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Directory of Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers: please contact the organizations below directly. Non-profits: if you have any updates to your information, please Email the Partnerships Office. Directory updated December 2008. Return to Main Volunteer Page

Academic Decathlon Judges

High School Programs

Chicago Public Schools

125 South Clark Street

Chicago, IL 60603

Ph: 773-553-2096

Fax: 773-553-3543


Jennifer Williams, Program Assistant

Description: The United States Academic Decathlon is an annual, nationwide competition that promotes academic excellence through teamwork by students of all achievement levels. CPS organizes two citywide contests to advance teams to the state and national competitions. The CPS Decathlon (CPSAD) involves a majority of Chicago high schools. Teams of nine students compete in ten events on tests in Art, Economics, Language and Literature, Math, Music, Science, Speech, Interview, and Essay. Volunteers are needed to serve as judges, escorts, time keepers, and proctors for the city-wide and regional competitions. Dates: City-Wide 1st Round: TBD City Championship: TBD

Academic Decathlon National Judges

High School Programs

Chicago Public Schools

125 S. Clark Street


Fax: 773-553-3543


Jennifer Williams, Program Assistant

Description: The United States Academic Decathlon is an annual, nationwide competition that promotes academic excellence through teamwork by students of all achievement levels. Volunteers are needed to serve as judges, escorts, time keepers, and proctors for the national competition.

Association House of Chicago

1116 N. Kedzie Avenue

Chicago, IL 60651

Ph: 773-772-7170

Fax: 773-384-0560


Harriet Sadauskas, Executive Director

Jessica Graeser, Community Relations Coordinator

Year Founded: 1899

Description: Association House was established in 1899 to serve as a community resource to help families help themselves. Association House programs have adapted with each era to meet communities’ needs. Focusing on a core mission to offer services to economically disadvantaged individuals and families, Association House offers numerous programs in both English and Spanish in three broad service areas: Community Services, Behavioral Health Services, and Child Welfare Services. Volunteers would assist in the After School Programs as a Tutor or Assistant, providing one-on-one tutoring and homework help for kids and/or assisting with other educational and recreational activities. Number of volunteers: 75 program volunteers annually Length of orientation/training: 1 hour (must also have 2 letters of reference and consent to criminal background check) Average time commitment per volunteer: 2-3 hours per week , Monday-Friday, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Chicago

28 East Jackson Boulevard

Chicago, IL 60614

Ph: 312-427-0637

Fax: 312-427-0760



Susan McGee, CEO

Deborah Baker, VP, The Mentoring Institute

Melanie Lerchen, Director of School Programs

Year Founded: 1969

Description: Through a school-based mentoring program, CPS students are matched with a mentor for the school year, meeting two to four times per month in a school setting. Along with individual volunteers, corporations, universities and other organizations partner with BBBS to provide mentors to CPS students at schools in their neighborhoods and communities. Activities can range from homework help and reading to playing games, talking and listening. Involved Schools: Harte, Byrd, Jenner, Medill, Sullivan, Westcott, Herzl, Gale, Field, Emmett, and Ravenswood Number of volunteers: 700 Length of orientation/training: 3 hours Average time commitment per volunteer: 2-4 hours per month

Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago

550 West Van Buren Street, Suite 350

Chicago, IL 60607

Ph: 312-235-8000

Fax: 312-427-4110



R. Wallace Watson, President & CEO

Angela Zirles, Director of Volunteering

Year Founded: 1902

Description: Boys & Girls Clubs give young people a safe place of their own to make better choices for their lives. At a Boys & Girls Club they find a sense of belonging with their peers and caring adults through fun activities that capture their interests, teach them valuable life skills and build relationships. Just one or two hours each week can make a real difference in a young person’s life. All volunteers receive support to ensure a successful and memorable experience. Afternoon, evening and Saturday hours are available. Volunteer opportunities include one-on-one mentoring, tutoring, art assistance, computer aids, coaches/referees, leadership aids, college advisers or special event helpers. Involved schools: Armour, Beethoven, Englewood, Fiske, Frazier, Grant, Jahn, Kanoon, Stockton and Suder Number of volunteers: 300 Length of orientation/training: 1-2 hours orientation with ongoing training and on-line resources available throughout the school year. Average time commitment per volunteer: 1-2 hours per week

