Volunteering at Boost!
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Boost! West Oakland. At Boost, kids want to be tutored, they look forward each week to that special one-on-one time.
To join our family of 100+ volunteers, just complete an application, attend an orientation session, and pass a background check and TB test. We will help make this process as easy as possible.
Questions? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekly Tutoring Session Hours:
- Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays - 3:00 to 4:30pm or 5:30 to 7:00pm
- Wednesdays - 1:30 to 3:00pm or 5:30 to 7:00pm
Tutoring and Mentoring at Boost! West Oakland
Each tutor comes to Lafayette Elementary School on Market Street once a week, for a 1.5 hour session. Tutoring sessions take place in a dedicated space in Lafayette Elementary School; in this bright and cheery atmosphere, with organized learning materials, games, and other educational resources, students have work spaces, healthy snacks, and a cozy library area.
At the start of each tutoring session, the tutor checks in with the student about his/her day, and they share a healthy snack. After check-in, the tutor helps the student with homework for about 20 minutes, focusing on the areas that are most challenging for the student. Then, based on the student's needs, the tutor chooses a specific academic area or skill on which to focus for the next half hour. During a typical tutoring session, academic activities might include reading books of interest to the student, using manipulatives to explore the concept of multiplication, telling time using analog clocks, counting play money, or practicing writing skills by making cards. Next, the tutor helps the student practice writing for about 15 minutes. The final 10-15 minutes of the session is reserved for games. The student gets to choose the activity, anything from board games, to computer time, to sports. This playtime helps build the bond between student and tutor, which in turn leads to increased trust and self-esteem in the student.
Each tutor receives ongoing training and support to implement individualized teaching strategies for his or her student. Tutors and their students may attend monthly field trips at no cost – they are arranged by Boost! to extend learning beyond the classroom and develop a mentoring relationship.
Mentoring Beyond the Classroom
One of the keys to Boost’s success is the fostering of mentoring relationships between Tutor/Mentors and students. Tutors are encouraged to move beyond the student-tutor dynamic and take on the role of mentors. Mentoring enables Boost! students to form a positive relationship with a caring adult role model who provides them with support and guidance. Mentors build a trusting relationship with their student, advocating for them with teachers and parents, taking the student on fieldtrips, and even facilitating involvement with sports teams, summer camps, and other activities. In many cases, mentors and students form affectionate long-term relationships in which the mentors serve as role models guiding their students through life decisions and situations long after elementary school.
In addition to One-on-One Tutoring and Mentoring, Boost! offers students free monthly Fieldtrips to parks, museums, events, and service-learning projects. Fieldtrips are opportunities for students to learn new skills and become more involved in their community. Past Fieldtrips have included a trip to Angel Island, a picnic at a local park, a Dia de los Muertos celebration at the Oakland Museum of CA, making lunch for the needy at a church, visiting the Lawrence Hall of Science, a naturalist exploration at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, and much more. These trips provide students with opportunities to step out of their neighborhood, often for the first time, and expose them to new experiences and places. Boost! leads weekend Fieldtrips throughout the school year.