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LINKS Volunteer Program

Adult working with two children

Looking Into the Needs of Kids and Schools (LINKS)

Make a difference in the life of a child: Become an Academic Mentor or Lunch Buddy


Apply to be a LINKS Mentor

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 175 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 or tutors. 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 - secondary
An academic mentor is carefully matched with a student at the 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.

Tutor - secondary
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.

To discuss LINKS volunteer opportunities in LWSD, contact the LINKS Program Coordinator, Nanci Wehr, at nwehr@lwsd.org or call 425-936-1410.