Cabrini Connections

800 West Huron Street

Chicago, IL 60622

Ph: 312-492-9614

Fax: 312-492-9795



Daniel F. Bassill, President

Christina J. Rodriguez

Year Founded: 1992

Description: Workplace volunteers meet with 7th to 12th grade youth from 6:45pm to 8pm on Wednesday or Thursday evenings for one-on-one mentoring, tutoring and group learning activities. Each youth has a one-on-one workplace volunteer. Many have been with the same volunteer for 3 or more years. Once teens are enrolled in the program they also can participate in other learning groups, with other volunteers. These include arts, writing, technology, and video creation programs, which meet on Monday or Tuesday. Youth in the program are also involved in travel programs and college and career readiness activities. Involved schools: Jenner, Wells, Lincoln Park, Lane Tech, Payton, Whitney Young Number of Volunteers: 80 Length of orientation/training: 2 hours orientation; ongoing training throughout the school year Average time commitment per volunteer: 2 hours/week; one-on-one tutor/mentor program

Casa Central

1343 N. California

Chicago, IL 60622

Ph: 773-645-2465

Fax: 773-645-2475



Cheryl Debusmann-Serra

Resource Development Associate

Year Founded: 1954

Description: Casa Central’s mission is to transform lives and strengthen communities, with a special focus on Hispanics. Our network of social services propels a diverse population of all ages toward self-sufficiency and a higher quality of life. Volunteers can become tutors/ mentors for our School-Age (5-12 years old) or Youth Options Unlimited (12-20 years old) programs. Tutors/ Mentors provide a positive relationship with a child or teen and help them to improve their study habits, academic skills and attitudes. Volunteers help children or teens with their homework or special projects and may also help staff with the scheduled activities. Involved Neighborhoods: These programs are center-based and most of our children and teens live in or around the Humboldt Park neighborhood. Number of volunteers: 25 Length of orientation/training: 1 hour and ongoing Average time commitment per volunteer: 2-4 hours per week

Chicago Cares

300 West Adams Street, Suite 300

Chicago, IL 60606

Ph: 312-780-0800

Fax: 312-780-0801



Laura Eilts, Executive Director

Kris Smart, Director of Programs

Year Founded: 1991

Description: Chicago Cares provides opportunities for individuals and businesses to improve the Chicago community through creative structured group volunteer programs designed to address Chicago’s most pressing needs. Since its inception, Chicago Cares has created, managed and led more than 12,500 community service projects and dedicated more than 570,000 hours of service to the City of Chicago. Chicago Cares has partnered with over 300 Chicago Public Schools on one-day and on-going projects. Involved schools: McCormick, Henderson, Bethune, Piccolo. Total number of volunteers: More than 90,000 have participated in various projects Length of orientation/training: 45 minutes Average time commitment per CPS volunteer: Flexible—can be one day, weekly, monthly, determined by individual

Chicago Debate League

High School Programs

Chicago Public Schools

125 South Clark Street

Chicago, IL 60603

Ph: 773-553-2096

Fax: 773-553-3543


Dr. Afina Lockhart, Program Manager

Jennifer Williams, Program Assistant

Description: The Chicago Debate League is part of the Office of High School Programs (OHSP), within CPS, and has been since 1997. In addition to offering competitive debate to every high school in the system (that agrees to meeting certain programmatic criteria), the OHSP has introduced Argumentation and Debate into the regular curriculum, and the course is taught at 26 of the 38 CPS schools in the CDL. “The Chicago Debate League is an essential ingredient in developing academic and intellectual abilities for our students. It teaches them how to clearly articulate their ideas in a very logical and organized fashion, ” states Dr. Donald R. Pittman, former Chicago Public Schools Chief of OHSP. Volunteers are needed to serve as judges, escorts, time keepers, and proctors for the competitions.

