Volunteer works with WSNS students

Serve and Inspire with Somerville Public Schools! 

Welcome to Somerville Public Schools and thank you for your interest in volunteering!  Why Volunteer? Volunteers in schools leads to greater student achievement and self-confidence, better attendance, improved conversation skills and social relationships, and stronger community connections. As a volunteer with Somerville Public Schools, you will work with students, educators, parents and guardians, and community volunteers to enrich and expand student learning. Whether you have an hour a week or an hour a month, we'll work to match you with a rewarding volunteer experience. 

Read the 2022-2023 newsletter here .

Getting Started 

NEW TO SOMERVILLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS?  If able to serve regularly (at least one hour a week), please take a moment to self-register hereYou will be contacted for opportunities that best match your interests, skills and availability.  Please note that referrals and matches are made based on specific needs and requests from school educators, counselors and staff.   

RETURNING VOLUNTEERS:  Thank you for sharing your time and talents in our schools!  All volunteers should submit a CORI  for the current school year (any time after June 15, 2023 for the 2023-2024 school year).  Spanish CORI FormPortuguese CORI FormHaitian Creole CORI Form.

SPS Parents/Guardians/Caregivers: CORIs may be submitted in person at your student's school main office during school hours. Please make sure to bring your photo ID (license, passport or REAL ID).  Volunteers new to SPS may submit your CORI at a Volunteer Orientation or via jcapuano@k12.somerville.ma.us by appointment. For information about MA CORI regulation and your CORI rights visit https://www.mass.gov/doc/cori-booklet/download

Volunteers serving regularly are encouraged to have been vaccinated for COVID-19, with the recommendation of having received at least one bivalent vaccine. 

Student Teachers and Interns: Contact Human Resources or your school building administrator for requirements, including fingerprinting. 

Thank you for reviewing Volunteer Guidelines for General Volunteers and for Volunteers with Therapy Dogs for procedures and best practices for serving with SPS.   

 

Volunteer Opportunities March-June 

Find what you love and love what you find with SPS!  Come serve, learn and inspire with SPS this September.  SPS actively works to empower and engage volunteers to connect with a school community in meaningful, rewarding ways.  Reach out to SPS Volunteer Coordinator JCapuano@k12.somerville.ma.us to be matched with an educator, program, classroom, or student.  One-time volunteering for basic needs support, events and school-based projects are also ways you can support public schools and your community.  Here are just a few ways you can serve with SPS:

Multilingual Multicultural Learning  Work with multilingual students supporting literacy, conversation, writing, mathematics, sciences and more.  Classroom setting or 1:1,  Grades PreK through Grade 12.  Fluency or proficiency in Spanish, Portuguese or Haitian Creole and multicultural competency and experience preferred. July 10 through August 4, 8:30am-1:00pm.  Multilingual volunteers and volunteers with experience working with newcomers and adults also welcomed!  Contact JCapuano@k12.somerville.ma.us to learn more.  

Somerville High School 
Volunteers with mathematics, sciences, writing and/or language fluency (Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole or Nepali; others as needed) and experience working with Grds 9-12 assist with deepening students' understanding and performance in Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Languages, Writing; College prep, First Gen Mentoring, College Essay Writing support as needed. 

Math & More is a drop-in homework support and tutoring resource for students in Grades 9-12.  Volunteers with tutoring experience in high school mathematics, sciences and/or writing serve Wednesdays, 1:30pm-3:30pm at Somerville High School. 

Homework Help Before School!  Looking to volunteer before heading to work?  Volunteer one morning a week or twice monthly to help students kick off their school day.  Coordinated by the East Somerville Community School's PTA, this initiative serves PK-Grade 8 students and is offered every Tues and Wed from 7:30am-8:10am, sign up here.   

