What would it mean to double the number of people who sign up to volunteer in San Francisco public schools each week?
For one, it would bring us a step closer to serving nearly 5,000 students in the San Francisco Unified School District with volunteers to support them on a weekly basis. That’s on top of the students we plan to serve with our educator grants, special event volunteers and Circle the Schools company partnerships.
But more than reaching a single number, achieving this goal would mean our community can make a difference for more students like Dominic, now an incoming fifth grader at El Dorado Elementary School.
Dominic started the 2015-16 year behind grade level in reading, so he was paired with our volunteer Tim. The duo worked together to discover the kinds of books that would make Dominic excited to read. When Tim learned Dominic was fascinated by blood, he went out in search of great nonfiction books about the human heart. Not only did Dominic look forward to reading with Tim each week, but he went up nearly two literacy levels within a few short months, according to his teacher.
Why are more volunteers needed?
Because in San Francisco, where jobs requiring STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills are the fastest growing jobs, just 39% of low-income public school students scored at or above standard on last year’s math assessment, and just 19% of Latino students and 11% of African American students achieved these scores.
Because in English Language Arts, 42% of low-income students scored at or above standard, with 24% of Pacific Islander students and 18% of African American students achieving those scores.
And this is one of the top-performing public school districts in the state.
Volunteers can make a big difference for a student struggling in math, reading or college and career readiness. We train volunteers and then secure their placement with a student or classroom that needs them most.
Our volunteers encourage the natural curiosity in children. Take Kennedy, who loves reading about women who have changed the world, like Sojourner Truth and Bessie Coleman. She told us that she wants to help the homeless when she grows up. By mastering literacy skills like fluency and comprehension with her volunteer, Kennedy will be well on her way to achieving her dreams.
Or Diego, a student at Everett Middle School. With the help of a volunteer, Diego went from failing math to not only receiving passing grades, but achieving with newfound confidence. “This kid’s self-esteem has skyrocketed just from working with Aziz,” Mr. Longnecker explained. “Being as far back as he was [his progress is] super impressive to me.”
We are halfway to our volunteer recruitment goal. Help us reach it and serve more students!
So what can you do to help? Sign up to volunteer now, or encourage someone you know to get involved in our schools. You can send an email directly to your network, post on social media or mention to your friends in person that you think they would make a great volunteer. We’ve created a variety of options below to help you get started:
It’s hard to believe that summer is over and San Francisco students are already back in school. Now it’s time to make sure those students have the best chance for a great school year! You can read to a child, assist in the classroom, tutor in math, mentor kids, or connect students to the path to college and career.
I’m committed to help double the number of school volunteers this year — please help us reach our goal! Learn more about volunteering and sign up here: www.sfedfund.org/friends
SF #students are #backinschool! They need #volunteers to help with reading, math, mentoring! www.sfedfund.org/friends CLICK TO TWEET
Join me in supporting SF #students during #backtoschool! #Volunteer to help with reading, math, mentoring! www.sfedfund.org/friends CLICK TO TWEET
In just one hour once a week, you can make a difference to a San Francisco #student. #Volunteer and #GetInvolved www.sfedfund.org/friends CLICK TO TWEET
Sample email to a friend:
Students are settling into another school year, which means it’s time for us to rally our community to support them too.
San Francisco is an amazing city filled with opportunities, but not enough of our public school students, particularly those who face challenges like poverty or being first in their families to go to college, are graduating prepared to access the opportunities in their hometown.
Fortunately, you can make a difference by volunteering one hour, once a week at a San Francisco public school.
To help more students, the Education Fund just kicked off a campaign to double the number of volunteers it trains and places in classrooms to work with students or partner with teachers this school year. There are lots of ways you can get involved! You can read to a child, assist a teacher in the classroom, tutor in math, mentor kids or coach students on their path to college and career. Every student deserves a chance to succeed. As volunteers we can contribute to making that happen. Please join me! You can get more information and sign up at www.sfedfund.org/friends