Chicago Foundation for Education

400 N. Michigan Avenue

Suite 720

Chicago, IL 60611

Ph: 312-670-2033



Sarah E. Hoppe, Program & Outreach Coordinator

Description: For the past twenty years, the Chicago Foundation for Education (CFE) has been dedicated to improving and enhancing the educational experiences provided to Chicago’s public elementary school children. CFE increases instructional quality and directly benefits students through four grant-based initiatives, two of which are offering upcoming volunteer opportunities. Classroom visits are an integral part of our Small Grants program, and they provide volunteers with a terrific opportunity to see some of the city’s most engaging elementary teachers in action. Teachers who have not yet had their grant-winning lessons observed have signed up to have a volunteer visit them during the school day (between Tuesday and Thursday) for a 15-30 minute time period. Classroom visits play a crucial role in determining the overall impact of CFE programs and also provide a wonderful opportunity for volunteers to become personally connected with some of Chicago Public Schools’ most innovative and influential educators. We are also searching for volunteers who would be willing to serve as Study Group Liaisons throughout the next few months. Each Liaison will have the opportunity to observe and connect with one of CFE’s 2008 Study Group Teams by attending one group meeting and visiting Team Member classrooms. The meeting that each Liaison is required to attend will vary in date and time according to the study group that they are matched with. By volunteering as a Liaison, you will witness the innovative and influential ways that CFE grant winners are transforming Chicago’s public schools. Number of volunteers: 50 Average time commitment per volunteer: 5 hours over a several month period

Chicago Metro History Education Center

60 W. Walton

Chicago, IL 60610

Ph: 312-255-3661

Fax: 312-266-8223

email: info@chicagohistoryfair.org



Pauline Kochanski

Year Founded: 1978

Description: CMHEC sponsors the History Fair, a program that encourages students in grades six through twelve to “become historians” by selecting a topic in Chicago history and doing research that connects them to authentic documents, witnesses, scholars, and places around the city. Students then produce mini-museum exhibits, performances, documentaries, and research papers about their discoveries. CMHEC is an independent not-for-profit organization co-sponsored by the Newberry Library, Chicago Historical Society, UIC, and the Public Library. Nearly 17,000 children participate in the program. Involved schools: Citywide Average time commitment per volunteer: Flexible—weekday office work, program work at CMHEC, public libraries, and classrooms (week days and weekends), judging at History Fair events with students on weekdays, evenings, and Saturdays.

Chicago HOPES

Chicago Public Schools Homeless Education Program

125 S. Clark St., 8th Floor

Chicago, IL 60603

Ph: 773-553-2242

Fax: (773) 553-2182



Arifa Boyer, Volunteer Coordinator


Description: Chicago HOPES (Heightening Opportunity and Potential for Educational Success) is an initiative of the Chicago Public Schools Homeless Education Program that empowers these homeless students to succeed academically. With the goal of sustainability, Chicago HOPES collaborates with schools, shelters and communities to establish shelter-based after-school tutoring and enrichment opportunities- and you can help! Chicago HOPES is currently seeking volunteers to help with our summer program. Volunteers will provide academic support, chaperone field trips, and/or participate in enrichment opportunities with K-12 students who are homeless and living in shelters in the Chicago neighborhoods of Ashburn, Brighton Park, and Little Village. As we provide free training and support for all of our volunteer tutors, no previous experience with kids is necessary. Length of orientation/training: Two hours Average time commitment per volunteer: One day per week for the length of our summer program. The program generally operates from 2:00-4:00 pm every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Chicago Lights Tutoring Program

