volunteer programs

ReachOut: Share the Joys of Math and Reading with a Child


What’s the focus of ReachOut?
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 provides tutoring and enriching reading, writing, and math activities to children at local community centers in one-on-one and small group tutoring context.

Who are the children who receive tutoring through ReachOut?
ReachOut tutoring takes place at the Cambridge Community Center and East End House with children who are formally enrolled in after-school programming. They come from a variety of local schools.

How old are the children who receive tutoring through ReachOut?
Children are elementary-aged and middle-schoolers.  You can indicate if you prefer working with a particular age group.

Where does ReachOut happen?

All tutoring takes place at the Cambridge Community Center near Central Square or the East End House in East Cambridge (both a 20-25minute walk from 77 Mass. Ave). See the Resources page for directions.

What’s the time commitment for tutors?
Each tutor goes to one of the locations twice each week on separate weekdays for 1-hour tutoring sessions (typically with the same children every time). With transportation time, the commitment is about 4 hours each week, plus whatever time tutors take to prepare between sessions. 

Tutors at the East End House are welcome to commit more time if they are available.
Since tutors work with the same children each session, tutors are required to commit to one semester of consistent tutoring.
New tutors are additionally required to attend an onsite training 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 on weekdays between 3 pm and 5:30 pm at Cambridge Community Center and 3 pm and 4 pm at East End House.

When prospective tutors submit applications, they provide their availability during that time block. Program staff then 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?

Probably! If you submit a thoughtful application, have weekday afternoon availability and attend the new tutor training we would love to have you participate. 

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 an on-site training.

Who runs ReachOut?

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


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