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10 Ways YOU Can Make a Difference
We are now accepting volunteer applications for the 2008-2009 school year. Please submit our online volunteer application.

1. Mentor a student (Requires a commitment of 1 hour a week, for the duration of the school year)
Students are often surrounded by negative influences, such as drug abuse, poverty, gang involvement and peer pressure. A mentor can help provide a positive influence to deal with their problems. Mentors meet with their student once a week during the school day, and may participate in a number of activities with students, such as helping with homework, playing games, reading together, playing sports, or just hanging out and talking. Bilingual mentors are especially needed. You can sign up to be a school based mentor on any of our Elementary, Middle or High School campuses. Email Alicia Rainwater at or call (512) 464-9767 for more information.

We also encourage you to consider enrolling in our new Middle School Mentoring Matters program ( a newly funded collaborative school-community based program with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas). Email Gina Humble at or call (512) 464-9726 for more information.

2. Tutor a student (Requires a commitment of 1 hour a week, for the duration of the school year.
Assist an at-risk student in achieving academic success while also helping to provide a caring and supportive scholastic environment. Tutors meet with their student once a week during the school day. Activities may include completing homework assignments, playing educational games, reading or working on the computer. Tutors may work with a student in a variety of subjects. Bilingual tutors are especially needed. Email Alicia Rainwater at or call (512) 464-9767 for more information.

3. Be a SmartKids Volunteer (Varying time commitments depending on site chosen) Our SmartKids After-School tutoring and enrichment program at six of the Housing Authority of the City of Austin sites needs volunteers during the school year. Tutor, present a topic to students or just come help out. Email Alicia Rainwater at or call (512) 464-9767 for more information.

4. Be a Tech Tots Mentor (Requires a commitment of 6 months, 1 time per month, flexible scheduling)
Our Tech Tots program needs volunteers to mentor low-income families one time per month (in their homes) in the use of computer, software, printer/scanner and Internet. Our volunteers maintain phone/e-mail contact with recipient family between visits. Tech Tots mentors should possess basic experience in computer set-up and operation. If you are patient, friendly, good with children and able to communicate with diverse populations-this may be a great volunteer opportunity for you. Bilingual mentors are especially needed. This program will begin in January 2009.

5. Be a Pebble Project Volunteer. Pebble Project is a child abuse prevention program that teaches children during classroom presentation that involve role-plays and guided discussions how to identify possibly dangerous situations. We need volunteers to help participate in role plays during these presentations. For more information about volunteering with the Pebble Project contact Ana-Cristina Gonzalez at (512) 464-9727 or e-mail

5. Perform an Extreme Makeover on one of our counseling rooms (Varying time commitments based on project, flexible scheduling) Does your group need a creative and fun way to make a real impact on CIS students and staff? A number of our CIS counseling rooms are in need of an Extreme Makeover. Whether it is a fresh coat of paint, a new couch, colorful artwork on the walls or comfy throw pillows for students to relax on during an intense counseling session with a CIS Social Worker.... your help can make a huge difference in the life of a child. Email or contact her by phone at 512-464-9724 for more information.

6. Host a Holiday Party, School Supply, Hygiene Supply or Clothing Drive for Communities In Schools students (Varying time commitments depending on project or event) This is a flexible, fun way for coworkers, family or friends to do something together. Throw a holiday party or collect much needed school supplies, hygiene supplies or clothes for Communities In Schools' students. Email or contact her by phone at 512-464-9724 for more information.

7. Sponsor a family during the Holidays. This is another great opportunity for coworkers, family or friends to do something together. We can match you with a Communities In Schools family in need of a little extra assistance, ensuring that the Holidays are a little brighter for that family and for you as well! Contact

8. Be a Career Presentation Volunteer or Groundhog Job Shadow Day site (Requires a 1-time commitment of several hours during a school day, flexible scheduling) Interested in talking to a group of students about what you do? You can open a child's eyes to the opportunities that a career in your field affords. Often students lack a positive, professional role model in their lives to demonstrate responsible and creative career choices. Communities In Schools is looking for professionals to share about their careers through Career Fairs, Career lunch meetings and at our Groundhog Job Shadow day event. Email or contact her by phone at 512-464-9724 for more information.

9. Sign on as a Special Events Volunteer (Varying time commitments depending on project or event)
Communities In Schools organizes and runs many special events and activities in Central Texas from student events to fundraisers to special projects at our Central office. Volunteer on your own, with a group of your friends, family or coworkers and help one of our events run more smoothly. Some examples include; Sorting donated supplies to give out to students, helping with campus beautification projects, chaperoning field trips, helping out at the IBM Uptown Classic Race (benefiting CIS) or assembling blue ribbon cards to be given out during Child Abuse Prevention Month.

10. Make a financial or in-kind donation to Communities In Schools (Minimal time commitment)
Unfortunately, due to limited funding and increasing demand, Communities In Schools is able to serve only a portion of the at-risk student population in Central Texas. The need for Communities In Schools services is much greater than the financial ability to provide these services. Please consider making a financial donation (and encourage your employer to match your donation) or a donation of in-kind goods to Communities In Schools.

Whatever your schedule looks like, or wherever your talents lie, Communities In Schools has the perfect volunteer opportunity for you. With over 50 locations in Austin, Round Rock, Georgetown, Buda, Kyle and Lockhart, we have a place close to your work or your home where you can make a difference in someone's life.

Please check out our immediate needs page for all of our school based volunteer needs.

If you have any questions, please email or call us at (512) 464-9701.

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