at Fourth Presbyterian Church

126 E. Chestnut Street

Chicago, IL 60611

Ph: 312-787-4570

Fax: 312-787-4584



Stacy Jackson, Director

Alex Cornwell, Tutoring Services Manager

Year Founded: 1964

Description: The Chicago Lights Tutoring Program at Fourth Presbyterian Church is dedicated to providing academic support for students in 1st-12th grades by pairing them with a caring volunteer tutor. Volunteers are matched to work one-on-one with the same student each week, providing the student with instruction and support. The personal, long term relationships forged between students and tutors fosters skills that enhance academic performance, build self-esteem, assist in graduation from high school, and build a foundation for college and job readiness. Students are also offered a nutritious meal, a life-skills lesson, access to a state-of-the-art computer lab, a library of 1,000+ books, job training, art projects and the attention of a caring adult. Involved Schools: Manierre, Jenner, Schiller, Ogden, Lincoln Park, Wells, Chicago Military and Crane as well as 52 other CPS schools. Number of volunteers: 385 Length of orientation/training: 2-hour orientation and various trainings scheduled throughout the year. Average time commitment per CPS volunteer: 1½ hours, one evening per week. The program runs from October through May, Monday-Friday evenings from 6:00pm-7:30pm.

Chicago Public Schools Student

Science Fair

Office of Mathematics and Science

Chicago Public Schools

Medill TPDC, Room 103

1326 W 14th Place

Chicago, IL 60608

Ph: 773-553-6318

Fax: 773-553-6320



Rita S. Nelson, Science Fair Coordinator

Michael Lach, Director of Science

Description: The CPS Student Science Fair is an annual international competition that promotes excellence through the development of a science project, essay, or a symposium paper. Projects and symposium papers may be entered in one of 16 categories from aerospace to zoology. Students initially present a project at their local school. Winners from the school advance to the area fair and winners from the area advance to the city fair held at the Museum of Science and Industry. Fifty projects are then selected to represent CPS at the Illinois Junior Academy of Science State Fair held on the campus of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and four HS students are selected to represent CPS at the International Science and Engineering Fair. Essays and Symposium papers are initially read in January. Forty-five symposium papers are selected for presentation at the Museum. Winning essays will be selected from a final reading held at the Museum. Volunteers are needed to serve as area science fair judges, symposium readers, symposium judges, city fair judges and mentors through the Advise-a-Student Program. Dates: Area Science Fairs: December 2005-January 2006 City Science Fair: March 27-April 2, 2006

Christopher House

2507 North Greenview

Chicago, IL 60614

Ph: 773-472-1083

Fax: 773-472-7292


Contact: Laura Sakiyama

Description: Christopher House is a catalyst for strengthening and empowering low-income children and their families by providing a web of support that helps families become self-sufficient and resilient and communities become stronger. We help children succeed in the classroom and in life through programs that enhance their cognitive, social, physical and emotional development. Volunteers are crucial to our families’ success. Your time, talent and dedication would be a tremendous asset to our organization. Our areas of greatest need are: College Prep Tutors, Youth Tutors, ESL Tutors, Adult Literacy Childcare Aides, Teen Mom Tutors and new members for our Associates Board. We also run an evening tutoring program serving youth 6-18 years old. Total number of volunteers: 15-30 tutors on any given day

Community Resources Network

300 N. Elizabeth

Suite 610-C

Chicago, IL 60607

Ph: 312-491-7800

Fax: 312-491-7830



Kathleen Gillig, President

Jocelyn S. Dionisio, Director of Volunteer Resources

Description: Community Resource Network’s mission is to strengthen communities throughout metropolitan Chicago by informing and educating the community regarding health and human services and to mobilize people and resources through community involvement. For National Mentoring Month, Community Resource Network’s website, www.chicagovolunteer.net, is the official first point of contact for volunteers interested in becoming a mentor. Chicagovolunteer.net is the electronic center and primary resource for individuals seeking volunteer opportunities in their own communities and is also a recruitment tool for nonprofit organizations. Visit www.chicagovolunteer.net or call (800) 725-5314 to get involved!

