school each week during the school year. Days and times are usually Monday through Friday after school between 3 and 5 p.m. We also have some limited opportunities to volunteer in this program during school hours.

    Which schools can you volunteer in?

    While we match volunteers with students in public middle schools across San Francisco, we focus our math programming most deeply in four high-need middle schools: Bessie Carmichael K-8 (South of Market), Everett Middle School (Castro/Mission), James Denman Middle School (Outer Mission) and James Lick Middle School (Noe Valley). Our staff works closely with the volunteers, teachers, principals and other staff at each of these schools to help students reach math benchmarks.

    How will we prepare you?

    You will receive:

    • A three-hour training in which you will learn about the Math Program model, effective Math Volunteer practices, session planning and tips and activities for helping students develop their math skills and confidence.
    • Access to a toolkit of resources, including a small whiteboard, markers, pens, pencils and Common Core workbook-packet along with a curriculum of math activities to use during your volunteer sessions.
    • Ongoing support, check-ins and visits from an Education Fund staff member.
    • Invitations to volunteer parties, supplemental trainings and other special events throughout the school year.
    • A chance to become part of a larger community of volunteers who care deeply about San Francisco public schools.
  • Tutoring & Classroom Support Program Work with students or support an educator in a classroom.
    117 schools

    Become a K-12 Tutor or Classroom Assistant!

    The San Francisco Education Fund trains and supports volunteers to fill a variety of roles in K-12 classrooms across San Francisco’s public schools. Whether you volunteer as a tutor or classroom assistant, your presence in the classroom will make a difference in the lives of our students and teachers. Each year, we receive more volunteer requests from teachers than we can fill, and you will play a vital role in helping us fill these requests so students and educators receive the support they need.

    “My Education Fund volunteers completely changed my classroom this year in a positive way! With 30 kids and one of me, I was feeling challenged to get them the attention they so badly needed. Having another adult in the room to tend to their academic, social and emotional needs was wonderful” – Helana Corda, teacher at James Lick Middle School.

    What will you do as a volunteer?

    Volunteers help students and teachers in a variety of subjects at the elementary, middle or high school level during the school day. With just one hour a week, you can make a world of difference in a classroom.

    • Tutors: Work with students one-on-one or in small groups in academic subjects like English, math and science, or in enrichment subjects like art and music. Whatever your area of expertise, we can find a classroom that will benefit from your support.
    • Classroom Assistants: Support a teacher in a classroom. Help the teacher prep for lessons and set-up classroom activities, or maybe work with students one-on-one or in small groups. Every day is different!

    Which schools can you volunteer in?

    We engage volunteers in classrooms throughout San Francisco’s public schools, including a set of Focus Schools. We assign volunteers based on teacher requests as well as volunteer preference.

    How will we prepare you?

    You will receive:

    • A training in which you will learn about the program model, effective tutor and classroom support practices, session planning and tips and activities.
    • Ongoing support, check-ins and visits from an Education Fund staff member.
    • Invitations to volunteer parties, supplemental trainings and other special events throughout the school year.
    • A chance to become part of a larger community of volunteers who care deeply about San Francisco public schools.
  • Mentoring Program Help a student build his/her school and life skills through our partner program.
    38 schools

     

    Become a Volunteer Mentor!

    As a volunteer mentor, you can change the life of a student in San Francisco’s public schools.

    Mentors serve as positive role models who motivate students to do their best. Research shows that school-based mentoring programs help students reduce school absences, improve their overall academic performance and increase their college participation.

    Volunteering as a mentor is fun and flexible. With just one hour a week, you can serve as an important caring adult for a K-12 student. The San Francisco Education Fund partners with San Francisco Unified School District to train and support volunteer mentors in the district’s Mentoring for Success Program.

    “I’m able to directly give back and make a difference in someone’s life. It is extraordinarily gratifying.” – Volunteer mentor at Everett Middle School

    What will you do as a volunteer?

    Mentors are most often matched one-on-one with K-12 students but may also serve as a mentor to a small group. As a volunteer mentor, you’ll play ice-breaker games, discuss interests and hobbies and have the opportunity to participate in a variety of other activities with your student.

    Mentors meet with their students for an hour every week on site at the student’s school during the school day.

    Which schools can you volunteer in?

    The program serves about 40 schools across San Francisco, including elementary, middle and high schools. Visit the Mentoring for Success website for a list of participating schools.

    How will we prepare you?

    You will receive:

    • A training in which you will learn about the Mentor Program model, effective mentoring practices, session planning and tips.
    • Ongoing support, check-ins and visits from an Education Fund staff member as well as support from a Mentor Program Coordinator at the school site.
    • Invitations to volunteer parties, supplemental trainings and other special events throughout the school year.
    • A chance to become part of a larger community of volunteers who care deeply about San Francisco public schools.

The path to become a school volunteer

Step 1: Complete our online information session.

You will learn more about volunteering in our schools and receive a volunteer application to fill out via email.

Step 2: Attend a specialized training and complete the clearance process.

This training will prepare you to volunteer in your selected program. All school volunteers must pass a background check and test negative for tuberculosis (TB).

You should bring a government-issued photo ID so you can be fingerprinted for your background check, and be prepared to answer a few questions about your TB risk.

Step 3: Secure your volunteer placement.

If you are volunteering in our Literacy or Math programs, a member of our staff will match you with an opportunity at one of the Focus Schools served by these programs. If you are volunteering in our General Classroom Support or Mentoring programs, we can help you fulfill a volunteer request made by an educator. You also have the option to volunteer at a school where we have built close relationships with and where you can start your volunteer opportunity quickly. Or, you can reach out to any San Francisco Unified School to find a volunteer opportunity.

Step 4: Begin Volunteering!

Most volunteer placements begin as early as September, and we place new volunteers through February.