Volunteer with Education + Literacy

Alachua County Public Schools

Mission: We will graduate students who have the knowledge, skills, and personal characteristics to be lifelong learners and independent thinkers. Our graduates will excel in their chosen careers and be productive and contributing members of the global community.

Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteers are welcome in the public schools in many capacities. You could volunteer in a classroom, become a PTA/PTO member, join a booster club for athletics, band, or academics, become a SAC member, mentor a student, serve as a classroom speaker, judge a science fair, participate in a career fair, become a business partner, volunteer in the media center, clinic, cafeteria or front office.   To explore the possibilities, contact the School Volunteer Office or the school of your choice. You can make an appointment to come by the Volunteer Office to look through hundreds of requests from teachers asking for classroom help!  Classroom volunteers work closely with teachers and staff, assisting in various projects, keeping records, preparing instructional materials, and interacting with students. Duties in elementary schools may include reading/telling stories, listening to children read, and preparing instructional material. Duties in the middle and high schools may include working on special projects, operating AV equipment, performing clerical duties, making instructional materials, reviewing homework and assisting with testing.

Volunteer Hours: Generally M-F between 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM. Some evenings and Saturdays may be available for special events.

Contact: Kelley Kostamo, District Volunteer Coordinator
(352) 955–7250  x6412
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American Red Cross

Mission: To prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteers carry out 90% of the humanitarian work of the Red Cross. Our vital work is only possible because of people like you. Whether helping one displaced family or thousands, providing care and comfort to an ill or injured service member or veteran, or teaching others how to respond in emergencies, it’s through the efforts of ordinary people that we can do extraordinary things. Browse Volunteer Opportunities in Your Community on our website today!

Volunteer Hours: Business hours are 9:00am to 4:00pm. However, if your staff choose to volunteer during a disaster, there are potentially 24 hour Disaster Operation Volunteer Programs. Each volunteer listing has the required time commitment listed online.

Contact: Meghan Hotchkiss Suslak, Senior Volunteer Specialist
(904) 738-3931
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Mission: AMIkids is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping youth develop into responsible and productive citizens. AMIkids' mission is to protect public safety and positively impact as many youth as possible through the efforts of a diverse and innovative staff. AMIkids works in partnership with youth agencies, local communities and families.

Volunteer Opportunities: Filing; mentoring; tutoring; sanitizing; Americorps; community awareness.

Volunteer Hours: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday to Friday

Contact: Marterricus "MT" Thomas, Executive Director
(352) 256-8423
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Arc of Alachua County

Mission: To provide a continuum of exemplary services, supports, and advocacy to assure that people with developmental and intellectual disabilities can enjoy respect and dignity and become full participants in the community.

Volunteer Opportunities: Landscaping, yardwork, painting, handiwork, etc. Event support includes golf tournament support, registration help, advocacy, calling vendors for support, etc.

Volunteer Hours: Monday - Friday 8am - 4pm, and during fundraising events (as needed)

Contact: Dr. Mark Johnson, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(352) 334–4060 x127
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Boulware Springs Charter School

Mission: To foster the academic, character, and physical growth of all of our students so that they are prepared for the intellectual and character demands of life beyond our school. The program at Boulware Springs Charter reflects our belief that an education should awaken and inspire students. Students at Boulware are encouraged to take chances, foster their curiosity, and challenge themselves to improve on a daily basis. Parents, community partners, and our school family will support these endeavors by providing the skills and support necessary for students to improve in intellect and character. Ultimately, our program will prepare students to be successful in their continued schooling, active members within their community, critical thinkers, and cooperative problem solvers in real world situations.

Volunteer Opportunities: Classroom Volunteers, front office volunteers, school tasks (cutting, filing, laminating), reading to students, Wednesday afternoon assembly volunteers, after-school volunteers, sports leaders, craft/activity leaders

Volunteer Hours: 8am-5:30pm daily

Contact: Megan Lane, Co-director
(352) 215–2175
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Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention

Mission: To transform communities by inspiring and equipping future inventors, entrepreneurs, and visionaries.

Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteers support our education team by helping facilitate interactive activities and experiments for guests throughout our museum in a variety of different spaces, including our Creativity Lab and Fab Lab.

Volunteer Hours: Friday and Saturday, Noon - 5 p.m.; Tuesdays, 10 a.m. - Noon; Wednesdays, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.; additional hours for events and special programs.