Constitutional Rights Foundation

407 S. Dearborn Street

Suite 1700

Chicago, IL 60605

Ph: 312-663-9057

Fax: 312-663-4321



Carolyn Pereira, Executive Director

Jessica Chethik, Program Director

Description: The Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago helps schools foster critical thinking skills and responsible civic action in students. Non-profit and non-partisan, CRFC has been a national leader in the design and implementation of quality law-related education (LRE) programs for elementary and secondary school students and their teachers. Through the Lawyer in the Classroom program, CRFC partners attorneys with elementary classes to help students understand the U.S. Constitution and our legal system. CRFC trains attorneys to lead interactive lessons, provides teaching materials, and matches them with schools. Attorney teams are asked to visit their partner school a minimum of three times throughout the school year. Trainings are held at Chicago area law firms and lessons are conducted at the partner schools. Involved Schools: CRFC works with 70 Chicago public elementary and middle schools for the Lawyers in the Classroom program. Length of orientation/training: 2 hours Average time commitment per CPS volunteer: Minimum of three times throughout school year

Girl Scouts of Chicago

222 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2120

Chicago, IL 60606

Ph: 312-416-2500, Ext. 235

Fax: 312-416-2932



Gwen Ferguson, Director of Volunteer Services

Year Founded: 1920

Description: Girl Scouts is the world’s preeminent organization dedicated solely to encouraging, challenging, and supporting girls, ages 5-17 to build character and skills for success in the real world. Age-progressive activities enable girls from diverse backgrounds to develop leadership, explore interest areas, experience the rewards of community service, and learn positive decision-making skills. Volunteer opportunities include: Girl Scout leader (year-round or 6 weeks), assistant leader, and volunteers willing to share their area of expertise on a short-term basis. Depending on volunteer involvement, our aim is to offer Girl Scouting to every girl, in every CPS school. Involved Schools: Citywide Total number of volunteers: More than 2400 Length of orientation/training: 1 hour orientation 3-6 hours training Average time commitment per CPS volunteer: 1-2 hours per week

Innovations for Learning

190 South LaSalle Street

Chicago, IL 60603

Ph: 312-701-7257

Fax: 312-706-8225


Seth Weinberger

Alexandra Dreier

Year Founded: 1992

Description: Innovations for Learning (formally Software for Success) uses computer technology and tutors to help 1,000 K-1 students improve their reading skills. Volunteers use a unique Internet-based tutoring application that can be accessed from home or office with a telephone line and Internet connection. Tutoring times are very flexible. We provide training and curriculum. Involved schools: Aldridge, Beethoven, Burr, Cather, Chalmers, Chase, Chappell, Dumas, Field, Gallistel, Haines, Henson, Jenner, Locke, Manierre, Ravenswood, Sherwood, Smith, White, Wright Length of orientation/training: 2 hours Average time commitment per volunteer: 30 minutes per week October-June

Inspired Youth Tutoring Program

1226 W. Ainslie

Chicago, IL 60640

Ph: 773-561-4759

Fax: 773-561-4759



Beth Struck Palmer, Executive Director

Year Founded: 1985

Description: Inspired Youth help low-income, neighborhood elementary and high school students from Uptown/Edgewater with their school homework and extra reading, writing, and arithmetic, in order to have them graduate from high school and become independent, productive adults. Inspired Youth also sponsors a children’s choir and a summer piano program. Tutors help individual students with all their subjects and are needed: Mondays, 6:30-8pm for high school students; Tuesdays, 6:30-8pm for 5th-8th graders; Wednesdays-Thursdays, 3-4:30pm for 1st-4th graders; alternate Saturdays, 10am-12n for elementary students. Involved schools: Alcott, Disney, Goudy, Hawthorne, Mather, Mayer, Senn, Stewart, Sullivan Number of Volunteers: 65 Length of orientation/training: 1 hour Average time commitment per volunteer: 1½ hours per week

