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Support Your Library : Become a Homework Helper

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Library Closed Monday, May 30

All locations of The Seattle Public Library and the book drops at the Central Library will be closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30.

Become a Homework Helper

Homework Help Volunteer assisting students

“It’s been really gratifying to help kids and teens become successful learners.” 

Homework Helper at the Columbia Branch

We are seeking Homework Helpers who have a passion for helping K-12 students learn and succeed in school. The 2016-2017 Homework Help service will be offered from Sept. 12, 2016 through June 15, 2017.

Volunteers assist children and teens with various homework assignments and developing literacy and mathematics skills. Volunteers must be comfortable tutoring students of all ages in small groups and individually on a drop-in basis. The majority of the students are first generation Americans who speak a language other than English at home.

Volunteers provide Homework Help once a week when the public schools are in session. Please read the Homework Helper volunteer service description to learn more. You also may be interested in watching a short video about the Homework Help service.

Homework Help locations: Beacon Hill, Broadview, ColumbiaDouglass-Truth, High Point, Lake City, NewHolly, Northgate, Rainier Beach and South Park branches. See a map of Library locations.

Contact our Volunteer Services Coordinator after May 31 at volunteer@spl.org to inquire about volunteer openings for the 2016-2017 school year.


Desired Volunteer Qualifications

  • Completion of at least one year of college or vocational school. Must be a high school graduate or have a GED diploma.
  • Interpersonal communication skills with children and teens. Experience with youth as a teacher, tutor, volunteer or family member.
  • Considerable patience, flexibility, creativity and a willingness to use a variety of methods to promote understanding with students.
  • Strong English and writing skills.
  • Strong mathematics skills up to the 7th grade level. Understanding of high school mathematics (algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus) is helpful, but not required.
  • Available to be scheduled for a weekly Homework Help shift throughout the school year. Those who cannot make a weekly commitment can be scheduled as substitute Homework Helpers at least twice a month.

Volunteer applicants will be asked to authorize a criminal background check by the Washington State Patrol and may be separated from a volunteer assignment based on the results. The Library is unable to place applicants who have assault, abuse, theft or other criminal convictions as Homework Helpers.


Volunteer Application and Orientation Process

Prospective volunteers who submit their application forms in June will be given priority consideration for Homework Help volunteer openings. Additional Homework Helpers will be placed during the summer and when openings occur during the school year. Interviews will take place during July 15 - August 15.

New Homework Helpers will be invited to a volunteer orientation and referred to a Library branch for a welcome meeting. All Homework Helpers are expected to attend at least one of the Seattle Tutoring Coalition's All City Tutor Training programs either in October or February.


Apply Now


Return your signed volunteer application by July 25 to:

Volunteer Services Coordinator
The Seattle Public Library
1000 Fourth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104


Email: volunteer@spl.org

Fax: 206-386-4129


Interested in other ways to volunteer? See Volunteer Opportunities.