Contact: Hunter Oliver
(352) 371-8001
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Education Foundation of Alachua County

Mission: Take Stock in Children, a program of The Education Foundation of Alachua County, is a scholarship program that provides low-income, high-achieving students with mentoring and college success coaching. By providing students with support and a college scholarship, TSIC aims to end the cycle of poverty through education.

Volunteer Opportunities: Mentoring a critical component of the success of Take Stock in Children. Mentors are matched with students based on location preference (typically UF volunteers are matched at Gainesville High School or Westwood Middle School). Mentors will meet with their students two times per month during their student’s lunchtime (range from 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.).

Volunteer Hours:  Two-hours/month (minimum)

Contact: Jordan Miles, Mentor Coordinator and Database Specialist
(352) 955–7250 ext. 6419
Visit Website to download mentor application

Epilepsy Florida 

Mission: Epilepsy Florida leads the fight to accelerate therapies to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy, stop seizures, find cures and save lives.

Volunteer Opportunities: At Epilepsy Florida, we are always working to not only help the 1 in every 26 people living with epilepsy, but also to spread epilepsy awareness and seizure recognition and first aid in the community. Therefore, there is always work to be done! We choose your task based on your skill set. Opportunities include but are not limited to: community outreach, distributing flyers, event planning and management and education.

Volunteer Hours: varied

Contact: Jesse Farnham
(352) 378–4324
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Florida Defenders of the Environment

Mission: To protect the freshwater resource, conserve public land, restore the Ocklawaha River's connection to the St. John's River which would restore 9,000 of forest and protect 20 springs, restore multiple fish populations as well as protect and benefit Silver River and Silver Springs.

Volunteer Opportunities: Office/clerical work, research and visioning, grant writing, special events staffing, short workshop presentations, GIS and mapping.

Volunteer Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; some evening and weekend hours during events.

(352) 475-1119
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Friends of the Micanopy Library

Mission: To provide free, after-school, one-on-one tutoring and mentoring so that at-risk, poorly-performing K-12 students from Micanopy and Southern Alachua County can reach their educational potential and increase their self-esteem. Micanopy Tutoring is a program of the Friends of the Micanopy Library.

Volunteer Opportunities: Become a one on one tutor for elementary, middle, or high school students. Help is readily available from experienced tutors and our Program Director.

Volunteer Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs 2:30-6pm and Wed 1:30-6pm. In June, July, and August volunteers may come anytime between 2-5pm, Monday through Thursday.

(352) 234–5095
tutoring number
(352) 384–1155 Secondary number
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Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association / Aces in Motion / Gators in Motion

Mission: To promote health, character development, and academic achievement through tennis. We emphasize community, inclusion, collaboration, integrity, and fun.

Volunteer Opportunities: 1. Tutoring: We need tutors for our after school program primarily for middle and elementary students. We also have a seasonal need for high school tutoring centered around SAT/ACT Testing and college entry.
2. Tennis coaching/playing: We need volunteers that have tennis experience to help coach or play with our students. Since we are at 12 sites throughout the week, there are multiple opportunities to play tennis with our students.
3. Mentoring: If you are interested in becoming a mentor to one of our students on a consistent basis, we would love to have you.
4. Community Events: A helping hand during community events in neighborhoods, competition, and programs.
5. Athletes with Special Needs: We currently organize and run the tennis season for Special Olympics in Alachua County. If you have experience or a passion working with individuals with special needs, please contact us.
6. Gators In Motion: Our newest program GIM, is based on the campus of University of Florida. If you are interested in hosting our students on a field trip to your career, department, or facility for an enrichment activity, please contact us.

Volunteer Hours: Aces In Motion After School Program at TB McPherson Recreation Center: Mon- Fri: 3:00-6:00 PM
Gators In Motion at UF Campus (FL GYM): Tues and Thurs: 4:00-6:00 PM
Tennis at 21 CCLC: Mon - Fri
Community Tennis Events: Days depend on agency (Kids Count, Reichert, Pineridge, Boulware Springs Charter School)
Adaptive Tennis: Seasonal-Contact for detailed times

Contact: Addison Staples
(352) 514–9975


Gainesville Community Ministry

Mission: To provide help and hope to people in crisis

Volunteer Opportunities: Handing out food, seeing clients, tutoring

Volunteer Hours: Mon-Thurs 9am - 3pm, some Tues nights and Saturdays for dental students.