Jewish Children’s Bureau

of Chicago

3145 West Pratt

Chicago, IL 60645

Ph: 773-476-9746

Fax: 773-467-3799



Bob Bloom, Executive Assistant

Amber Egelston, Coordinator of Volunteers

Year Founded: 1937

Description: Jewish Children’s Bureau of Chicago (JCB) is a non-sectarian, comprehensive, social service agency that provides child-centered and family-focused services for children and families. The volunteer program provides support to the agency and our clients by placing volunteers as mentors, tutors, childcare helpers, cooking coaches, exercise buddies, Mitzvah Makers, and special project volunteers. Involved areas: Many of our programs are centered in the West Rogers Park neighborhood. Number of Volunteers: 60 (ongoing) Length of orientation/training: 3 hours Average time commitment per volunteer: 6 hours a month

Junior Achievement of Chicago

651 West Washington Street, Suite 404

Chicago, IL 60661

Ph: 312-715-1300

Fax: 312-715-0694



Melissa Hanley, Associate Director

Lucretzia Martin Jamison, Associate Director

Description: Junior Achievement (JA) uses corporate volunteers to bring relevant economic education to students of all ages, preparing them to become better consumers, citizens, employees and leaders. JA’s programs give students a chance to meet business people face-to-face and learn about the world of business through education enrichment activities. JA provides training and curriculum for volunteers. Involved Schools: Attucks, Brennemann, , Brown, Burley, Burr, Byrd, Byrne, Chopin, Gladstone, Galileo, Howland Herzl, Grant, Goudy, Mayo, LeMoyne, LaSalle, Libby, Nash, Newberry, Sabin, Stockton, Pritzker, Paderewski, Woodson, Pulaski Number of volunteers: 1200 Length of orientation/training: 2 hours Average time commitment per volunteer: 1 hour/week for 5-15 weeks or 4 hours/day

Juvenile Court Mentoring Network

1100 S. Hamilton

Chicago, IL 60612

Ph: 312- 433-6628

Fax: 312-433-6744


Helen Warner, Marcus Spencer, Vanessa Jones

Year Founded: 1899

Description: Mentors provide volunteers services to minors who are on probation or wards of the state through the Cook County Juvenile Court probation department. There are three programs: Friendly Visitors, Group Mentorship and One-On-One Mentoring. Involved areas: All of Cook County Number of Volunteers: 75 Length of orientation/training: 2 ½ hours Average time commitment per volunteer: 1 hour per week; 6 months to a year commitment

Kids Off the Block, Inc.

116621S. Michigan Avenue

Chicago, IL 60028

Ph: 773-995-9077

Fax: 773-995-1055



Diane Latiker, Executive Director

Joseph Strickland

Year Founded: 2003

Description: Kids Off The Block’s (KOTB) mission is to provide positive alternatives to gangs, drugs, truancy, violence, and the juvenile justice system for to at-risk, low income youth. KOTB’s services include Tutoring/Mentoring, Music, Drama, Sports, and Local/Out of Town Travel and are available to young people between the ages of 12 and 19 years old. All programs are based on WRT (W-work, R-recreation, T-Training). Volunteer duties include: Computer Basics (E-mail Accounts, Internet) Tutoring (Math / Reading) Mentoring / (One on One) Music (Instruction / Vocal Lessons ) Sports (Coaching) Number of volunteers: 25 Length of orientation/training: 2 hours Average time commitment per volunteer: 4 hours per week; Monday thru Friday, 4pm to 8pm during school months and 3pm to 8pm during summer.

