volunteer programs

ReachOut Tim Tutors FAQ


What's the focus of the ReachOut Tim Tutors program?

The goal is to improve the language and math skills of Cambridge children while fostering a love of reading and mathematics. To that end, ReachOut Tim Tutors provide tutoring and enriching reading, writing, and math activities to children at local community centers in one-on-one or small-group tutoring context.

Who are the children who receive tutoring through the program?

The ReachOut Tim Tutors program takes place at Cambridge Community Center, East End House and The Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House with children who are formally enrolled in after-school programs. They come from a variety of local schools.

How old are the children who participate?

Children are mainly elementary-aged, with some middle-schoolers. You can indicate if you prefer working with a particular age group.

Where does the ReachOut Tim tutoring happen?

All tutoring takes place at the Cambridge Community Center near Central Square, the East End House in East Cambridge and The Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House in the "Area 4". See the Resources page for directions.

What's the time commitment for ReachOut Tim tutors?

Each tutor commits to at least one semester of consistent tutoring, min. two hours a week for students who are paid through work-study and one hour a week for volunteers (typically with the same children every time). With transportation time, minimum commitment is about 2-4 hours each week, plus whatever time tutors take to prepare between sessions.

  • All tutors are required to attend a mandatory program orientation session with the MIT ReachOut Tim Tutors coordinator at the beginning of their first semester of tutoring.
  • New tutors will receive an additional on-site orientation on their first hour of tutoring. Tutors only need to attend on-site orientation once during their time at MIT, even if they continue tutoring through the program in future semesters.
  • New tutors will also attend a two-hour mandatory tutor training session during their first two weeks of tutoring.

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 on Monday through Thursday between 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm at Cambridge Community Center; between 3 pm and 4 pm (with some flexibility) at East End House; between 4 pm and 6 pm at The Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House.

When you submit your application, you will be able to provide your availability during that time block. You will be matched with students at the community center based on your availability.

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

Yes, you can! If you have a Federal Work-Study award in your financial aid package, you can be paid for participating in the ReachOut Tim Tutors program.

Tutors are paid $15/hour during their first year with ReachOut Tim Tutors, $17/hour in the successive years.

More on Work-Study ReachOut Tim Tutors here.

We also welcome volunteer (unpaid) participants, whether MIT students, staff, faculty or spouses and partners!

Am I guaranteed a spot if I apply?

We have plenty of tutoring spots available. If you submit a thoughtful application, have weekday afternoon availability and can commit to at least one semester of consistent tutoring, we would love to have you join the program!

How do I apply?

New tutors apply at the beginning of every semester and are required to attend mandatory orientation and training.

See the Announcements section of the main ReachOut Tim Tutors page for a link to the current application.

Who runs the MIT ReachOut Tim program?

ReachOut Tim Tutors is sponsored by the Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center in collaboration with local ReachOut community partners.


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