CCES 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?

Volunteer commitments, such as a couple hour shift 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 service work, whether for an academic course or for your own experience and growth, requires planning, potentially an application, and likely a meeting with a supervisor to ensure that the commitment is a good fit for your goals and learning objectives.

Some On-Going Volunteer Opportunities Include...
America Reads Tutors

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. PLU students serve as America Reads tutors and dedicate over 1500 hours of tutoring to our local elementary schools every year.

America Reads is coordinated through the CCES in partnership with the local elementary schools. PLU students receive Federal Community Work Study for there work as tutors for the schools’ reading programs.

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

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. 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 Kristin Menson.

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

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.”

More information on this program will available with the start of the 2019/2020 school year and facilitated through the new Parkland Literacy Center. To learn more, please visit their webpage and direct questions to

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, click the link for the Trinity Lutheran Church Feeding Ministry!