Contact: Michael Wright
(352) 372–8162
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GiGi's Playhouse

Mission: To change the way the world views Down syndrome through national campaigns, educational programs, and by empowering individuals with Down syndrome, their families and the community. 

Volunteer Opportunities: We are always seeking enthusiastic and committed individuals to be a part of Generation G campaign to "Be Accepting. Be Generous. Be Kind".  Volunteers are welcome to make a difference in one of our Committees or Programs. Each Committee has a specific focus and include Programs, Volunteers, Playhouse Operations, Fundraising, Communications, Outreach, Events, and Facility & IT. Volunteers can also interact with our families during our regular programs that have specific goals for each different age groups. Programs include Destination Discovery (all ages), LMNOP (5 & under), Literacy (3 and up), Friends, Fun & Fitness (11 - 21), and Fantastic Friends (18 and up). 

Volunteer Hours: Volunteer hours vary depending on the Committee or Program. Volunteers are required to complete a volunteer orientation, background check, and specific committee/program training. 

Contact: Dayita Wable
(727) 687-4633
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Girls Place

Mission: We empower girls to grow courageous, strong and self sufficient. We inspire our girls to celebrate themselves — their minds, their hearts, and their physical well being.

Volunteer Opportunities: Homework Help, Guest Speaker, Facilities, Athletic Coaches, among others

Volunteer Hours: 10am - 6pm during school year, 8am - 6am during summer time, Saturdays during athletic seasons

Contact: Tara Counts
(352) 373–4475
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Kids Count in Alachua County

Mission: Kids Count in Alachua County helps at-risk elementary children in our community reach their full potential through nurturing and effective after school programs based upon one-on-one tutoring, social skill development through character education, and inspiring enrichment.

Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteers are assigned a student to provided one-on-one tutoring in math and reading. Also, help with completing homework and other literacy activities.

Volunteer Hours:
Faith Mission Site: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri: 2:45–5:45, Wed: 1:30–5:00

Duval/Williams Elementary: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri: 1:45–5:00, Wed: 12:30–4:00

Kerri Neel, Kids Count
(772) 341–5966
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North Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America, Inc.

Mission: The mission of the North Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America, Inc. is to deliver the highest quality, values-based youth program of character development and leadership training, based on the precepts embodied in the Scout Oath and Scout Law, and to prepare young people to make ethical decisions in order to reach their full potential and to better serve their family, community and country.

Volunteer Opportunities:
Special events (no Scouting experience necessary!):
Program Aid – Cub Scout Day Camp, June 12-16, 2017
Event Staff – Sporting Clays Fundraiser, March 2-3, 2018

Ongoing mentoring (prior experience helpful):
Merit Badge Counselor – Register as a subject matter expert to conduct mentoring sessions at your convenience for 1-5 Scouts on one or more of the topics listed at http://www.scouting.org/meritbadges.aspx.

Register as an Adult Volunteer:
Assist with the program delivery at the meeting location of the elementary age Cub Scouts, middle and high school age Boy Scouts or high school age Venturers (boys & girls ages 14-20). Meetings are held weekly but you can attend when able. Also eligible to participate in weekend campouts and high adventure activities. Prior Scouting experience helpful but not required.

Volunteer Hours: Varied

Contact: Sam Mathis
(321) 482–7406
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Partnership for Strong Families

Mission: PSF’s mission is to enhance the community’s ability to protect and nurture children by building, maintaining and constantly improving a network of family support services. Our Resource Centers help drive that mission by providing concrete and social supports to families who are at risk of entering crises. Every service offered is tied to one of the five Protective Factors, which when present in families are shown to reduce the likelihood of abuse or neglect. Each of the Resource Centers PSF operates are a partnership endeavor with larger entities as well as local agencies who help provide services at no cost to families. Our goal is to value children, strengthen families and engage the community.

Volunteer Opportunities: Since each center is staffed by only one to two people, volunteers are a critical part of our work. Tasks vary from clerical and administrative tasks, event planning and participation, assisting patrons with applications for services, community outreach, scholastic assistance for children and youth, organizing in-kind donations and being a friendly face for Resource Center patrons to see when they walk into the facility.

Volunteer Hours: Hours vary by location, but most centers are open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with limited opportunities for weekend and evening volunteering.

Contact: Samantha Tracy
(352) 244–1626
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Project YouthBuild

Mission: Our mission is to expand opportunities to young people in our community through education, employment and advocacy.