Engineers, Programmers, STEM, Artists Somerville High School offers several Robotics, Computer Sciences and Intro to Hardware Engineering classes. Volunteers with mechanical or electrical engineering or computer programming experience/skills welcomed to assist during classes.  Volunteers with crafting/sewing experience also sought for light-up engineering projects. Contact STEAM and Computer Science Teacher and Lead SHS Robotics Team Mentor Laura Peters LPeters@k12.somerville.ma.us. 

Enroot empowers immigrant youth to reach, achieve and succeed in career, college and personal goals through experiential learning and mentoring. Enroot partners with Somerville High School to pair adult volunteer mentors with high school students for conversation, activities, homework support, college and/or careers exploration and more.  Volunteer Tues or Thurs evenings, 6:00pm-7:30pm. Multilingual, fluent Spanish, Portuguese or Haitian Creole candidates and mentors with direct immigrant experience especially welcomed. Submit an Enroot Mentor Application or reach out to Molly McCafferty, Enroot Director of Volunteer and Community Engagement: mmccafferty@enrooteducation.org.  

FIRST Robotics  SHS FIRST Robotics Team builds robots and participates in competitions, leads STEAM community outreach events and mentors younger students in STEAM activities. Come help innovate, inspire, mentor and learn alongside team members. Sept through Dec is pre-season, when students learn about programming, computer-aided design (CAD), mechanical engineering, teamwork and communication. Pre-season meetings 2:45pm to 4:45pm/1x week.  January through April is build and competition season, with both afternoon and evening opportunities. Contact Lead SHS Robotics Team Mentor Laura Peters LPeters@k12.somerville.ma.us

El Sistema Somerville is a daily after school music mentoring program at the East Somerville Community School. Volunteers may serve any time 3pm-5pm to help with music instruction and performances practice, homework help or tutoring.  Grades 3-8.  Contact El Sistema Directors Evan Perry eperry@k12.somerville.ma.us or Claudia Iraheta-Serna cserna@k12.somerville.ma.us.  

SCALE (Somerville Center for Adult Learning Experiences) empowers adults ages 16 and older with literacy instruction and high expectations by offering day and evening classes and guided supports. SCALE aims to expand students’ skills, knowledge and habits of mind for personal, academic and career success. Volunteers with adult teaching, mentoring and experience working with English learners preferred. 

Therapy Dogs and their Human Handlers  Since 2012 Somerville Public Schools has welcomed, screened and matched therapy dog teams to serve in our schools. Certified therapy dog teams are matched by request with educators or counselors for small group or individual sessions, classroom visits, or for serving as Reading Partners. Teams also may serve for staff wellness visits or special school-based events.   Certified teams serve once weekly or bi-monthly with the same classroom or student(s) and are provided safe, quiet spaces to meet.

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Thank you 2022-2023 SPS VIPs (Volunteers in Public Schools)!  Enjoy newsletter here

Community Volunteering

Volunteer with Free Food Markets   Somerville Public Schools partners with Food For Free once monthly for free food distribution for Somerville families to access nutritious produce and pantry items. Next Markets: Tuesdays, March 5, April 2, May 7, June 4 from 1:45pm-4:45pm.  Ability to lift ~30 lbs a plus; Spanish or Portuguese language fluency especially welcomed.  Volunteer for an hour or more as available. Sign up here or contact JCapuano@k12.somerville.ma.us, 617-625-6600 x6023 for details. 

Soccer Without Borders is a nationwide 501(c)(3) partnering with Somerville Public Schools for after school programming.  Volunteers play an important role serving newcomer youth as soccer coaches, homework aids, tutors and mentors. Locations in Somerville:  Winter Hill Community Innovation School @Edgerly (8 Bonair St.) and East Somerville Community School.  Commitment of at least one afternoon/week for six months required.  To express interest see Volunteer Application form or reach out to Somerville's SWB coordinator Jamie Keegan jkeegan@k12.somerville.ma.us.

