Opportunity Details

Children & Youth Education
Low-income Communities, Other
Reading/Literacy,Vocational Skills,Community Engagement

Age Minimum (with Adult): 14+, Minimum Age:18+

Referral: Chicago Lights Tutoring Program

Celebrating its 55th year of service, Tutoring provides academic support to children living in under-resourced neighborhoods on the near north, west, and south sides of Chicago. The Chicago Lights Tutoring Program runs Monday-Thursday from 6:00pm-7:30pm from October–May.  A typical night of tutoring consists of completing homework with your student, then participating in one or two of the following activities:  getting a book from our library to read together, working on one of our many reading and writing programs, visiting the computer lab to do research on the internet or practice typing or math skills, visiting the art room to create a masterpiece, or playing one of our fun and educational board games.

Tutoring this year begins in October, and we are looking for permanent and substitute volunteers to join us! You can volunteer in one of two ways:
Permanent, One-to-One Tutor/Mentor (Monday - Thursday, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm)

  • You pick one night that works best for you and commit to tutoring the same student that same evening each week.
  • You meet with your student each week to enhance their education and school preparedness.
  • The relationship you will build with your student provides limitless opportunities for you to offer encouragement that can have a positive impact on the student’s life for years to come.
Casual Substitute Tutor (Monday- Thursday, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm)
  • In this position, you simply come to the program when it is convenient for you and work with a student whose tutor was delayed at the last minute.
  • This volunteer position is flexible and allows you to determine the time commitment that is appropriate for you. Substitute tutors are needed most evenings and are extremely helpful in providing support and homework help to a student who would have otherwise been without a tutor for the evening.

The Chicago Lights Tutoring Program runs from October-May, Monday-Thursday evenings. Please contact Program Manager Meg Sutter at msutter@chicagolights.org to schedule your orientation session.

Each year, over 400 children in 1st -12th grades are enrolled in the Tutoring Program and need an adult volunteer to encourage success through homework assistance and personal development. At the program, students are offered dinner, arts and enrichment classes, access to a computer lab, a library, career development classes, literacy programs and the attention of a caring adult. For many students, Tutoring provides them with a supportive relationship with an adult that sticks with them for the school year and beyond. The relationships built and the goals accomplished at the Tutoring Program each week make a life-changing impact on Chicago’s children, our communities and us all.

Great for

  • Individuals (volunteers who come on their own)
  • New Volunteers (people who have never volunteered before)
  • Committed Volunteers (people who can come on a regular basis)
  • Skilled Volunteers (pro bono work, volunteers with a specific skill set, etc.)
  • Older Volunteers (volunteers aged 55 and older)

Requirements volunteers must complete to serve

  • Application
  • Training Meeting < 2 hours
  • Background Check--Volunteers are required to fill out 2 background checks, one for Fourth Presbyterian Church and one for the Department of Children and Family Services.
  • Supply References

***This is a Referral Opportunity through Chicago Cares. Chicago cares does not manage the volunteer experience for these projects and volunteers are subject to each partner organization's volunteer protocol. Chicago Cares is not liable for injuries, loss, or damage at referral projects. No Chicago Cares staff will follow up with you about the logistics for this program, however, a staff person from the managing organization will be responsible for doing so.*** 

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