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 here  and sign up to attend an in-person volunteer orientation. You will be contacted for opportunities that best match your interests, skills and availability.  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 (after July 1 for school year 2024-2025).  CORIs are accepted throughout the 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 during the school year. Please bring your photo ID (driver's license, MA or REAL ID or passport).  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 additional 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.   


Summer 2024 Volunteer Opportunities  

Come serve, learn and inspire this Summer with SPS!  Most SPS Summer programs begin July 8 and end August 2.  SPS actively works to connect volunteers with school communities to help close opportunity and academic achievement gaps.  Here are a few ways you can serve with SPS:

Summer Learning, Somerville High School  July 8-August 2, 8:40am-12:40pm, M-F, SHS 81 Highland Ave.  Come connect with a high school student this Summer!  Volunteers offer individualized, in-person support in Mathematics, Sciences, History or English.  College Essay Workshops scheduled for August (dates TBD).  Volunteers may serve 8:40am-10:40am or 11am-12:40pm.   

SPELL, Secondary ELL Summer Program  July 8-August 2, 9am-1pm, M-F, Somerville High School. SPELL offers English Language development, enrichment, and academic support to ELL students in Grades 9-12. Volunteers help with literacy, writing, math, conversation, arts and more. In-person math courses in Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 will allow volunteers opportunity to work directly with students.  Language ability in English plus either one or more languages preferred but not required:  Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, French, Russian, Indian Languages. 

Summer Robotics  July 8–12 and July 22–26 from 8:30am to 12:30pm, SHS 81 Highland Ave.   Volunteers excited to work with creative middle grades students to engineer, build, and program welcomed!  Come build with LEGO® robots and program using Scratch!  Spanish or Portuguese language fluent, underrepresented groups in computer sciences especially welcomed.  Commitment to serving each day preferred.  Contact: Laura Peters LPeters@k12.somerville.ma.us.  

Therapy Dog Team Visits  Summer Explore classroom educators seek therapy dog team visits for Grds K-1 students. Once weekly, July 8-August 2, 12pm-1pm or 1pm-2pm, at Capuano Early Childhood Educator Ctr.  

The Calculus Project  An initiative in its 7th year, designed to narrow the achievement gap in mathematics by improving math participation and skills among African American, Hispanic and low-income students (Grades 7-12).  Volunteers support mathematics, enrichment, recreation, STEM activities, coding and more. July 8 through August 2, 8am-1pm. East Somerville Community School, 50 Cross St., Somerville Contact: Amber Jackson AJackson@k12.somerville.ma.us.   


Multilingual Multicultural Learning  (School Year).  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. 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, Environmental Sciences, Computer Sciences, Writing and more.  Opportunities include college or career mentoring, First Gen Mentoring; Athletics, Theater or Visual Arts, Music, Financial or Digital Literacy Workshops; FIRST Robotics and more.    

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.  

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

Therapy Dog Team Volunteering  Somerville Public Schools has welcomed, screened and matched therapy dog teams to serve in our schools since 2012.  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.  

Certification Workshops for New Therapy Dog Teams  Interested in volunteering with your dog in a school, library, assisted living, veterans' home or other facility seeking certified therapy dog team visits?  Workshops conducted by Dog B.O.N.E.S. of Massachusetts will be held Saturdays, June 1, 8 and 15 from 9am-10:30am at Arthur D. Healey School for new therapy dog teams. Interested teams required to attend all three workshops and must register in advance with Dog B.O.N.E.S. of Massachusetts For more information contact JCapuano@k12.somerville.ma.us.    

SCALE (Somerville Center for Adult Learning Experiences) empowers adults ages 16 and older by providing literacy instruction, career and college readiness classes and guided supports. ESOL classes held Mon and Wed evenings 5:00pm-7:30pm at Arthur D. Healey School.  Current volunteer need: Spanish fluent Mathematics and Science assistance for Thursday evening High School Equivalency Program. Volunteers with adult teaching, mentoring and experience working with English learners preferred.  Contact Director of Continuing Education Joselyn Marte for more information.  


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 Market: Tuesday, June 4 at East Somerville Community and West Somerville Neighborhood Schools.  1pm-2pm ESCS setup; 2:30pm-4:30pm ESCS market.  12-1:30pm WSNS setup; 1:30pm-3:30pm WSNS market. Ability to lift ~30 lbs a plus; Spanish, Portuguese or Mandarin 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.  

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. Commitment of at least one afternoon/week for six months required. To express interest see Volunteer Application or reach out to Muriel Mena mmena@soccerwithoutborders.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. 

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 opportunities to help provide food relief to people in need. Volunteers can pack food, deliver 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 or Biogen headquarters at Kendall Square, Cambridge. Visit here to view opportunities

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 and serving 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.   

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 Schools' gardens and offers seasonal activities for interested PK-Grade 12 educators. Groundwork Somerville seeks college students and young adults for assistance in offering consistent volunteering during school garden lessons. If interested fill out a Become a School Garden Volunteer form or email Kenzie Ballard, Youth Program Manager: kenzie@groundworksomerville.org

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.

Somerville Museum  For more than 100 years, Somerville Museum has held space for the stories that shape Somerville's collective history.  The museum hosts a wide variety of exhibitions, with trained volunteers playing a valuable role.  Learn more here or use this form to get started.


Volunteer Spotlights


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