Education


Project Community students will work with schools or after-school programs to tutor, mentor, or engage K-12 students in educational programs and activities. The following sites require patient, supportive, positive, and reliable volunteers who are dedicated to working with youth in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, or Detroit. Many sites require background checks.


  Ann Arbor Public Schools (Section 002)

Students may choose from the following schools:

Thurston Elementary

What: Volunteers will meet during the school day to assist teachers and staff with students at Thurston Elementary School, a K-5 Ann Arbor public elementary school. Volunteers may spend some of their time assisting lunch staff with elementary students during their lunch and recess. Volunteers eat with the students at lunch and accompany them to lunch recess, where they help engage the students in fun, healthy, and safe outside recess activities. Most of the volunteers’ time will be spent assisting teachers in the classrooms with specific students, small groups, or even circulating to assist the whole class with projects and work. Volunteers may help with a variety of activities in the classrooms, such as reading, math, science experiments, and art projects.

Who: Volunteers who have special interests or skills, such as sports and games, leadership, music, art, or foreign language abilities, are encouraged to share these with Thurston students.

When: In addition to the scheduled on-campus class time, students will be expected at site approximately 3-4 hours each week (not including 10 minute drive time each way). Site times are from 9:00am-4:00pm, Monday-Friday.

Teacher/Grade: Bethany Tabaka, 3rd Grade

Where: Thurston Elementary School, 2300 Prarie, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Transportation: 15 min drive; 35 min bus (#2/2C); CEAL vehicle eligible.

Orientation/Training: Volunteers are required to complete a background check and orientation before being permitted on site.

Lakewood Elementary

What: Volunteers will work with children at Lakewood Elementary School in Ann Arbor. Project Community students will primarily be placed in a classroom, under the direction of the teacher. Volunteers will work with individual students, small groups, or even circulate the whole class assisting with activities such as reading, math, science experiments, and art projects.

Who: Opportunities are also available for volunteers who want to utilize Spanish-speaking skills (Lakewood Elementary is home to a significant Spanish-speaking population), work in the art room, teacher consultant room (with students with special needs), or to work in the media center with small groups of students on computers or media activities.

When: In addition to the scheduled on-campus class time, students will be required at site for 3-4 hours each week between 9:00am-4:00pm, Monday-Friday.

Teacher/Grade: TBD

What other information would you like students to know about your school including initiatives, policies, culture, etc?

Where: Lakewood Elementary, 344 Gralake Ave, Ann Arbor, MI  48103

Transportation: 10-15 min drive; 30 min bus (#30); CEAL vehicle eligible.

Orientation/Training: Volunteers are required to complete a background check and orientation before being permitted on site.

Pittsfield Elementary

What: Students will work with children at Pittsfield Elementary School in Ann Arbor. Students will be working with individual and small groups of children, grades K-5.  They will also assist teacher with classroom tasks as needed.

Who: Students who enjoy working with children, can be self-directed and also take direction from classroom teachers.

When: In addition to the scheduled on-campus class time, students will be required at site for 3-4 hours each week between 9:00am-4:00pm, Monday-Friday.

Teacher/Grade: Jen Duman, First Grade

What other information would you like students to know about your school including initiatives, policies, culture, etc? Pittsfield is one of our most diverse schools with students from many different backgrounds and a high proportion of students in poverty.

Where: Pittsfield Elementary, 2543 Pittsfield Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Transportation: 10-15 min drive; 30 min bus (#4) or 35 min bus (#5). CEAL vehicle eligible.

Orientation/Training: Volunteers are required to complete a background check and orientation before being permitted on site.

Abbot Elementary

What: In Young Fives: the volunteers will assist Abbot students in successfully completing daily activities – depending on the time they are available, this might mean leading small groups of students, playing with students at recess, and general tasks around the classroom.  Typical activities include helping students get their snacks, reading books with them, playing at recess, and leading a small group of students in an activity (which varied, depending on the day).

In Kindergarten: Most of the students’ time will be spent assisting teachers in the classrooms with specific students, small groups, or even circulating to assist the whole class with projects and work. Students may help with a variety of activities in the classrooms, such as reading, math, science experiments, and art projects.

Who: Students who enjoy working with children, can be self-directed and also take direction from classroom teachers.

Where: Abbot Elementary School, 2670 Sequoia Pkwy, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Teachers and Grades: Mariah Bauman, Young Fives. Carol DeKeyser, Kindergarten

What other information would you like students to know about your school including initiatives, policies, culture, etc? Abbot Elementary is one of our Title 1 schools serving many students who are in poverty.

Orientation/Training: Volunteers are required to complete a background check and orientation before being permitted on site.


