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Become a Homework Helper

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The Seattle Public Library is seeking Homework Helpers who have a passion for helping K-12 students learn and succeed in school. The 2017-2018 Homework Help program will be offered from Sept. 11, 2017 through June 14, 2018.

Volunteers help students develop literacy and mathematics skills, understand homework assignments, and prepare for college and careers. They mentor students in all academic subjects and may also specialize in college-prep subjects (e.g. English and STEM fields).

Most of the students are first generation Americans who speak a language other than English at home. Volunteers must be comfortable interacting with students of all ages in small groups and individually.

A volunteer commitment throughout the school year is requested. Volunteers provide Homework Help once a week when Seattle public schools are in session. Service-learning university students can be considered for a short-term volunteer assignment for at least one academic quarter.

Please read the Homework Helper volunteer service description and watch a short video to learn more.


Beacon Hill, Broadview, ColumbiaDouglass-Truth, Greenwood, High Point, Lake City, NewHolly, Northgate, Rainier Beach and South Park branches.

Desired Volunteer Qualifications:

  • Completion of at least one year of college. Must be a high school graduate or have a GED certificate.
  • Experience with youth as a teacher, tutor, volunteer or family member.
  • Empathy, a friendly demeanor and communication skills, especially active listening.
  • Be respectful of diverse lifestyles, cultures, religions and values.
  • Considerable patience, flexibility, creativity and a willingness to use a variety of methods to enable students to learn.
  • Strong English and writing skills.
  • Knowledge of mathematics up to the 8th grade level. Knowledge of high school mathematics (algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus) is helpful, but not required.
  • Ability to work as part of a team with other Homework Helpers and Library staff.
  • 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. The Library is unable to place applicants who have assault, abuse, theft or other criminal serious convictions as Homework Helpers.


Volunteer Application and Orientation Process:

After May 31, please contact our Volunteer Services Coordinator at volunteer@spl.org to request information about the Homework Help volunteer openings and supplemental application forms. Interviews with qualified volunteer candidates will take place through August 25. Additional Homework Helpers may be placed when openings occur during the school year.

New Homework Helpers will be invited to a volunteer orientation and referred to a Library branch for a welcome meeting and tour. All Homework Helpers are also expected to attend at least one of the Seattle Tutoring Coalition's All City Tutor Training events during the school year. All City Tutor Training events will take place at the Central Library on Saturday, October 21, 2017 and February 10, 2018.



Apply Now


Prospective volunteers who send their application forms by July 20 will be given priority consideration for the new school year's Homework Help program. Please return your signed volunteer application 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.