Breakthrough Greater Boston is an academic out-of-school time and college access program addressing the urgent need to close opportunity gaps and support students to pursue four-year college application and graduation. To View volunteer opportunities here or contact Bella Cartularo (Breakthrough) atbcartularo@btgbmail.org, or email: jobs@btgbmail.org.

The Welcome Project is a local nonprofit working to strengthen the collective power of immigrant youth, adults and families to shape community process, programs and decision-making around schools, programs, government and institutions. Volunteer teachers sought to teach or assist with ESOL classes.  10-hour teacher training program combined with ongoing support prepares both novice and experienced teachers for success within this program. After initial training, volunteers teach or tutor English language learners 2-4 hours/week, with preparation time and monthly meetings.
The Welcome Project is currently accepting applications for volunteers to teach morning or evening classes, and tutors interested in working with individual learners. Additional opportunities here. For more information contact Sara Lodgen, Director, Family Education & Community Engagement 
sara@welcomeproject.org or call 617-623-6633. 

Groundwork Somerville cultivates and empowers environmental leaders to learn, grow and build equitable access for healthier food, places and community.  Groundwork Somerville maintains Somerville's urban farm, all Somerville Public School gardens and offers programming for PK-Grade 12 students.  Groundwork Somerville seeks college students and young adults interested in consistently volunteering during school garden lessons for PK-8 students once weekly.  Volunteers will support the School Garden Teacher in garden lesson activities.  No experience or preparation needed.  If interested, fill out a Become a School Garden Volunteer form or email Kenzie Ballard, Youth Program Manager: kenzie@groundworksomerville.org

Somerville Senior Tax Work-off Program allows income-eligible Somerville seniors (age 60+) to work off up to $1,500 of their annual tax bill by volunteering for the City, including with Somerville Public Schools. Volunteers who serve 100 hours (~3 hours/week) between April 2024 - October 2024, will work off $1,500 of their annual tax bill. Volunteer hours are pro-rated, any number of hours qualify toward portion of tax bill reduction. Contact Somerville Council on Aging (617) 625-6600 x2300 to check income eligibility and apply.  Somerville Public Schools welcomes seniors to assist in a classroom, read with a student, help organize or distribute basic needs supplies or clothing for families; provide support in arts or music classes, serve as a tutor or mentor, assist with an after school program, help in a school garden, be a recess or lunchtime monitor and lots more.   

Somerville Homeless Coalition Volunteer at Project SOUP, volunteer to cook a meal, attend or host an event.  See volunteer opportunities here or contact Emily Dixon: edixon@shcinc.org.   

Food For Free offers hands-on opportunities to help provide food relief to people in need. Volunteers can pack up food, delivery groceries, support seasonal food markets at schools or other venues, or serve with their farm program. Most volunteer opportunities occur in Food For Free's distribution center, in Inner Belt area, Somerville.  Since 1981 Food For Free has been a leader in fighting food insecurity.

MAMAS (Mutual Aid Medford and Somerville) is an entirely volunteer-led resource connecting community needs with community resources. Join a working group, help distribute resources or work toward redistributing resources.

The Somerville Community Growing Center just celebrated their 30th Anniversary of bringing the natural world and hands-on learning opportunities to Somerville.  Multicultural activities and festivals, wellness and educational programs, preschool nature classes and playgroups, and open hours for public learning, playing or relaxing are all free to the public.  The site and most activities are managed by volunteers.  The Center welcomes and supports volunteers to learn alongside inspirational educators and your community.  Learn more here.   

Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) was founded in 1972 with a mission to protect and restore the Mystic River, its tributaries and watershed lands. MyRWA works to protect water quality, restore important habitat, build climate resilience, transform parks and paths, and inspire youth and community to protect and restore.  Count Herring online, join river and parks cleanups, help remove aquatic invasives.  Volunteer opportunities here.

Volunteer Spotlights

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Have ideas for how you'd like to serve and inspire with SPS? Let us know!