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Volunteer Opportunities

Literacy Center of West Michigan - Family Literacy Program

Study after study has shown that families who read together can help children boost their vocabulary and school performance. By age four, a child of a low literate parent will have heard 32 million fewer words than a child of a literate parent. One of the greatest indicators of a child’s future success is the reading level of their parents.

The Family Literacy Program provides FREE English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to parents whose children attend participating Grand Rapids and Godwin Heights Public Schools. We work to improve the literacy skills of parents so they can raise strong, successful readers.

Bringing Literacy Home: Family Activity Night

The goal of our monthly Family Activity Night is to provide literacy resources and activities that our families can take home and use. Each learner is invited to attend with their family to participate in a literacy activity that the whole family can be involved in. We want to expand our learners’ knowledge of family literacy, build community, and have fun doing it.

Volunteers can expect to assist with all aspects of Family Activity Night

This includes setting up, distribution of food and literacy activity materials, interacting with families, and clean up. Events are in the evening and usually last about two hours.


  • 11/16 – Buchanan Elementary 5:45-8

    11/17 Harrison Park Elementary 5:45-8

    11/17 Southwest Campus Compact 5:45 -8

    11/19 Burton Elementary 5:45-8

    11/19 Sibley Elementary 5:45-8

    11/20 West Godwin Elementary 4:30-7

Please visit the Child Development Office in room 266 Main for a copy of the application.

Questions can be directed to Claira Freeman at the Literacy Center of West Michigan (

Phone: 616-459-5151  Email:



Did you know that approximately 66% of students that enter college are unprepared? Did you know that 76% of students do not participate in tutoring services? Studies suggest that students that participate in tutoring services have higher grade point averages, higher success rates, and higher engagement with the subject matter. We need you to make this happen at GRCC.

What: The Reading Discipline is partnering with The Place to offer tutoring/mentoring to our lower performing students in Reading 097 (Introduction to College Reading) in an effort to increase student success and retention. We are asking for volunteers to spend anywhere from a half hour to an hour per week (for 10 weeks) at The Place tutoring students with reading. This tutoring could focus on simply reading with the students, working on homework, or using resources provided to encourage extra practice.

When: Fall 2015

Requirements: In order to volunteer, you will need to attend an hour and a half training session on September 9, 2015 at 5:30 pm.

Benefits: Not only will you be helping student success and retention, you will also be building relationships with students and helping students take advantage of the great resources that we offer at GRCC. The two-hour training will count towards professional development and the tutoring will count towards college/student service.

If you are interested in learning more about this great opportunity, please email Christina McElwee, Coordinator for Developmental Reading at no later than Friday, September 4, 2015.


Restorers is looking for volunteers for its Hattie Beverly Tutoring Program that runs during the academic school year here at our offices (1413 Madison Ave SE - 2 doors down from Madison Square Church) every Tuesdays and Thursday 4-7pm. Tutors are required to commit to tutor for at-least a semester and for at-least 1 hour either Tuesday or Thursday. Volunteers must fill out our tutor application and pass a background check.

September 29th, 2015 to June 7th, 2016
Every Tuesday and Thursday 4-7pm
  Please contact Alfield Reeves (Youth Development Coordinator with any questions. Alfield can be reached at or (616)-243-1984.
  Alfield Reeves - Youth Development Coordinator


 The First United Methodist Church of Grand Rapids (FUMC) is looking for volunteer reading tutors for its Tutoring Center at Martin Luther King Leadership Academy (645 Logan St. SE-one block south of Wealthy St. Bakery).  The school is part of GRPS and it serves the neighborhood students; 99% of the student population is considered at poverty level. The FUMC Tutoring Center works with children in Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades. The program runs from the first week of October through the 1st week of May. Training and supplies are provided to all volunteers. No experience is required to become a part of our program, but all volunteers must pass a background check in order to volunteer with our students.

  • From October to May, tutors are paired with the same students on the same day each week.  
  • Each tutor meets with 2 students for a half hour each, back to back, totaling an hour.
  •  With prep time included, the total volunteering time commitment is approximately 90 minutes per week.

If you are interested in volunteering or have any questions, please email or call (616) 819-1745 FUMC Tutoring Center.

The Tutoring Center is open 9am-2pm M-W and 9-12 Thursday from the end of August until June 1.         

Maryann Warren – Volunteer Coordinator    


The Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan is looking for volunteers for our Buddy Up Tennis program.  Buddy Up Tennis is a high energy adaptive tennis program for children and young adults with Down syndrome.  Buddy Up Tennis is a weekly 90 minute program including 60 minutes of tennis instruction and 30 minutes of fitness conditioning.  Buddy volunteers are partnered with athletes to maximize the experience.  No tennis experience is required. 

Buddy Up Tennis is located at MVP Athletic Club at 115 Crahen Ave, and meets from 1:30-3pm on Saturday afternoons each week.  If you are interested in volunteering, please email for more information.


Community Family Partnership is looking for volunteers and paid positions at $10 per hour for child care a couple of evenings per month. Some of the children could have special needs or mental health issues, so any experience with special needs, behavioral issues, or mental health needs is highly recommended. Most are siblings of a youth with mental health or behavioral concerns. Arts and Craft items , sensory games and snacks will be provided to plan activities for the time the children are here. Background checks will be done and mental health first aid training will be provided to you as well. Referrals are required. Great opportunity for those going into Special Education or Teaching positions. Serious inquiries can contact Barb Flowers at 616.301.0598 or email Please visit their website for more  information or on facebook at


West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology (WMCAT) is a non-profit organization in downtown Grand Rapids that offers after school and summer programs for urban area teens. These programs are designed to help students find their own voice and give them the opportunity to use professional technology and learn from professional artists.   WMCAT is looking for tutors for this fall's after school program. They would like to have tutors available from 2:30-5:00PM, Monday-Thursday starting September 29th.   For additional information, please contact Brooke Warner at


The New Covenant Community Church Summer Academy and Vacation Bible School is looking for student volunteer(s) to assist with our Summer Academy and Vacation Bible School. It's a neighborhood outreach program we're offering to elementary and middle school students on Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 29, 2014 - August 28, 2014 from 10:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. with lunch served at noon.
We are looking for students who would like to experience in a Christian setting, by:

  • tutoring young adolescents in math and English
  • supervising recreation time
  • leading young people in low-impact exercises and non-competitive games
  • coaching small groups in moving to music a la praise dance or line dancing and/or
  • serve as tech and sound aides

While it would be nice for volunteers to spend the whole time with us, if coming only for the morning academic session, the noon athletics, or the afternoon arts would be more convenient, we'd be glad to consider those volunteers as well.
Volunteers will need to provide a copy of their Criminal History Check and DHS Clearance.
For more information, contact:
Anna J. Small Roseboro, Director


Grand Rapids Public’s Burton K-8 School. Burton is looking for individuals to help run the library during the school day- currently there is only one on staff, available only on Mondays. This means, Mondays are the only days children have regular access to the school library. Additional details and information on expressing interest in the opportunity can be found here:

Katelyn Kovalik Michigan Nonprofit Association Civic Engagement AmeriCorps*VISTA Volunteer Center Heart of West Michigan United Way 118 Commerce Ave SW Grand Rapids, MI 49503 p. 616-459-6281 x 669 f. 616-459-8460