Urbana School District #116

Volunteer Opportunities

Mentor and Community Involvement Coordinators

Contact the following mentor and community involvement coordinators for detailed descriptions of open volunteer positions at each school. Please return completed applications to the school in which you wish to volunteer marked Attention: Volunteer Coordinator. If do not have a school preference, please send completed applications to Urbana Middle School, 1201 S. Vine St., Urbana, IL 61801 Attention: Thomas Howley.

Volunteer Coordinator at UMS and UHS: Kristen Davis, kdavis1@usd116.org

Volunteers Must Pass Background Checks Before Entering Schools

Volunteers must complete a background check before working with students. A free check may be completed online by following this link: Urbana Volunteer Background Check.

Mentors must complete a fingerprint background check. Use the link above to find directions for scheduling your fingerprint appointment.

Classroom Tutors

What is Urbana Classroom Tutoring?

The tutoring program is a program designed to match collegians one-to-one with middle school students in need of personal and academic support. Tutors meet with their students once or twice a week during the school day on school grounds. They help students get caught up with school work, reinforce concepts they’re learning, and listen and talk with students about their concerns. Although we target college students, you do not have to be a student to volunteer as a tutor.

How are students referred to the program?

Students are referred by teachers or counselors for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Underachieving academically
  • Exhibiting low self-esteem
  • Irregular attendance
  • Needing an adult role model
  • Having few positive peer relationships

Who can be a tutor?

You can be a tutor if you have:

  • A genuine interest in youth
  • Flexibility
  • Good listening skills
  • Time – preferably one hour twice a week between 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Commitment – you must be able to continue to the end of the semester and come at your scheduled time
  • Transportation to the school

How do tutors benefit?

Tutors:

  • Get hands-on experience at a local school
  • Have a chance to impact the community’s youth
  • Return to college campus refreshed and energized

What do students say about their tutors?

“She gives me hope….”

“She understands me….”

“I try not to be absent on the day he comes.”

“He’s cool!”

“She’s helped me see that what I do in school would affect my life.”

“I’m just glad I have one.”

How do I become a tutor?

  1. Fill out an application form and a criminal background check form. Return completed applications to the school in which you wish to volunteer or if you do not have a school preference, send to Urbana Middle School.
  2. Attend an hour and a half training session at Urbana Middle School.
  3. Agree to come to your tutoring session consistently and to stay with the tutoring relationship for one semester.

Classroom Volunteers

Parents, grandparents, and other community members can offer their time as Classroom Volunteers. The specific tasks that Classroom Volunteers do are fitted to the needs of the teachers and the interests and abilities of the volunteer.

What do classroom volunteers do?

Common tasks include:

  • Tutoring students one-on-one
  • Helping students get organized
  • Helping absent students catch up
  • Taking notes beside student during teacher presentation
  • Setting up materials for special art / science activities
  • Doing clerical work, copying, covering books
  • Creating bulletin boards, making games
  • Teaching enrichment units
  • Sharing knowledge and skills pertinent to curriculum

What do parents like about working in classrooms at UMS?

“Getting to know my child’s teachers better as well as gaining knowledge of the curriculum.”

“Having conversations with and helping individual children.”

“Seeing the way other students learn.”

“Smiles from kids when I come to school.”

“Being at school often, feeling part of my kids’ days.”

“When a student suddenly ‘gets it.'”

“Seeing the growth of children.”

How do I become a parent classroom volunteer?

  1. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator at the school in which you wish to volunteer or if you have no school preference contact Barbara Linder (217) 337-0853 at Urbana Middle School.
  2. Fill out an application form and release statement and a criminal background check form. Return completed applications to the school in which you wish to volunteer or if you do not have a school preference, send to Urbana Middle School.
  3. Commit to a regular volunteering time
  4. Participate in a volunteer orientation
  5. Start coming to school!
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