Volunteer Opportunities: We are always in search of subject tutors to assist students with Math, Reading, Science, History and Literature.  Additionally, we volunteer at local non-profits on a daily basis—larger projects require additional help.

Volunteer Hours: Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. - Noon

(352) 225-3307
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The Repurpose Project

Mission:  The Repurpose Project is a non-profit community based effort to divert useful resources from the landfill, redirect these items to the public for art and education, inspire creativity, and help us all rethink what we throw away.   

Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteer Opportunities include sorting donated items which are being diverted from landfill, organizing, and creating shoppable spaces in order to further the mission at the store. If volunteers become more involved, they may also be asked to table for the Repurpose Project at community events and local schools. 

Volunteer Hours: Volunteer hours may be arranged Monday-Saturday from 10-4. 

Contact: Heather Eakin
(352) 363-8902
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Southwest Advocacy Group (SWAG)

Mission: The Southwest Advocacy Group (SWAG) is a grassroots, community-based organization that works to improve the living conditions, health, educational opportunities and quality of life in the Tower Road corridor just west of I-75 in Gainesville. SWAG addresses the needs of the SWAG community by connecting individuals and families to services and resources through our advocacy and collaboration with many agencies and community partners. SWAG’s unique partnerships have led to the creation of a family resource center, a playground, a health clinic, and soon, an early learning center, all in the heart of the SWAG neighborhoods. Most of SWAG’s volunteer opportunities exist through the SWAG Family Resource Center, which is a collaboration between SWAG, Partnership for Strong Families, and the county. The Resource Center’s mission is to provide place-based services that strengthen families and communities through building on existing assets, identifying needs and connecting to resources within the broader community. Resource Center volunteers are welcome to assist in many capacities, but our greatest need is help with the after school enrichment program and summer program. Clinic volunteer needs are limited to medical professionals.

Volunteer Opportunities: The Resource Center’s mission is to provide place-based services that strengthen families and communities through building on existing assets, identifying needs and connecting to resources within the broader community. Resource Center volunteers are welcome to assist in many capacities, but our greatest need is help with the after school enrichment program and summer program.  All volunteers must undergo a rigorous screening process that involves a drug test, fingerprinting and a background check, and due to the expense of those requirements, must be able to commit to volunteering on a regular basis.

Volunteer Hours: Varied

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UF Mobile Outreach Clinic

Mission: The mission of the Mobile Outreach Clinic is to create environments that provide an immersive educational experience that focuses on the social determinants of health and their impact on patients’ health and well-being. Our vision is to create a globally recognized model that fosters the development of socially conscious healthcare providers through the delivery of dignified, respectful, and quality care in a low barrier setting.

Volunteer Opportunities: Administrative and Clinical support, All health and allied health specialties (Physicians, Nurses (LPN, CNA, ARNP, RN), PA, MA, and Therapists) 

Volunteer Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m. After hours admin support, 5:30 - 8 p.m.

Contact: Sherice Stewart
(352) 273-8959

United Way of North Central Florida

Mission: United Way of North Central Florida positively impacts the education, health and financial stability of people living in our region.

Volunteer Opportunities: ReadingPals is a community of readers who spend time with kids. We train volunteers to tutor students struggling in reading. We empower volunteers to be unforgettable mentors. We transform a child's experience with books We produce readers. As a Reading Pals Mentor you will: Visit your 2nd or 3rd grader on hour per week during Fall and/or Spring for 12-25 hours - Tutor your student in reading with the provided reading curriculum materials - Become a friend and mentor to your student to encourage reading success

VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program) uses trained volunteers to provide FREE tax preparation and filing to anyone who earns a low to moderate income. Those assisted can earn up to $5,800 from their earned income tax credit.

Volunteer Hours: Varied

Contact: Dana Clayton
(352) 333–0846
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We Are Neutral

Mission: To help businesses and individuals understand, reduce, and offset their comprehensive carbon footprints, giving them the opportunity to take responsibility for their environmental impact and achieve carbon neutrality. We accomplish this through environmental education as well as hands-on carbon reduction and offset initiatives.

Volunteer Opportunities:  Carbon reduction efforts, urban tree plantings, energy upgrades for low-income families, invasive species removals, vehicle fuel efficiency tune-ups, community clean-ups, landfill diversion, urban agriculture, and massive amounts of environmental education. 

Volunteer Hours: Varied. Most volunteer opportunities will be on the weekends.

Contact: Hannah Nistler, Administrative Assistant
(352) 580-0441