Purpose and Impact: Catholic Charities of Tennessee Refugee and Immigration Services provide a wide array of programs to help newly-arrived refugees acquire skills they need to acclimate to American culture and responsibilities. The After-School Youth Tutor will assist youth, aged 5-10 years old, with homework, reading, group activities, and social adjustment. Though transitioning to an entirely new environment and way of life is challenging for anyone, adjusting to American culture can prove especially difficult for young refugees. Learning a new language and American customs, adapting to a new school (often in the middle of the school year), and catching up on missed education can be scary and overwhelming. By providing a safe and comfortable place to work on skills, you can help our clients adjust to the daunting expectations in front of them. This is a fun, engaging volunteer opportunity to work with exceptionally curious, vibrant children from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
Tasks and Responsibilities:
•Work one-on-one with youth on homework and reading skills
•Assist students with group activities and themed projects that supplement learning
•Help to establish a safe and welcoming environment
- Ability to empathize with and understand young people from different cultural backgrounds.
- Nonjudgmental, with ability to take a developmental approach to working with a young person.
- Dependability and confidence in assisting participants.
- Adaptability and flexibility.
- Must be at least 16 years old.
Preferred Skills: Experience with childcare and/or tutoring is helpful. Proficient foreign language abilities are always a plus!
Support: Site Coordinator, program staff, and the Youth Education Specialist will all be available for support throughout the duration of your volunteership. Once a week, the site coordinator will email you about upcoming lesson plans and what to expect for the week ahead.
Time Commitment: The time commitment varies depending on the location. Generally, this program runs Monday through Thursday, sometimes with different student groups meeting on different days. The groups can meet as early as 3:00 p.m. and run as late as 6:00 p.m. Please contact our volunteer coordinator to find a time slot and location that fits your schedule.
Because one of the goals of the projects is to provide a stable learning environment, we ask volunteers to commit to at least 1 afternoon per week (approximately 3 hours) for at least 1 semester.
Site and Supervision: The Refugee Afterschool Program meets in five locations: Smyrna, two in South Nashville (Paragon Mills Elementary and Tusculum Hills Baptist Church), Downtown-Lafayette (Pruitt Library), and the Catholic Charities office located near Opry Mills Mall/Music Valley.
Volunteer Benefits: This position provides excellent tutoring and leadership experience, as well as the opportunity to meet new people and learn about diverse cultures. This is perfect for someone who enjoys an energetic, dynamic work environment and who loves to work with children.