Brilliant Detroit (Section 003)                                                         

What: Students will support the non-profit Brilliant Detroit with literacy programming and other education-focused work. Brilliant Detroit is dedicated to building kid success families and neighborhoods where families with kids 0-8 have everything they need to be school-ready, healthy and stable. They do this by providing proven programming out of centrally-located houses in high-need neighborhoods. Specific projects can include the following:

  • Tutoring one day a week for 2 hours. Tutoring times are Monday-Thursday from 4:30-6:30pm (You will need to allocate ~1 hour to drive to/from site in Detroit).
  • Planning and coordinating bi-weekly Wash & Learns at laundromats in Detroit.
  • Community Mapping in partnership with Data Driven Detroit to map out areas of density of children and pregnant women as well as educational resources, such as schools, literacy programs, after-school programs, tutoring resources and more.

Students’ time will be divided between on-site and off-site work to accommodate the logistics of traveling to Detroit and the importance of building relationships in the community at Brilliant Detroit.

Who: Students with a particular interest in literacy and youth engagement and who have lesson planning, teamwork, leadership and research skills are encouraged to join the Brilliant Detroit team.

When: Students will be expected at site or doing project-related research for approximately 2-3 hours each week (plus the ~1 hour drive time each way). Site times will range by shift, but are generally in the afternoons or evenings.

Where: Brilliant Detroit’s headquarters (5675 Larkins Street, Detroit, MI 48210) and other sites, depending on the project including, but not limited to, Brilliant Detroit’s Cody Rouge site (7425 Fielding Street, Detroit, MI 48228), Central site (803 Hazelwood Street, Detroit, MI 48202) and select laundromats.

Transportation: Brilliant Detroit’s headquarters and Southwest site is about 54 miles from campus; qualifies for CEAL-Ride priority. It is highly recommended that students who register for this site have a valid driver’s license, and are comfortable driving approximately an hour each way to site.


 Downtown Boxing Gym Youth ProgramDowntown Boxing Gym Youth Program (Section 004)  

What: By providing mentorship, tutoring, and basic needs support (transportation and food) for our students, the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program is able to create a lasting impact that ripples out across the Detroit community. The Downtown Boxing Gym currently serves more than 150 students between the ages of 8 and 18. Our students come to us from 30 different zip codes and 57 schools across Detroit and nearby suburbs. Project Community students will tutor youth in grades 3-12, and engage in enrichment activities that include boxing, other physical activities, music, cooking, science, technology, and the arts.

When: Students will engage in tutoring and enrichment activities and/or conduct project-based work either on-site or remotely. Students are expected to volunteer approximately 3 hours a week, and site times are generally in the afternoons/evenings on Mondays-Friday. Please allow ample driving time (approximately 1 hour each way).

Where: The Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program, 6445 E Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48207

Transportation: The Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program is about 50 miles from campus; qualifies for CEAL-Ride priority. It is highly recommended that students who register for this site have a valid driver’s license, and are comfortable driving approximately an hour each way to site.


Latino Family Services (Section 005)

What: Latino Family Services (LFS) is a community agency that provides and coordinates comprehensive human services to residents of Wayne County with a particular emphasis on Latino residents. Students will be working with LFS in Southwest Detroit to assist students (K-12) in an after-school program focused on academic assistance, mentoring, and recreational activities. The ultimate goal of this program is to prepare these students for college with intervention and resources as needed. Volunteers in this program will build social skills with children. Volunteers will be exposed to a predominantly Latino culture, however, the after-school program is open to students from all backgrounds. Volunteers will work with students who excel, as well as with children with learning disabilities or that are facing difficulties in school. The program is prevention-based meaning that we emphasize anti-bullying, strengthening social-emotional skills, and building core values with an educational support system.

Who: Volunteers with Spanish language skills are encouraged to register for this site. However, Spanish proficiency is not required, and you will work with youth from a variety of backgrounds.

When: Volunteers will spend one afternoon a week for 2.5 hours on site. Site times are Mondays-Fridays from 3:30-6:00pm. Please allow ample driving time (approximately 1 hour each way).

Where: LFS Main Office: 1145 Lawndale St, Detroit, MI 48209; Tutoring locations may vary.

Transportation: 46 min-1 hour drive; qualifies for CEAL-Ride priority. It is highly recommended that students who register for this site have a valid driver’s license, and are comfortable driving approximately an hour each way to site.


Mentor2Youth (Section 006) 

What: Mentor2Youth is an Ypsilanti-based agency that provides educational programs to youth ages 6-18 focused on emotional empowerment, academic achievement, and career exploration.  Through our support from volunteers, we are able to improve youth reading and math skills, help them manage emotions and provide them with positive role models. Participants will gain leadership, communication, cultural proficiency, conflict resolution, teaching, and management skills through this project opportunity.

Who: Willing and active listener, encouraging and supportive, patient and flexible, tolerant and respectful of individual differences, joy to be around. Volunteers interested in tutoring should be strong academically in elementary reading and/or math.

When: Volunteers need to commit to 3-4 hours each week to participate in mentoring and/or tutoring at the site. Tutoring is generally offered Monday through Friday from 3-6pm.

Where: Mentor2Youth Main office: 111 S. Wallace Blvd Ypsilanti, MI 48197; Tutoring/mentoring locations may vary.

