It is easier to build strong children
than to repair broken men.
--Frederick Douglass
In This Issue
Volunteer Tutors and Mentors Help Students 
Get a Good Start to the New Year

teacher_students.jpg It's back-to-school week, and many organizations in our area are now looking for volunteer tutors and homework helpers. While most of these opportunities are geared toward adults, some allow students to help other students and earn student service learning hours. Learn about a handful of current tutor and mentor volunteer needs below, and find more in this search for "tutor" on our website

Heyman Interages Center seeks tutors, mentors, and readers for its many programs that match volunteers age 50 and up with youth at elementary, middle, and high schools across Montgomery County. Training provided. Opportunities include "grandreaders"/second grade tutors, who help 7 to 9 year-olds improve their reading comprehension and related language arts skills, and Intergenerational Bridges program mentors, who work weekly with one at-risk English language learner. Email Leah Bradley or call 301-255-4234.

Volunteer tutors at the Regional Institute for Children & Adolescents (RICA) in Rockville assist emotionally disabled students with academic subjects (especially math) and organizational and life skills. Minimum commitment of one hour per week. RICA also seeks mentors to serve as positive role models, pet volunteers to bring their animals in as visiting companions, and board members. Email Samantha Foley or call 301-251-6844.

Truancy Prevention Program tutors and mentors volunteer through the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office to work with middle schoolers countywide for 10 weekly school-day sessions each semester. Fall semester sessions begin the week of Sept. 19; orientation and training are provided. The Truancy Prevention Program has succeeded in reducing unexcused absences by 65 percent among seven out of 10 students in the program. SSL pre-approved. Email Yasmine Eleazar.

Community Ministries of Rockville's Language Outreach Program provides English as a second language classes for adults, and seeks tutors and child care assistants to work with those adult clients' children during class, helping with homework and guiding them in play activities. Classes begin this month and are held Tuesday and Thursday evenings; volunteers can help either or both days of the week. Orientation sessions are set for Thursday, Sept. 8, and Tuesday, Sept. 13. SSL pre-approved. Email Andrea Kempner-Wink or call 301-637-0172.

ACT test prep tutors at Wheaton High School and Watkins Mill High School (in Gaithersburg) help students prepare for the college entrance exam at least one day a week at lunch or after school. The tutoring is part of CollegeTracks's multi-faceted work helping students gain admission to colleges that fit their interests and abilities and find the financial aid needed to attend. Training provided. Email Michele Parsonnet or call 301-503-5859.

The Housing Opportunities Commission, which provides affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families, needs volunteer after-school program aides at sites in Silver Spring, Aspen Hill, Olney, and Gaithersburg. Volunteers help student residents of all grade levels with homework and lead reading, STEM, and other clubs. SSl pre-approved. Email Gail Gunod-Green or call 240-627-9731.

Reading Partners connects reading tutors with struggling readers at elementary schools across Washington, DC. Tutors are provided a structured, easy-to-use curriculum and commit to one hour of assistance per week. Email Rachel Woods or call 202-701-9110.

Mentors with the city of Rockville meet one hour per week with an elementary school student specifically matched to the volunteer. Half the time is spent helping with homework; the other half is set aside to bond over fun activities. Training provided. Program begins the first week of October, with a meet-and-greet in late September. SSL pre-approvedEmail Kate Bouwkamp or call 240-314-8317.
Red Wiggler Community Farm
Nourishing a Healthy and Inclusive Community  

Red Wiggler Farm

Red Wiggler Community Farm is a sustainable five-acre farm in Germantown that brings together people with and without disabilities to work, learn, and grow certified-organic vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Founded in 1996 to give adults with developmental disabilities opportunities for meaningful employment, the farm continues to serve that mission today. In fact, some of Red Wiggler's employees have worked on the farm for most of its 21 growing seasons! 

During the school year, the farm serves as a job site for high school students in the Montgomery County Public Schools' Learning for Independence program. In addition, school and community groups regularly visit the farm to learn about where their food comes from and methods of sustainable agriculture.

