Make a difference in the lives of DC students and in the civic life of DC and our country.
DCTMI is building a public campaign or movement to get a tutor or mentor for every student in the District reading below grade level or with other needs. Our goal is to transform education in the District AND to show the public and policymakers the impact of a thoughtful, strategic and long-term approach to create a community where we all treat each other, as Robert F. Kennedy put it, “with love and wisdom, and compassion for one another, and with a sense of justice for those who still suffer in this country.”
We see how the gay marriage equality movement slowly but surely changed public opinion and policy by a combination of one-on-one conversations and other strategies. Now it’s time to do the same for education, poverty and inequality.
It starts with the small interactions and “civic conversations” that our volunteer canvassing teams have with the people they meet. It continues with the bonds that develop between volunteer tutor-mentors and their students.
There are three ways you can get involved, (we require all participants to meet our qualifications):
- Volunteer Canvassing. We especially need help with canvassing at farmers’ markets, grocery stores, festivals and public events where people who are potential tutors and mentors can be signed up. Our goal is to build teams of 3-8 people who could help out on a regular basis (weekly, every other week, or monthly) but even your one-time help is greatly appreciated.
- Intern with us. We are looking for interns to work between 10 and 15 hours to help with communications, social media and marketing; graphic design, video, and photography; social science research; volunteer recruitment; project management; and special event management and promotion.
- Become a Civic Leadership Fellow. We believe that communities of all sizes and types need people willing to step up and take more responsibility for the community as a whole. Fellows will work on specific tasks just like interns but will be expected to become more deeply involved in our work. We require between 15 and 20 hours, but hours are flexible to best fit your schedule. We also have a limited number of stipends for being a Fellow with us. To learn more, click here for our flyer.
Volunteer Canvassing to Recruit New Tutors and Mentors
Help us lead by example, by giving a few hours of your time and showing the courage to talk to strangers about what’s important to you. Show people a practical civic path forward past the country’s divisiveness and helplessness.
HOW WE WORK: The first step is to plant a simple idea in people’s minds, regardless of whether they sign up or not, that they can make a positive difference here and now. We hand out a small flyer and say, “We are looking for volunteer mentors and tutors to help with students around the city.”
When volunteers sign up, we ask them what days and times they are available to help, where in the city they can conveniently work, and what age students they prefer to work with. We serve as the “matchmakers” connecting them to one of our 25+ tutoring and mentoring organizations that need more volunteers. And we also encourage our canvassing team members to have meaningful conversations with people. For people who sign up to volunteer or join our mailing list, we usually ask about what they do for a living or what they are studying as a way to both explore opportunities for engaging employers and colleges and, very simply, to understand who they are as people. Part of the satisfaction of the work is in meeting people from all walks of life and learning a little about them.
DETAILS: We need help at farmer’s markets around the city on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
ADDED BONUS: All canvassers get a beautiful blue wristband embossed with “Secret Fellowship of Freedom Riding Jedi Wizards” – our tongue-in-cheek way to say that we appreciate your willingness to help us and be part of our modest effort to “make a dent in the universe.”
Interested? Email Tom Pollak at tom@dcTutorMentor.org or call 202-839-4930.
Intern With Us
We need different types of help: writing, social media, graphic design, photography or video production, research, project and volunteer management, event planning and canvassing.
We can highlight on our website and in social media and for local news outlets. Prepare publicity materials (articles, videos) for distribution to press and others
- Communications and marketing
- Types of content including stories, podcasts, and videos.
Possible topics include:
- Profiling a local tutoring or mentoring organization: It’s story, history, challenges, successes.
- Profiling a student or community member who is deeply engaged in tutoring, mentoring or community leadership
- Profiling a promising model or program from a different city or part of the country
Outreach interns can help in a number of ways:
- Help lead volunteer teams canvassing at outdoor movie nights, farmer’s markets, festivals, or other public events to recruit new volunteers;
- Get your university engaged – Help with outreach to fraternities and sororities, table volunteer events, explore alternative spring break options, recruit faculty members to help with research or communications or linking classwork to DCTMI, work with your university’s office of community or student engagement to recruit volunteers or your career center to find more DCTMI interns;
- Talk to employers about sponsoring an employee team to support a school or tutoring/ mentoring organization;
- Talk to religious congregations or community groups about creating volunteer teams to help tutor, mentor or with outreach;
- Help us with volunteer management, event planning, fundraising, database or general admin work.
- Research on community needs, assets, and successful programs.
- Research on attitudes and opinions of community members on getting more involved in their communities.
- Research on grant availability
Video and Graphic Arts Interns
Help with graphic design and infographics, photos or videos
Develop THE CIVIC IMAGINATION radio show, radio segment or podcast, a series of segments to inspire people with stories on their community, people who are working to strengthen it, promising programs based in DC or in other cities, and stories of individuals making a difference in their communities. Segments could, perhaps, be used as features for current radio shows or packaged together as a separate show.
Help us organize CIVIC FEST, a weekend festival planned for the summer of 2017 that combines music and the arts; thought-provoking workshops; community and nature with the goal of inspiring people to work together to build stronger communities and more fulfilling lives.