Here are routinely asked questions about ASM's programs
Which schools are supported by All Students Matter?
ASM volunteers will supports all non-charter elementary schools in the Ravenswood City School District: Belle Haven School, Costaño Elementary School, and Los Robles-Ronald McNair Academy in grades TK (Transitional Kindergarten) through 5th grade. The district serves students in eastern Menlo Park and East Palo Alto.
Do I need to have prior tutoring or teaching experience?
No. Volunteers come with a wide range of backgrounds, but all enjoy working with children and have a desire to support their learning. We provide initial and on-going training, monthly informational coffees, on-site liaisons, guest speakers and more.
What subjects will I tutor?
Volunteers typically support students in very small groups or a one-on-one situation as directed by the classroom teacher. All Students Matter does not introduce curriculum, rather we support existing district curriculum and follow teacher direction.
- Most volunteers support students in literacy through a technique called Guided Reading, after attending an ASM training session.
- Math support is also an option, determined by teacher request. Volunteers supporting math will receive training in Common Core techniques in order to best support classroom curriculum.
- Some teachers may request help with Writers Workshop, and if so, volunteers receive training from ASM to better support students in the writing process. At and Los Robles-Ronald McNair Academy, some volunteers support students in a bilingual setting.
- Select volunteers may opt to volunteer in a structured Literacy Intervention program targeting students just below grade level, directed by the district. This volunteer placement is a two-hour commitment each week, and volunteers must be particularly reliable. If specifically interested in any of these areas, please indicate this in the comments box at the bottom of the Application Form.
Do I need to speak Spanish?
No. Nearly all classrooms are taught in English. However, if you are Spanish-bilingual, please let us know.
May I commit for less than one year or split the commitment with a friend?
No. It is critical for the students and teachers to be able to depend on the consistency of seeing the same volunteer each week at the same time as they build trust and an emotional bond with our volunteers. This weekly time also helps foster a stronger learning environment as sessions build on each other throughout the school year.
Do you have after-school hours or volunteer opportunities for high-school students?
Not at this time. Our volunteers support students in their classrooms during school hours.
What does an hour in a classroom look like for an ASM volunteer?
Volunteers are placed in one classroom for the full school year and help every week for at least one hour. Each teacher has approximately three ASM volunteers throughout each week.
- Time with students(s): Because we follow the lead of the classroom teacher, every volunteer has a slightly different daily routine. However, volunteers will typically work with small groups (3 or fewer) or 1:1 for about 10 to 30 minutes per group/student, depending on grade level and student ability, typically focusing on literacy skills. Volunteers will rotate to new groups of students as time allows. Volunteers often form strong bonds with the students, and we find that the emotional support our volunteers offer is as important as the academic support we give to the students.
- Structured programming: The Literacy Intervention program is our most structured volunteer opportunity. Note that this placement is a two-hour morning commitment weekly.
- Less structured programming: TK through 5th grade support is highly dependent on each classroom teacher’s style. Some teachers give volunteers a wide range of flexibility when working with students, and some provide a greater degree of structure. If you have a strong preference for one type of classroom setting that would work well for you, please indicate this in the comments box on the Application Form so we will do our best to place you in that setting.