Frequently Asked Questions

How is Invest in Youth different from other tutoring programs?

Invest in Youth offers the opportunity to work directly with the same student, week after week, throughout the school year. Additionally, Invest in Youth is one of the only tutoring/enrichment programs in Seattle Public Schools at no cost to either the school or the students. 

What's the deal with the enrichment program?

Three of our partner schools have both a small group enrichment program and a one-on-one program. The enrichment program provides interactive STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) lessons and activities led by partner organizations.

Where do Invest in Youth tutors come from?

Our volunteer tutors come from many different backgrounds, interests and careers. Historically we have worked closely with local investment firms to recruit volunteers. Presently we encourage involvement by people from all corners of the community who can bring enthusiasm, energy and inspiration to the tutoring experience.

What is the time commitment involved?

At a minimum, we ask that you commit to one student, one hour a week, for the duration of the year. Please keep in mind that there are many holidays throughout the year when we will not have tutoring.

I know I can't commit every week - can I still volunteer?

Absolutely! We are always in need of substitutes to cover planned (travel) or unplanned (illnesses) absences by our regular tutors. Please fill out an application and indicate you'd like to be a substitute.

How long does the program last?

Tutoring begins in early/mid-October and lasts through May.

Do you have mid-year opportunities?

Yes! We have open enrollment for tutors and students and new pairs start at any point throughout the school year. We are opening a new site in February 2019 at South Shore K-8.

Can I tutor more than one day a week?


I'm a high school or college student. Can I still tutor?

Some of our best tutors are students! However, we realize your schedule is busy and can sometimes become unpredictable. Please seriously consider the year ahead and be sure you can make the commitment. Please also ensure you will have safe, reliable transportation to and from the school each week.

What do I do if I will be absent from tutoring one day?

As soon as you know you'll be absent please let your school coordinator know. We strive to find a substitute tutor to fill in for you.

What subjects will I be tutoring?

Whatever students need help on! The students in our program are 3rd, 4th or 5th graders and typically need most help with homework, reading and math. Math is generally limited to basics like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions and some geometry or measurements. You may also spend time reading with your student at his "just right" reading level. Help is always available during your session if you encounter any difficulties.

Is there any training?

Yes! We offer an initial tutor orientation before the program begins. There are additional training opportunities throughout the school year.

Do I need any prior tutoring experience?

Nope! We look for passionate tutors who are ready to make a difference.

What will I do with my student during our hour together?

Invest in Youth focuses on providing academic support to our students. You might spend some time helping your student with homework, writing, reading, practicing math facts or strategies. You can also expect to spend time catching up with your student and serving as a role model, mentor and friend.

What support is available during tutoring sessions?

There will always be a representative from Invest in Youth on-site, in addition to a school site coordinator. If you need guidance, don't hesitate to ask our staff!

How do I sign up?

Please fill out our online application. If you have questions, contact us.

Why is a background check required? What would disqualify me from becoming a tutor?

Any person volunteering/working in Seattle Public Schools must clear a background check with Washington State Patrol. This is to ensure the safety of the students we serve. A history of criminal charges may prevent you from becoming a tutor.

How will I get to tutoring?

Street parking is available at all schools. There are bus lines near each school and all sites are easily accessible from downtown.