What is the LINKS volunteer program?
The LINKS (Looking into the Needs of Kids and Schools) volunteer program is part of the Lake Washington School District (LWSD), with funding provided by the Lake Washington Schools Foundation. LINKS matches interested applicants with volunteer opportunities in our schools. As a LINKS volunteer, you provide additional support needed by students to achieve academic and personal success now and in the future. Currently, LWSD has over 200 LINKS volunteers.
Who are LINKS volunteers?
LINKS volunteers are community members looking for a specific volunteer opportunity. Our program coordinator gathers data from new volunteers regarding special skills or interests to assist in the proper placement of the volunteer. Our volunteers come from all backgrounds and include working adults, retirees, parents, and students.
What type of volunteering can I do?
LINKS volunteers spend one hour per week in the schools as mentors, lunch buddies, classroom helpers, tutors, AVID facilitators, or health room helpers. Volunteers are placed based on the needs of the schools and the interests of the LINKS volunteers.
LINKS volunteers help students feel engaged, supported, and challenged. The volunteer's role is to supplement the classroom learning to increase academic achievement and students' confidence. LINKS volunteers help students acquire the skills needed for lifelong success, in school and beyond.
Mentor - all school levels
A mentor is someone who serves as a counselor or guide. In the LINKS program, we offer two mentoring opportunities to bring students together with caring adults. Mentors come during school hours and provide academic support, as well as develop a relationship of emotional support for the student. Studies have shown that children with mentors are more likely to succeed.
Academic Mentor - all school levels
An academic mentor is carefully matched with a student at the elementary, middle, or high school level. This volunteer opportunity takes place during the school day. The timeframe can vary from 30 minutes to an hour. Core classes are often the subjects students need extra help with and include math, reading, writing, and science.
Lunch Buddy Mentor - elementary
The Lunch Buddy program brings students who need a little individual attention together with caring adults. Lunch Buddies spend the lunch hour in a pre-assigned area to eat, play games, make crafts, talk, and do other agreed-upon activities.
Classroom Helper - all school levels
Classroom volunteers usually assist in one classroom and help with several students each week. Volunteer opportunities vary depending on the needs of the students. The most common subject areas include reading, writing, math and science. Volunteers work closely with school staff to determine how their personal strengths can best be used in the classroom to benefit students.
Tutor - all school levels
Tutoring provides academic support to one student or a group of students, typically focusing on one subject. This volunteer opportunity is held during school hours or during an after school study program in an assigned area.
AVID Facilitators - middle school
AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) is a national program designed to better prepare students for college. The facilitators work with a small group of students one or two days a week for one hour.
Health Room Volunteers - all school levels
Health room volunteers work in the school health rooms. They support office staff by assisting students who come to the health room for various health issues. In addition to the LINKS orientation, volunteers will be required to attend a health room training to review procedures and protocols.
To discuss LINKS volunteer opportunities in LWSD, contact the LINKS Program Coordinator, Nanci Wehr, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (425) 936-1410.