Tips For Finding A Volunteer Site
As you look for Service to Children Project sites, keep in mind the following important factors. If you take these points into consideration, you will find a positive environment for yourself and the children with whom you will work with.
Know Your Personal Focus And Interests
Have a clear understanding of your interests and how they relate to the Service to Children Project. What specific age range would you like to work with (K-8th only)? What skills do you have that you would like to share with them? Do you want to tutor in math, reading or another subject? What do you want to learn and gain from this experience?
Look For Quality Community Organization
At the organization where you plan to volunteer, are the individuals (staff/other volunteers) excited about your involvement? Do they have experience hosting volunteer tutors? Are they knowledgeable of the service-learning concept? Are they approachable and open to helping you if you have questions/concerns?
Look For A Thoughtfully Structured Program
Does the program have clear expectations/requirements for volunteers? Do they have a volunteer job description for your position? Can you receive an interview or check out the program before you make a commitment? Does the program have a positive history and reputation in the community? Will you receive any training or orientation?
The Placement Should Involve “Real” Service Work
Is the position focused on administrative “busy work” or does it meet your needs of providing direct mentoring to children? How much contact will you have with children? (You need about 2 hours each week of the school year or 50 hours by application renewal date: May 1.)
Work Site Logistics
Do the site hours fit with your academic, employment and social schedule? Will you have any transportation problems getting to and from the mentoring site?
Opportunities For Reflection, Evaluation And Feedback
How do you know if you are doing an okay job? Do you get a chance to meet with other tutors to share experiences and learn from them? Do you have the chance to give the organization constructive feedback and evaluation of their program?
How does the program come to an end? Is there a time to recognize the youth and mentors through a celebration or closing event? Do you have the opportunity at the end of the school year to say a thoughtful goodbye to the children you have been working with?
Don’t wait until it is too late to start your Service to Children Project. Learn more about the program by reviewing the Service to Children Projects Handbook and start doing your part as a Page Scholar.