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    Seattle Public Schools encourages parents, family members, organizations,  businesses and other community members to volunteer with us!

    Students in a classroom

    Volunteers make a BIG difference in the classroom

    When volunteers commit to serving at a school, students achieve higher grades, have access to more opportunities, and gain community connections to help them thrive. ​   

    • Research shows that students who receive direct support from volunteer tutors achieve higher grades, test scores, and are more likely to graduate.
    • When volunteers provide clerical support to staff, educators have more time for instruction and individualized support for students working to meet academic standards.
    • Volunteers make programs supporting lowest-income students possible: Friday food backpacks preventing weekend hunger, school supply drives, etc.
    • Schools with large numbers of volunteers offer students more learning experiences through clubs, field trips, enrichment.

    Can every school count on volunteer support?

    SPS-wide, schools enjoy tremendous volunteer support with over 20,000 individuals available to help. Unfortunately, some schools receive hundreds of volunteer applications while others only a few.

    On average*, Title I schools receive 100 volunteer applications per year, compared to 250 for remaining schools. The higher the percentage of low-income scholars in the school, the fewer volunteers are available to support classrooms.

    Volunteers in schools - inequities  

    Step Up for Equity – volunteer where the need and opportunity for impact are the greatest

    Help rally up volunteer support for “Title I” schools this year! Donate 1-2 hours every week to help a student get closer to meeting academic goals, feel supported and more confident coming to school every day. Talk to your colleagues and friends about the importance of volunteering in Title I schools.  ​

    Click here to view urgent volunteer needs in Title I schools. 

    Volunteering at a high school

    KING5 Morning News Anchor Steve Bunin recently returned to Seattle. This former ESPN anchor mentored teens in every city his career took him and received the President's Volunteer Service Award from Barack Obama. Steve volunteers at Rainier Beach High School as a mentor – he was matched with athlete Anthony Allen because of their shared interest in sports. Steve and Anthony’s weekly meetings focus on supporting Anthony's goals in school.

    Every school and every student benefit from your direct or indirect support: 

    • If tutoring is not for you, how about organizing books or instructional materials?
    • Want to make sure students don’t go hungry over the weekend? Help stuff backpacks with food on Fridays.

    For lasting impact and biggest rewards, make a 3-month commitment to one classroom or one program. This is a big ask, as is the need in our Title I classrooms where 70% or more students live in poverty. By showing up at the same school regularly over a 3-month period or longer, you show students that they matter, develop rapport and trust while learning how to best support your students. 

    Reny Mathan volunteers weekly at Northgate Elementary as a tutor and classroom helper in Mrs. Mulder’s Kindergarten Classroom. ​Reny (left on the photo) intentionally selected Northgate Elementary (one of our Title 1 schools) for her volunteer service.

    Volunteers in the classroom

    “Volunteering at Northgate Elementary gave me an opportunity to put my efforts where I felt they were needed and appreciated, and where I could feel I was making a difference, whether it be helping teachers with class prep or students with learning.”

    What are Title I schools?

    Title I schools have high numbers or percentages of disadvantaged students who:
    • live in poverty,
    • are homeless or lack stable housing,
    • live in foster homes,
    • regularly experience food insecurity,
    • lack access to after-school academic supports.

    Click here to learn about current volunteer opportunities in Title I schools. 

    * Based on 2017/18 school year data for K-8 schools.

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    For questions about available volunteer opportunities or the status of your volunteer application contact the school or site where you would like to volunteer. 

    For questions about SPS Volunteer Program policies contact Ania Beszterda-Alyson - Volunteer Services Program Administrator at