Sandy Spring Education Force needs individuals and organizations to help us bring collaborative program solutions to our at-risk and underserved youth population. SSEF has partnership, volunteer and mentorship opportunities available for business and individuals. Below is a list of potential ways you can help in our programs.
Please complete the Volunteer Form. SSEF will review your information and contact you as soon as possible. Working together we can truly impact our community!
Junior Achievement (North Springs Charter High School). Help inspire and prepare students to succeed in a global economy! Volunteers receive comprehensive training and materials to lead four, 45-minute sessions with one classroom of students over the course of one morning. Volunteers are encouraged to share their personal and professional experiences to help connect what students learn in the classroom to the “world of work” they will enter in a few short years. The JA program focuses on financial literacy with ninth graders and career success skills with tenth graders.
Time Commitment – Volunteers take a 45-minute online or in-person training class covering financial literacy or career success. The program takes place twice a year and runs from 8:15 AM to 11:45 AM.
Reading Buddies (2nd and 3rd grade at Ison Springs Elementary, 4th and 5th grade at Lake Forest Elementary and 4th grade at Dunwoody Springs Elementary). Engage with students to help them develop and foster positive feelings about reading. Research shows meaningful relationships with caring adults can improve students’ motivation, self-confidence and reading skills. Teachers identify students who will benefit from this one-to-one relationship. Students read with the same volunteer (“Buddy”) each week. SSEF purchases books the school selects for the “Buddy” to read with the student.
Time Commitment – Volunteers read to the same student each week throughout the school year for 30 minutes during the student’s lunch period. Volunteers attend orientation at the beginning of the school year.
Link with a Leader (Ridgeview Charter Middle School, Riverwood International Charter High School, North Springs Charter High School and Sandy Springs Charter Middle School). Serve as a community mentor! Volunteers meet students to share insights about the business community and the world outside of school. Share your story and stress how important it is to get a good education to students who would not otherwise hear this message.
Time Commitment - At the middle schools, volunteers come in to speak to about 25 students for each of three lunch periods, which takes about 3 hours on one day. At the high school, volunteers meet a group of students for 90 minutes each month at assigned times during the school day. Different volunteers speak with students each month.
College/Vocational Guidance (SAIL / Riverwood International Charter High School and/or CHOSEN / North Springs Charter High School). Work with high school seniors who are on target to graduate, but do not have plans of action for after graduation. In January each year, counselors identify students who would will benefit from individual coaching with volunteers who know about post-secondary opportunities. Volunteers receive training so they can help students identify their skills and interests and provide resources so students can identify potential schools that would be a good fit. Volunteers work with students on the college application process. SSEF pays for the application and testing fees if students are economically disadvantaged.
Time Commitment – SAIL Volunteers meet with one to two students each week for about 45 minutes at a mutually agreed upon time during February and March. CHOSEN volunteers assist students in a group setting. They meet during three-hour shifts for single-day events in November, January and March. Programs conclude in April with a student and volunteer appreciation breakfast.
STEAM Programs (all schools). Do you work in a STEAM field, or have an interest in working with students in STEAM oriented programs? Each year, SSEF hosts a STEAM Showcase which features exhibits designed to inspire our students and engage our community to embrace STEM and arts careers. As a legacy to this event, SSEF offers STEAM grant opportunities to each of our 11 schools to support STEAM clubs or activities. Many of our schools would like to have a business or community volunteer assist them with these programs.
Time Commitment – Volunteers may visit the school for one hour per week after school, as their schedule permits. They work with the students in areas including: robotics, coding and programming, and/or other STEAM related fields.
Business Bridge. Share your expertise or invite students to get involved in your work. Partnering with the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce, this program connects students with businesses to provide real world experiences. The program encompasses a myriad of opportunities for volunteers including: speaking to groups to students, providing student internships, inviting a student to shadow you at work, offering mock interviews, or inviting students to work on case studies with individual businesses.
Time Commitment – Varies depending on the specific activity.
Mini Libraries (Ison Springs Elementary, Lake Forest Elementary, Woodland Elementary, High Point Elementary, Dunwoody Springs Elementary, North Springs Charter High School, Riverwood International Charter High School). Are you interested in enhancing literacy in our schools? Our Mini Libraries provide books to financially vulnerable students, most of whom do not have them in their homes. Students select two books at a time and can either keep or return them to the bin after they read them. The program also features evening school events with parents where SSEF gifts books to participating children. Our Mini Libraries distribute about 10,000 books a year.
Time Commitment - Varies per activity. Volunteers organize and support community-based book drives, and collect and deliver books to mini-libraries located in five Sandy Springs Elementary Schools on a weekly basis.
Teacher Supply Closet. Partnering with the Community Assistance Center, SSEF conducts school supply drives to provide students with needed school supplies. SSEF provides a mechanism for teachers in our Sandy Springs public schools to request school supplies via the SSEF website for needy students in their classes. Although the needs are the greatest during the first days of school, the program continues throughout the year.
Time Commitment - Varies. Businesses can conduct a school supply drive at any time.