Mercy Home for Boys and Girls

– Friends First

1140 W. Jackson Blvd

Chicago, IL 6067

Ph: 312 738-7552

Fax: 312 738-9251



Fr. Jim Close, Barbara Steck

Year Founded: 1887

Description: Friends First, the mentoring program of Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, offers volunteers the chance to serve as positive role models for at-risk youth. Friends First believes that in order to grow into happy, responsible people, children need to experience the help, support and attention of caring adults. Mentors are matched with a child in their community between the ages of 9 and 17, and participate in a variety of activities including museum visits, sports & hanging out. We provide comprehensive training and support to the mentor and child throughout the relationship to insure a rewarding experience for all. Friends First works with youth in all communities of Chicago, attending many different CPS schools. Involved areas: Chicago Total number of volunteers: 75 Length of orientation/training: 4 hours Average time commitment per CPS volunteer: 3-4 hours, 3-4 times a month for a year.

New Concepts Tutor Mentor Connection

17700 South Dixie Highway

Homewood, IL 60430

Ph: (708) 647-8440



Kenneth King, Executive Director

Year Founded: 1993

Description: New Concepts T/MC’s mission is to impact lives through mentoring. Kenneth King started the program mentoring one child at Oscar Mayer Elementary School. The rewards of his mentoring experience convinced Mr. King to expand and teach the concept of mentoring to other adult volunteers. Today, New Concepts operates four programs: a One to One Program, a Team Mentoring Program, an E-Mentoring Program, and a High School Transition Program. Involved Schools: Andersen, Austin HS, Clark HS, Mayer, Otis, Peabody, Wells HS Number of Volunteers: 75 Length of orientation/training: 3 hours Average time commitment per volunteer: 2 hours per week

The Field Museum

1400 S. Lake Shore Drive

Chicago, IL 60605

Ph: 312-665-7280

Fax: 312-665-7272



Kate Cary, Crown Family PlayLab Manger

Melissa Mayer, Employment Specialist

Description: The Crown Family PlayLab a 7,500-square-foot section inside of the Field Museum that is designed to be touched, picked up, sorted, moved around, climb on, worn, or used in ways that grown-ups probably haven’t even thought of yet. The PlayLab encourages a child’s innate curiosity in a family-friendly environment by adding real artifacts and specimens and promotes young explorers (ages two to eight) to discover the wonders of nature and learn about diverse cultures. Volunteer assignments include greeting and checking-in visitors at reception desk, supervising and interacting with children in the Arts & Crafts Studio and answering questions and assisting visitors throughout the Crown Family PlayLab. Involved areas: Chicago Average time commitment per volunteer: Weekdays – at least one regular day per week; Weekends – at least two days per month; Shifts are scheduled 8:30am-1:30pm or 11:30am-4:30pm

Saturday Scholars Program

Columbia College Chicago

33 E. Congress Parkway

Room 503

Ph: 312-344-8880

Fax: 312-344-8432


Margo F. Weiser, Program Manager

Description: Saturday Scholars is a college and workforce readiness program in its 17th year. It was started by Bank One and is now hosted at Columbia College Chicago. The program meets 2 Saturdays a month during the school season and students and mentors attend teacher facilitated classes in math, writing, public speaking, life and leadership skills, goal setting, resumes, interviewing skills and current events to name a few. Graduating 8th graders from the specific CPS community elementary schools affiliated with Chase and Columbia College’s Center for Community Arts Partnerships apply for entry to the program. Mentors attend classes with the students on Saturdays, help them through the college application process under the direction of the program staff and generally act as adult role models. Bonds are formed that last a lifetime and mentors are an integral part of the program’s success. Mentors are not paired off with students, but rather work as a team with the other mentors and scholars. They usually follow their group through their senior year. Involved Schools: ACT Charter, Beethoven, Crown, Dyett, Herzl, Jenner, Marshall, Pulaski, Revere, Sabin, and 60-70 CPS high schools. Time Commitment per volunteer: Two Saturdays per month

Sit, Stay, Read!

