LINKS Volunteer Program

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    Looking Into the Needs of Kids and Schools (LINKS)

    The LINKS (Looking into the Needs of Kids and Schools) volunteer program is part of the Lake Washington School District (LWSD), with additional 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.

    Make a difference in the life of a child: become a LINKS Lunch Buddy

    A mentor is someone who serves as a friend, coach, role model or guide. In the LINKS Lunch Buddy Program, we bring students together with caring adults. Mentors come during school hours once a week and spend the lunch hour in a pre-assigned area to eat, play games, make crafts, talk and do other agreed-upon activities. Mentors provide social-emotional support to students who need a little extra one-on-one attention. Studies have shown that children with mentors are more likely to succeed.

    Apply to be a LINKS Lunch Buddy

    LINKS Lunch Buddy mentors receive support for a smooth start

    If you applied to be a LINKS Lunch Buddy, a two-hour mentor orientation is required to support a successful experience. Upcoming orientation dates are listed below.

    To sign up for an orientation, contact Victoria Goetze-Nelson at 425-936-1410 with the date you will be attending.

    Orientation may be cancelled due to low enrollment. Please check the "Upcoming orientations" section below one week before your scheduled training date to confirm the meeting has not been rescheduled.

    Upcoming orientations

    Click here for dates for upcoming information and training sessions

    Orientation Locations:

    • LWSD Resource Center - 16250 NE 74th Street, Redmond, WA 98052
    • Einstein Elementary - 18025 NE 116th Street, Redmond, WA 98052
    • Juanita Elementary - 9635 NE 132nd Street, Kirkland, WA 98034

    LINKS Lunch Buddy Program FAQ

    Who are LINKS Lunch Buddy mentors?

    LINKS Lunch Buddy Program volunteers are community members looking for a one-on-one 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 recent college graduates, working adults, retirees and parents.

    What does a LINKS Lunch Buddy mentor do?

    LINKS Lunch Buddy mentors spend one hour per week in the schools as lunch buddies. LINKS Lunch Buddy mentors help students feel engaged, supported and challenged. The mentor's role is to provide social-emotional support which will improve students' confidence and help students acquire the skills needed for lifelong success, in school and beyond.

    Which schools have a LINKS Lunch Buddy Program?

    We offer the Lunch Buddy Program in 15 elementary schools

    Kirkland Schools

    • Franklin Elementary
    • Juanita Elementary
    • Keller Elementary
    • Muir Elementary
    • Rose Hill Elementary
    • Sandburg Elementary
    • Thoreau Elementary
    • Twain Elementary

    Redmond Schools

    • Ella Baker Elementary
    • Clara Barton Elementary
    • Einstein Elementary
    • Redmond Elementary
    • Rush Elementary

    Sammamish Schools

    • Mead Elementary
    • Smith Elementary

    Contact Information

    Victoria Goetze-Nelson
    LINKS Program Coordinator

    Lunch Buddy mentors share their experiences