Red Wiggler distributes its vegetables through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) system, in which people sign up for vegetable subscriptions for all or part of the 26-week growing season. Subscribers pick up their "shares" at the farm on assigned days. (Shares for group homes that subscribe are delivered to the agencies that sponsor them.)

Red Wiggler needs lots of volunteers to accomplish its mission. Farm volunteers assist the growers and staff with seeding, transplanting, weeding, harvesting, washing, and sorting--and every other aspect of farm work. During the summer, many middle and high school students use this opportunity to learn about environmental stewardship and food, make connections with the growers, and earn MCPS student service learning hours. But in September and October, Red Wiggler looks for college students and other adults with flexible schedules to join the growers and staff in accomplishing the fall harvest. Volunteers are needed Mondays through Fridays, 9 am until 2 pm. There are no late afternoon, evening, or weekend opportunities.

This fall, Red Wiggler is also seeking a volunteer to help with communication and social network efforts.

Regardless of the season, volunteers find that working with the Red Wiggler crew allows them to be part of a very unique and inclusive community of caring and committed people. Further, simply working with the soil and growing things brings many volunteers a sense of joy and healing.

To learn more, e-mail Katie Junghans or Molly McCracken, call 301-916-2216, or visit the Red Wiggler website
Fall Into the Perfect Way to Volunteer
This month's change of season is a great time to explore new ways to volunteer. Here are just a few of the opportunities listed on the Volunteer Center's website. Check our calendar of events for more date-specific opportunities and our newest listings for those posted most recently. Or use the red box on our home page or at the top of this email to search for more opportunities. 
SSL Icon
These opportunities are pre-approved to provide MCPS Student Service Learning (SSL) hours. Others may be eligible for SSL hours. 
Visit  the MCPS SSL website to learn more. 

SSL IconLabor Day Parade Volunteers: Monday, Sept. 5, 8 am-5 pm, Gaithersburg. Marshall the city of Gaithersburg's annual parade, coordinate groups as they enter the parade route, or carry banners, dress in costume, and be part of the parade. Training provided that morning. Email Sheila Bouley.

Environmental Stewards: Saturday, Sept. 10, 9 am-12 noon, Brookeville. Join the Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission (WSSC) in its work to retain the health and beauty of the Patuxent River, the source of drinking water for a third of WSSC customers. Volunteers will mulch trees in the chestnut orchard at Tridelphia Lake Recreation Area and, if time allows, clean up along the shoreline fishing area. Minimum age: 14. All minors must be accompanied by a parent. Sign up online, email Nicole Horvath, or call 301-206-8240.

SSL Icon Park After Dark Event Helpers: Friday, Sept. 16, 9 am-2 pm, and Saturday, Sept. 17, 9 am-2 pm or 4-10 pm, Potomac. Set up or help with registration, food service, and other tasks at the C&O Canal Trust's annual fundraiser, held at the Historic Great Falls Tavern.  Sign up online, email Josh Whitman, or call 301-745-8888.

SSL Icon Monarch Fiesta Day Volunteers: Saturday, Sept. 17, 9 am-12:30 pm or 12:30-4 pm, Boyds. Set up, host activities, and/or clean up after this educational event celebrating the Monarch butterfly and its amazing annual migration to and from Mexico. Held at Black Hill Regional Park and sponsored by Montgomery Parks. Minimum age: 14. Lunch provided but bring your own if you have allergies. Email Lynn Vismara or call 301-495-2504.

SSL Icon Run for Every Mind Fundraising Run Assistants: Sunday, Sept. 25, 7:30 am-1:30 pm, Chevy Chase. Help the Mental Health Association with its 5K run and 3K walk, which support the organization's mission of promoting mental wellness throughout the DC region. Volunteers will direct traffic, set up/take down the race course, set up/clean up a brunch, hand out water bottles along the race route, and/or register runners/assist with packet pickup. Brunch provided. Sign up onlineemail Pamela Lee, or call 301-424-0656 x541.

