Seattle Public Schools


Volunteer Opportunities

Welcome! Seattle Public Schools is building a community of volunteers dedicated to educational justice. Between September and April, we post volunteer opportunities in Equity Tier 1-2 Schools on this page. Our greatest needs are tutoring—reading and writing in elementary grades and math in elementary and middle grades. Art, Music, Band, World Languages, and Science teachers are also seeking classroom volunteers eager to share their passion for these areas of learning. Next year, we will also be recruiting volunteers for elementary Robotics Clubs!

  • Learn more about our volunteer program priority schools and the impact volunteers make here.
  • Visit this page again in September for information about available volunteer opportunities.

Seattle Public Schools believes it is vital to engage families and community members in the life of the school as a community center of learning. Review the following ways you, too, can get involved with SPS!

  • Seattle Public Schools is committed to creating a culturally responsive workforce to better serve students furthest from educational justice. Consider volunteering with us to network with staff, gain mentorship opportunities, and discover if a teaching career is right for you!
  • Need observation hours to apply to a teaching program? Our school district welcomes future educators to actively fulfill this school application requirement through volunteering. Since processing volunteer applications, orienting, and training new volunteers to support educators and students takes time, we require a three-month commitment of at least one reoccurring weekly volunteer shift per week. This timeline allows staff to provide thoughtful feedback, mentoring, and potential recommendations to teaching candidates while guaranteeing your hourly requirement will be met. 
  • Are you in an undergraduate program for future educators and seeking an internship placement?  Please ask your internship coordinator to contact our volunteer program to discuss undergraduate internship partnership opportunities.
  • Student teaching and graduate-level internships:  Please do not apply to volunteer with SPS; rather, inquire with your university about their placement arrangements with SPS. The following graduate programs have affiliation agreements with SPS for student teaching and internships:
    • American College of Ed
    • Antioch
    • Capella University
    • Central Washington University
    • Eastern WA
    • Northwest University
    • Oregon State U
    • Pacific Lutheran University
    • Seattle Pacific University
    • Seattle University
    • St Martin University
    • Univ of Phoenix
    • University of Montana
    • University of Washington – Bothell
    • University of Washington – Seattle
    • Walden University
    • Western Washington University
    • Western Governors University
  • Graduate-level internships unrelated to teaching: SPS staff interested in hosting a graduate-level intern should contact their central office program manager or their principal to find out if SPS has an affiliation agreement with the prospective intern’s university. Graduate interns may not apply to be volunteers—they must be cleared through an affiliation agreement.

Volunteer needs vary by school and time of the year. Below are some ways families of SPS students can support their schools, but please be open to the most urgent needs the school may present you with:

  • Lunch and recess support.
  • Classroom or library help: Read or listen to students read in your native language, organize books, prepare materials, tutor math, and more!
  • Before and between classes: Help for 30-40 minutes during recess, in the lunchroom, or as students arrive in the morning. Your positive presence will brighten students’ day and help them be safe.
  • Lost & Found: Offer to organize lost and found items once or twice monthly.
  • Special talents: Schools have unique needs. Are you fluent in Spanish, Somali, Vietnamese, or Chinese? Can you lend a hand in the learning garden or the robotics club?

Volunteer opportunities for community members vary greatly among SPS schools. Some schools focus on engaging their students’ families only, while others seek volunteer support from the community. Please review the current volunteer opportunities at the top of this page (available Sept – April). If none of them work for you, follow the steps below. Our online registration process is not designed to match applicants with volunteer needs – please do not complete the online registration process until you have a volunteer role confirmed with an SPS staff member.

Volunteer with East African immigrant and refugee students!

Horn Of Africa Services (HOAS) focuses on closing the achievement gap for East African students, improving literacy and math outcomes, and empowering students to reach higher levels of education. HOAS is recruiting volunteers for the After School Tutoring Program:

  • Get to know East African refugee and immigrant students grades K-12.
  • Assist with homework and engage in fun activities.
  • Please complete the online volunteer application form to get started.

Youth Tutoring Program

Youth Tutoring Program (YTP) serves elementary, middle and high school youth. YTP is a great place to volunteer with SPS students if you are only available in the afternoon or evening. Choose among five tutoring sites throughout Seattle: Lake City, West Seattle, Beacon Hill, First Hill, and Columbia City. Tutoring centers are open Monday – Thursday between 4 p.m. and 7:40 p.m. and each volunteer commits to at least one one-hour session per week. Learn more and apply to volunteer here!

Map of tutor center locations: Jackson Park, Yesler Terrace, Rainier Vista, New Holly, Lake Washington Apartments, High Point

Please note the Lake Washington Apartments location is no longer available.

Reading Partners

Reading Partners is an education nonprofit that mobilizes community volunteers to provide one-on-one tutoring to elementary student readers across four Seattle schools. 

Volunteer tutor and a student sitting at a desk in a classroom side-by-side smiling.
Image provided by Reading Partners

We seek volunteers who can commit a minimum of 1 hour/week for the school year. Tutors are paired to work with the same student and are provided with an easy-to-follow curriculum that includes all of the books, worksheets, and step-by-step lesson plans. Reading Partners also has a staff Program Coordinator who is available to support tutors at all times. Tutoring runs Mondays- Fridays, between 8:00am-4:00pm. We are currently offering both in-person and virtual tutoring opportunities at Martin Luther King Jr Elementary and Rising Star Elementary. Virtual-only opportunities at Sanislo Elementary and Leschi Elementary. Learn more on our website and apply today!

Communities in Schools of Seattle

Are you looking for ways to meet people, get involved, and give back to your amazing community? Our goal is to connect volunteers. Watch a video with some of our outstanding volunteers and visit our website to consider current opportunities.

Volunteer as a Coach

Looking to volunteer as an athletic coach? Athletic coaches (both volunteer and paid) are required to complete additional ASM prevention training and national-level background check. The athletic coach role description and application are available on the district job board.

Some schools also have club sports volunteer coach opportunities (LaCrosse, Cheer, Ultimate Frisbee, etc). Please visit your preferred school’s website for more information.

The Self Help Projects Program regularly needs volunteer groups to implement school building or ground improvements, including:

  • Developing a school garden
  • Weeding and mulching landscape areas
  • Installing new playground equipment
  • Creating a mural
  • Landscape renovation
  • Developing a conceptual master site plan