4900 N. Francisco

Chicago, IL 60614

Ph: 773-936-6054


Mary Ellen Schneider, Executive Director

Description: Sit Stay Read is the leading literacy organization in the United States utilizing therapy dogs to improve reading skills and foster the love of learning in disadvantaged children. Innovative programs bring much needed reading help to 2nd and 3rd graders in Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. The organization trains fluency volunteers and certified therapy dog teams to make reading less intimidating for the children and, in doing so, more fun. The goal of every program is to improve reading fluency. School programs require a weekly one hour commitment for 6-8 week sessions. Volunteers without dogs are needed to serve as “Book Buddies” in the classroom to facilitate reading and writing projects. Volunteers with dogs are needed for classroom reading. The dogs must pass a basic obedience test and human volunteers must attend a literacy training session. Involved Schools: Sumner, Hendricks, Manierre Number of Volunteers: 50 Length of orientation/training: 1 hour and ongoing Average time commitment per volunteer: 1 hour per week in the classroom, plus travel time

Uhlich Children’s Advantage Network

217 N. Jefferson

Chicago, IL 60661

Ph: 312-669-8200 ext. 2316

Fax: 312-669-1107


Thomas Vanden Berk, Allison Winton, Volunteer Coordinator

Description: The Uhlich Children’s Advantage Network provides comprehensive care and treatment works to abused, troubled, or neglected children so they may grow into healthy, productive adults. When families are challenged, we provide support and promote healing so a nurturing environment is restored. UCAN volunteers can get involved in a variety of ways, most commonly as Mentors or Tutors. Volunteers work with clients in many of our programs including: Residential Treatment Home (9-18 years old; California/Addison), Foster Homes (8-18 years old; throughout Chicago- primarily West and South side) , Independent Living Arrangements (18-21 years old, includes teen mothers; throughout Chicago- primarily West and South side), and the Uhlich Academy (k-12th grade; 3110 W. Grand). Number of volunteers: 80 Length of orientation/training: 1 hour and on-going Average time commitment per volunteer: 2 visits per month

Working In The Schools (WITS)

27 East Monroe Street, Suite 1400

Chicago, IL 60603

Ph: 312.269.4514

Fax: 312.269.4525



Jenné Myers, Executive Director

Program Coordinator, Lindsey Giacherio

Year Founded: 1991

Description: WITS promotes literacy and the love of reading among Chicago’s youth by providing one-on-one tutoring. WITS involves community members, area businesses and government agencies who volunteer to support the literacy education and development of children in the Chicago Public Schools. WITS offers five distinct tutoring programs: Power Lunch, Workplace Mentoring, Early Childhood, Saturday Tutoring and Classroom Assistants. The first two cater to business and government groups. Power Lunch is a lunchtime literacy program that matches business and government volunteers with elementary school students, one-on-one, during the school day. Workplace Mentoring is an after school program where 5th and 6th grade students travel to a workplace for one-one tutoring. For individual volunteers: WITS offers Early Childhood, Classroom Assistants and the Saturday Tutoring programs. Early Childhood volunteers spend 1-2 hours in a Pre-K or kindergarten classrooms each week modeling reading and writing behaviors in on-one one tutoring sessions. Classroom assistants volunteer an average of three hours each week during the school day, working individually or in small groups in their assigned classroom. The Saturday program involves two hour one-on-one reading mentoring sessions during the school year. Involved Schools: Bon Temps, Brown, Cameron, De Diego, Drake, Fermi, Haugan, Hibbard, Holden, Jenner, Jordan, Manierre, McLellan, Medill, Peabody, Peirce, Ruggles, Schiller, Talcott, Tilton, Walsh, West Park Academy and Woods Academy. Number of volunteers: 2320 Length of orientation/training: one hour Average time commitment per volunteer: Business/Government: 1-1.5 per week; individual volunteers, 2-15 hours per week.

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