Transportation: 20 min drive; CEAL vehicle eligible.

Orientation/Training: Volunteers are required to complete an orientation (30min) and training session (2hrs)


Avalon Housing Community Centers (Section 009)

What: As part of our commitment to providing stable housing, building communities and enriching lives, we offer after school programs at our Carrot Way and Pauline properties. Avalon Housing is seeking dynamic volunteers to help run our after school programs. We need kid-loving, easy-going volunteers who are comfortable in a high energy environment and re-directing our kids as needed, to help ensure fidelity to our program structure. Is that you? From preparing snacks, to helping with homework and engaging in activities, there’s lots of moving parts in this 3-4 hour per week gig.

Who: Great experience for anyone who is thinking about or has a history working with kids.

When: We run two after-school programs during the week, Monday-Thursday, at two separate locations. One is located on the north side of town (Carrot Way), and runs from 3:30-5:30; the other is on the west side (Pauline), and runs from 4:15-6:15. It is expected that volunteers will come the same two days each week and volunteer for about 3-4 hours each week. Ideally, volunteers should commit to a minimum of one semester, as most of our youth have experienced homelessness before they even finish elementary school, and consistency is crucial to the educational support we provide.

Where: This volunteer position would report to either our Carrot Way (by Food Gatherers) or Pauline (by the Big House) properties and work directly with one of our Youth and Community Organizers.

Transportation: Carrot Way: #22 bus line. Pauline: #32 bus line; CEAL vehicle eligible.

Orientation/Training: Volunteers will be expected to attend an orientation prior to their official start date.


Peace Neighborhood Center (Section 011)

What: Peace Neighborhood Center is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide programs for children, families and individuals who are affected by social and economic problems. Peace helps people discover options, enhance skills, and develop attitudes that lead to self-sufficiency and positive community involvement. Volunteer opportunities are available working with our elementary and middle school students. Volunteers will build skills tutoring, mentoring, building relationships with youth, and supporting youth in making academic and personal goals

Who: Volunteers need to be patient, reliable, and positive. We expect volunteers to feel comfortable taking initiative and to believe in the greatness in every child.

When/Where: Our after school programs are Monday – Thursday, 3:00-7:00 PM – it is best if you can commit to one afternoon/week. It is expected that you will volunteer between 3-4 hours a week. Students should allow for driving time on the days they volunteer. You will volunteer at one of their locations in Ann Arbor: the Main Office (1111 N Maple Rd), Maple Meadows (880 S Maple Rd), and/or West Arbor (717 N Maple Rd).

Transportation: Peace Neighborhood Center Main Office: 10-15 min drive; 30 min bus (#2 or #5 or #6 to #12 A/B or #9). CEAL vehicle eligible.

Orientation/Training: Volunteers are required to complete a background check and attend an orientation session.


826michigan (Section 012)

What: 826michigan is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. With a variety of volunteer opportunities available to fit even the busiest of schedules, there is a place for everyone!

Skills: This experience will offer volunteers real-world, hands-on experience working with young people in the field of education, and they will assist students with cultivating their creativity and encouraging expression.

Who: We are looking for volunteers from every background and area of expertise, as we have students who seek help on a variety of assignments and we like our students’ interests and identities to be reflected in our volunteer pool. Volunteers who have an interest in education, social justice, creative writing, or Spanish-language ability are especially encouraged to apply but ALL are welcome and needed.

When: The following volunteer opportunities are available:

  • Ann Arbor after-school tutoring: Monday-Thursday 3:45-6:15pm
  • Ypsilanti after-school tutoring: Monday-Thursday 3:45-6:15pm
  • Detroit after-school tutoring: Monday-Wednesday 3:45-6:15pm
  • Ann Arbor field trips: Mondays and Wednesdays 9:30am-12:10pm
  • In-school projects and workshops are TBD. In-school projects are likely weekday mornings and afternoons, and workshops will generally happen a few Saturdays and some late afternoons/evenings.

Volunteers will be on-site approximately 3-4 hours a week and can choose shifts that work best with their schedules. Students can choose to tutor 2 days a week or tutor one day a week plus volunteer during other 826michigan programs (i.e., field trips, in-school projects, or workshops) to fulfill their hours.

Where: Project Community students will be able to tutor at locations in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, work in our in-school programs in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Detroit, or assist with our theatrical creative writing field trips held inside the Robot Supply & Repair shop located on Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor (115 East Liberty Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104).

Transportation: 8 min walk; 18 min bus (#2 or #4); CEAL vehicle eligible. Occasionally, carpools can also be arranged with 826michigan staff and fellow volunteers.

Orientation/Training: Volunteers are required to attend two 1.5 hour trainings. The site contact will coordinate with individual volunteers to sign up for trainings after the application is submitted.  These hours can count toward required weekly service hours. Background checks required.


Questions about these sites? Please contact pcinfo@umich.edu