Serve and Inspire with SPS!
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.
RETURNING VOLUNTEERS, PARENTS AND GUARDIANS: Thank you for sharing your time and talents with SPS! Please remember to submit your CORI Form for the 2019-2020 school year. CORI requests may be submitted:
- Monday through Thursday, 7:30am-3:30pm, or Fridays 10:30am-3:30pm through the Enrollment Center, 42 Prescott St., Cummings Building, main office;
- During the school year, Monday through Friday, 7:30am-3:00pm through any Somerville Elementary School main office; OR
- at an SPS Volunteer Orientation.
CORI forms are available at all SPS main offices, please make sure to bring your photo ID (license or US passport). CORIs for volunteers are valid for one school year only, and must be renewed every school year.
All Volunteers: Thank you for reviewing this Guide for procedures and best practices for volunteering with Somerville Public Schools.
Serving and Inspiring, Volunteer Spotlights
Thank You 2018-2019 Volunteers!
Somerville Public Schools extends deep appreciation to volunteers who served Somerville's learners this year. Volunteers in our schools served more than 7,200 hours, connecting and engaging with students in meaningful ways. You tutored a student or helped in a homework help program before school; you read every week with a student; you used your Spanish or Portuguese language skills to support student learning; you helped a student love math again; you and your therapy dog provided social, emotional and wellness intervention and served as Reading Partners; you served in a computer sciences classroom; as a Foster Grandparent with ABCD Boston, you served all day, every day in a Kindergarten classroom; you spoke at a Women in STEM Summit; you are a dad from Hyde Park who uses your Spanish language skills to read with ELL students every week; you helped a high school student get back on track and meet deadlines; you volunteered with the SHS FIRST Robotics team; you served in an after school program--helping with homework, tutoring, or joining in an enrichment activity; as a 9th grader, on your own you returned to your former elementary school and helped younger students with math every week after school (Angus and Ezra!); you helped a student with their college essay topic and reviewed drafts; you were connected with a Somerville educational partner to work evenings on their website; you served adult learners in an evening English class; you offered small group math extension activities; you were hired as a district tutor or substitute; you signed up to volunteer with SPS a month before you moved to Somerville; you offered financial literacy planning to high school students; and much, more more. You were fun, creative, caring, flexible, inspirational, understanding, patient, and you returned. SPS thanks you for every hour you shared to support Somerville's learners.
We also extend thanks to Somerville staff—School-Based Volunteer Coordinators, Educators, Counselors, Liaisons, main office staff, After School Program Coordinators and staff—who help create, sustain and support opportunities for volunteers to serve in schools. Volunteers could not do what they do without the on-site school support making it possible. We thank you for opening up your classrooms, helping to identify students who benefit from individualized attention and additional academic, language or other supports, creating space and time for volunteers to serve, coming in earlier and staying later, taking time to prepare a volunteer to work with a student, and providing the materials volunteers need to be effective. Thank you for being so generous with your time and hearts.
With utmost gratitude,
Jen Capuano, SPS Volunteer Coordinator
Seize the Summer!
Whether it's making music, outdoor adventures, supporting early readers, making math fun or helping a school get ready for the new school year, we'll work to match you with a rewarding opportunity in Somerville this Summer! Contact JCapuano@k12.somerville.ma.us or call 617-629-5475 to be matched with a Summer Program or community need. Thank you for sharing your time with SPS!
Anticipated Volunteer Opportunities, Fall 2019
Academic Support and Tutoring
Individual weekly tutoring and study skills support by qualified, caring community volunteers have shown to improve student academic achievement and generate more interest in the subject. Opportunities in Literacy, Mathematics, Languages, ESL, Sciences and more. Preference given to volunteers who can serve during school day hours or immediately after school (8:30am-2:30pm; 2:45pm-5:30pm). During the school year, before and after school hours available for individualized tutoring and projects support at some elementary schools and Somerville High School.
Community Volunteer Interpreters and Translators
Volunteer to assist with school communications and materials. Spanish, Portuguese or Haitian Creole language fluency preferred, other languages as needed. Evening hours also available during school year. New Interpreter Training required to ensure that all interpreters working with SPS understand expectations of their services and the level of professional ethics and confidentiality required. To learn about the next Interpreters Orientation Training Session contact Regina Bertholdo.
Somerville High School Transition Classroom
SHS Transition Classroom is an initiative designed to prepare young adults for long-term success by providing community and work experience. Volunteers socialize, and provide mentoring and friendship to post-graduate students ages 18-22 years in transitioning to work, career, and educational opportunities. Community volunteers serve as internship or job mentors, tutors, host mock interviews to help students build professional skills, or accompany students for job transitioning.
Computer Scientists, Engineers, Innovators and Problem-Solvers!
Looking for ways to connect with our next generation of innovators? Help light the spark that will make math matter and bring creativity to coding. Volunteers and STEM enthusiasts serve in and out of the classroom assisting with computer sciences pilots, after school clubs, STEM nights and Maker Space events and as STEM career mentors.
Make music with students while supporting Somerville Public Schools' vibrant young music scene! Somerville schools offer free in-school instrument lessons, in-school music and music theory, chorus, and after school instruction and performance opportunities. Volunteers help in a weekly music class, provide string or wind lesson support, volunteer to perform at a school or district event, plan a music fundraiser, or tune a violin. Visit Music Department to learn more.
Launched in Fall, 2012, El Sistema is an after school music education program providing ensemble-based music instruction to third, fourth and fifth grade students. In addition to music instruction, students receive weekly academic support, cultural enrichment activities, field trips, and frequent public performance opportunities. Volunteers serve as music mentors, tutors, homework and academic aides, fundraiser and special events planners and more. Hours M-F, 2:45pm-5:30pm, volunteers may serve one hour/week or more, at East Somerville Community School. Contact El Sistema's Evan Perry at email@example.com or call 617-625-6600 ext. 3716 for more information.
Therapy Dog Teams
Initiated in 2012 by the SPS Volunteer Program and with thirteen teams now serving regularly, trained and certified Therapy Dog Teams serve as Reading Partners, and provide consistent, social, emotional and wellness support to students and staff. Therapy Teams are matched with educators and counselors for weekly or monthly classroom visits, as Reading Partners for individual or small group reading, for enrichment activities, or serve during counseling sessions. Teams are screened prior to placement, all teams must be trained and certified through reputable organization and meet all requirements for visits in a school or classroom environment. For training and certification resources or to arrange a screening, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Serving Lifelong Learning and 18+
SCALE provides adults opportunities to achieve their goals in a supportive, diverse, welcoming learning community through academic programming and guidance. Volunteers work alongside staff to support adult learners with basic reading, writing and math skills, English instruction for non-native speakers, or a high-school credential. Classes meet in the mornings, afternoons and evenings on weekdays. Visit SCALE to learn more.
Connecting through Community Service
Are you a company, group of friends or organization looking for fun ways to work together and support Somerville schools and families? Take a look below and find ways to serve and connect with community while having fun!
School Community Events
PTA Events / SFLC Events / Math Nights / Game Nights / Literacy and Author Visits / Arts / STEM / Physical Improvement Projects. Parent and community volunteers are encouraged to assist schools with hosting engaging, family-friendly events--on and off-site. School communities plan, host and attend a wide variety of events year-round. Come help at an event, bring a dish to share, offer a fun hands-on activity and connect with families and students. Choose a school or we'll connect you with a school in your neighborhood.