On-Going Opportunities

Interested in really getting to know your community? Are you fulfilling a service-learning or academic community-engaged service requirement? Building your resume or getting extensive experience?

Volunteering commitments for several shifts, such as every Wednesday afternoon for a semester, are a great way to get involved and really learn about an organization and the community. This type of commitment for an academic course or for your own experience and growth requires planning, potentially an application and likely a meeting with a supervisor to make arrangements and ensure that the commitment is a good fit for your goals and learning objectives.

Fill out our Service Opportunities Match Form!     Tell us about your interests and we’ll match you up with an opportunity or community partner.

Some On-Going Volunteer Opportunities Include...
America Reads tutors and dedicate over 1800 hours of tutoring to our local elementary schools every year. Student reading and a group photo.

Pacific Lutheran University America Reads is a program aimed at improving childhood literacy. America Reads was a grassroots national reading campaign enacted under President Clinton that encouraged all citizens to get involved in improving literacy across the country by helping children learn to read. Approximately 15-20 PLU students serve as America Reads tutors and dedicate over 1800 hours of tutoring to our local elementary schools every year.

PLU students work in five area elementary schools as part of the schools’ reading programs. In the Franklin Pierce School District: Brookdale, Elmhurst & James Sales. In the Bethel School District: Spanaway.

To learn more, please visit the Federal Community Work Study page. For more information about becoming a tutor, contact Tiffany Lemmon.

Student working with a young person and a group photo of Big Buddies volunteers

Big Buddies is an after school enrichment program that matches PLU work-study students with a student from James Sales Elementary. The PLU mentors meet with their “Little Buddies” on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the school to do homework and play games in a supportive team environment. The Big Buddies program at James Sales Elementary in Tacoma, Washington is sponsored and managed by the Center for Community Engagement and Service at Pacific Lutheran University in partnership with James Sales Elementary. The program’s goal is to provide elementary school students with adult mentors and a structured after school program in order to facilitate both the academic and socio-developmental success of the Little Buddies in our program. Mentors are PLU students whose pay is funded through PLU’s Federal Community Service Work Study program. As part of their role, mentors help students with their homework, providing assistance in both literacy and math. They also provide a positive adult role model for the students, and the program itself provides a structured after-school time period where students are engaged in constructive, positive activities. Mentors are assigned to one student, and while the program takes place in a group setting, the time mentors spend with their students is focused one-on-one. This time provides crucial supplemental support to students who may not otherwise receive it.

To learn more, please visit the Federal Community Work Study page. For more information about becoming a Big Buddy, contact Tiffany Lemmon.

Club Keithley is a PLU student club with a mission to connect the PLU community with the Parkland community. We serve at Keithley Middle School through classroom volunteering, mentoring, and before and after school programs. Members of Club Keithley help out in classrooms or mentor students, once to twice a week depending on their availability. As we look to grow the club we will be adding monthly service projects that are open to all volunteers. Ultimately our goal is to serve the community around us and build lasting relationships with the local schools and other Parkland organizations.

Diplomas Now is a part of Club Keithley based on a national program designed to improving school attendance by providing students with key resources and healthy relationships. The program works with students who have frequent absences and could benefit from additional resources or a trained mentor.

Volunteering your time at Keithley Middle School is an opportunities to learn about yourself, gain real work experience, and build important relationships. Your service is vitally important for the students at Keithley as well. The relationship you build could have a powerful and lasting influence on the lives of kids. You may be the reason they come to school and the reason they eventually graduate.

For more information about volunteering at Keithley Middle School, please emailclubkms@plu.edu.

English Language Learner courses taught by PLU students.

ELL students are broken into four sections based on skill level and work with PLU students to become more familiar with English. Participants purchase books as they enter the program, come to classes each week, share in community events and participate in a graduation ceremony at the end of each semester. Bridget Yaden, faculty advisor to the program, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies and Director of the Language Resource Center says, “This program gives our students a unique opportunity to serve the local diverse Spanish-speaking community.  Our students are able to use what they learn in their courses about language and culture in a real-world setting while at the same time helping others.  Students experience first-hand that their cultural and linguistic skills are valuable right here in our own backyard, not just in settings abroad.”

This program is facilitated through the Language Resource Center, Hispanic Studies Program and Center for Community Engagement and Service. To learn more, please contact commell@plu.edu.

photos of the Trinity Lutheran Church Feeding Ministry Food Pantry volunteers

The Trinity Lutheran Church Feeding Ministry work to feed and care for hungry bodies in the Parkland Community through the work of a Food Pantry, Community Meal and Community Garden. Help stock and organize the Food Pantry weekly.

To get involved, contact Shannon Kelley, Food Access Coordinator at kelleysc@plu.edu.