volunteer programs



What’s the focus of ReachOut?

The goal is to improve the language skills of Cambridge children while fostering a love of reading. To that end, ReachOut provides enriching reading, writing, and language arts activities to children at a local community center in a one-on-one tutoring context.

Who are the children who receive tutoring through ReachOut?

ReachOut tutoring takes place at the Cambridge Community Center with children who are formally enrolled in the Center’s after-school programming. They come from a variety of local schools.

How old are the children who receive tutoring through ReachOut?

Children are primarily elementary-aged (6-10) but some middle-schoolers also participate.

Where does ReachOut happen?

All tutoring takes place at the Cambridge Community Center near Central Square (about a 20-minute walk from 77 Mass. Ave). See the Resources page for directions.

What’s the time commitment for tutors?

Each tutor goes to the Cambridge Community Center twice each week on separate weekdays for 1-hour tutoring sessions (typically with the same child every time). With transportation time, the commitment is about 4 hours each week, plus whatever time tutors take to prepare between sessions.

Since tutors work with the same student each session, tutors are required to commit to one semester of consistent tutoring.

New tutors are additionally required to attend a one-hour orientation on campus and a 1.5-hour training at the Cambridge Community Center at the beginning of their first semester of tutoring. Tutors only need to attend one training during their time at MIT, even if they continue tutoring through ReachOut in future semesters.

When are tutoring sessions held, and how are they scheduled?

Since tutoring takes place during an after-school program, all sessions (without exception) are held between 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. on weekdays. New tutors can participate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Returning tutors may also be able to tutor on Mondays or Fridays.

When prospective tutors submit applications, they provide their availability during that time block. Program staff then individually match tutors with students at the community center based on their availability.

Can I be paid through work-study? Can I just volunteer?

Yes! If you have a Federal work-study award, you can be paid for your work with ReachOut; see the Work Study page for more details. We also welcome volunteer (unpaid) participants.

Am I guaranteed a spot if I apply?

No. Unfortunately, some semesters there are more tutor applicants than children. During the scheduling process we give preference to returning tutors, work-study applicants, and new applicants who attend a mandatory new tutor training at the beginning of the semester.

How do I apply?

See the “Announcements” section of the main ReachOut page for a link to the current application. New tutors apply at the beginning of every semester and are additionally required to attend a 1-hour orientation on campus and a 1.5-hour training at Cambridge Community Center.

Who runs ReachOut?

ReachOut is jointly sponsored by the Public Service Center (PSC) and Student Financial Services (SFS).


To find out more about ReachOut, email reachout-staff@mit.edu.