SSL Icon Maker Faire Workers: Sunday, Sept. 25, shifts at 8 am-1 pm, 10 am-3 pm, and 2-6 pm, Silver Spring. Set up, clean up, and/or run activities at this Kid Museum festival of innovative projects created by inventors, hackers, crafters, artists, and do-it-yourselfers. Sign up online or email Elizabeth Gallauresi.

SSL Icon Musical Performers: Entertain patients, families, and staff at the National Institutes of Health or Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda through a program operated by the Tacy Foundation. Open to singers as well as instrumentalists; interview required. Minimum age: 14 at Walter Reed; 12 at NIH. Email Charlotte Holliday or call 301-916-1439.

SSL Icon Basketball Photographers & Videographers: Take pictures and videos during Maryland Basketball Academy games and practices (held in Potomac and Rockville) for the organization's use on its website, on social media, and as training tools. Volunteers must have their own camera, phone, and/or other device for taking photos and videos. Email Andrew Meringoff or call 703-677-1818.

SSL Icon Assisted Living Center Volunteers: Help residents of Marian Assisted Living in Brookeville with bingo, arts and crafts, outings, group activities, and general companionship. Volunteers can also help decorate the home for the holidays. Email Ileana Lopez or call 301-570-3190.

Supervised Visitation Monitors: Ensure the physical and emotional safety of children visiting with a parent subject to monitored visits due to protective orders, mental health or substance abuse issues, or some other conflict between parents.  Volunteer schedules are flexible and visits take place in Rockville under the auspices of the Armand Center. Training provided. Criminal background check required. Email Natasha Carter or call 301-760-7677.

Montgomery County Celebrates 
30th Annual Community Service Week
Mark your calendar and get ready for a full week of service projects all across the county in honor of the 30th annual Community Service Week, set for Oct. 16-23. The Volunteer Center is now working with nonprofits and government agencies to develop projects and will soon be compiling a list of volunteer opportunities for that week. 

Check our Community Service Week page beginning in mid-September for the latest list of projects, and pick any or all that match your interests! If you are part of a large group that would like to participate, email Deb Lang or call 240-777-2600 so we can help identify appropriate group opportunities as projects are being planned.

And if that's not enough, you can also participate in volunteer projects on 9/11 Day or Maryland Day to Serve  (which runs Sept. 10-Oct. 10).
Losses to Our Volunteer Community

Two of Montgomery County's finest long-time volunteers, both recently recognized with 2016 Montgomery Serves Awards, passed away this summer.

Sarah Gotbaum, a recipient of the Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award for lifetime service, devoted her life to working and volunteering on behalf of women, equality, and aging issues. Jan Jablonski, honored with the annual individual community service award, co-founded the Noyes Children's Library Foundation and spent many years advocating on behalf of libraries, childhood literacy, and children with special needs. 

We send condolences to their families and friends, and hope they find strength in the fact that these women's spirit of service has made a difference for so many people in Montgomery County. 
Develop Advocacy Skills at Leadership Development Institute

Are you interested in learning how to be an effective advocate for improving your community? Apply for the Community Action Board's Leadership Development Institute, a special advocacy training program for county residents earning $54,000 or less annually. The program features monthly workshops and hands-on learning sessions October through May. 

Applications are due Friday, Sept. 9. Learn more here.
Election Workers Needed for Early Voting and Election Day

The Montgomery County Board of Elections is now recruiting election judges to serve at early voting centers (weekdays and weekends between Oct. 27 and Nov. 3) and at polling places on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 8. Bilingual residents--especially those fluent in Spanish and English--are particularly needed.

Election judges help to ensure fair and accessible elections for all voters and protect the integrity of the election process. Most work directly with voters during voting hours. Workers must be registered voters and are paid a stipend and provided training. 

Subscribe to Our Partner Newsletters

The Montgomery County Volunteer Center is part of the Office of Community Partnerships, which works to strengthen the relationship between the Montgomery County government and the residents it serves, with special emphasis on underserved and emerging communities. Subscribe to the monthly OCP newsletter to keep up these activities. 

Follow these links to subscribe to our other partner agencies' electronic publications:
Montgomery County Volunteer Center