The Youth Tutoring Program (YTP) is an after-school educational enrichment program for vulnerable first through twelfth grade students who live in six low- and mixed-income housing communities in Seattle. Started as a partnership with the Seattle Housing Authority in 1991, the tutoring centers provide youth with a safe, positive, and stimulating environment to explore learning and experience academic and personal success.
Volunteers are the heart of the program. They work with individual or pairs of students. We are in need of tutoring volunteers throughout the school year, and during the summer.
At the tutoring centers, students build skills in reading and math, get help with homework, and strengthen their sense of self-esteem and self-respect. There are six YTP tutoring centers located throughout Seattle. Centers are open in the late afternoon and early evening hours. YTP students are wonderfully diverse, representing many nationalities, cultures, languages and religions.
During the school year, YTP offers programming to help elementary, middle and high school students build academic and life skills. Students and tutors work one-on-one or in small groups to address learning gaps, develop core academic skills and improve reading comprehension.
to learn more about our mission, vision and values.
YTP serves elementary, middle, and high school youth living in Seattle’s low- and mixed-income public housing communities. Ninety-nine percent of the participants are children of color. Eighty-seven percent of our students come from immigrant families. Our predominant population of students is of East African ethnicity (70%), followed by 10% African
American and 7% Vietnamese. Once our students join YTP, they generally enjoy a long tenure at our centers. The average participant
attends YTP for 2.5 years and some students join YTP in elementary school and
stay through high school graduation.
Unfortunately many of our students’ parents cannot help their children with schoolwork. Parents often work long hours in low wage jobs to support their families and are unavailable to help with homework. Some parents have not achieved sufficient academic proficiency while others are new to this country and do not have a command of the English language. English is either not spoken at home or is the second language for 87% of our students. And most families cannot afford academic tools and other resources common in middle-income households, such as computers and Internet access.
"(YTP is) an extremely valuable resource for the neighborhood and kids. The attendance of the kids week after week attests to the greatness of this program. No one forces these kids to come yet it’s very full week after week." --YTP Tutor
“M. needs a great deal of assistance in completing his assignments both at home and at school. Since his parents speak only minimal English, he does not receive much help from them regarding school work. It's therefore essential for M. to receive as much one-on-one tutoring if he is to advance and progress in his academic subjects. Thank you for providing him a positive environment in which he can grow and flourish.” – Seattle Public School Teacher
During 2015, 455 children were served by the Youth Tutoring Program (YTP). In a recent survey, 90% of the students and 85% of their parents reported improvements in grades or schoolwork (or maintained academic success) due to participation in our program.
The children who participate in the Youth Tutoring Program live in low-income and public housing communities. They are considered at-risk for low academic achievement, poor school attendance, high drop-out rate, exposure to and involvement in substance abuse and gangs. Families served by YTP
recognize the value of ongoing academic support that meets the specific needs of
individual students. Parents often send multiple students to tutoring and call
on YTP staff to help them navigate the school system and learn how to best
support their students.
YTP offers hope, help, and a positive presence in these youths’ lives. As a result of attending tutoring, YTP students gain the academic
confidence and skills that they need to succeed in school. Their school attendance
improves, and they plan for a future that includes high school graduation and
college and career success.
Thank you for helping YTP
to tutor, guide and inspire over 4500 vulnerable youth towards academic success
over the last 25 years.
Volunteer with the Youth Tutoring Program
There are many ways you can become involved with YTP! We offer a variety of volunteer experiences to match diverse interests and experience levels. We are always looking for volunteer tutors for our programs – which occur year around. Volunteers are asked to tutor for a minimum of half the school year. For additional information on our programs, please contact our volunteer coordinator at 206-328-5659 or click here to email.
Volunteer opportunities include:
- Individual Tutor – work one-on-one with a student at one of our tutoring centers
- Group Tutor – tutor groups of 2-5 students at one of our tutoring centers
- Center Support Internship - go deeper in your volunteer commitment by supporting the center’s logistics and organization, as well as tutoring small groups.
- Center Helper – and introductory, flexible position that assists the tutoring center staff
- Main Office Internship – Match your skills and interests with the needs of the program. Please contact us to find out more information.
- Summer Session Tutor - A six week opportunity to get to know our youth and program.
You can find the online application through the “Volunteer Now” image in the left side bar.
Training & Support for Volunteers at YTP
Before beginning, our volunteers attend a volunteer orientation where they learn about the program and agency, receive important rules and information about how the program works, and discover great tips for working with, and tutoring our students. In addition, YTP provides supplemental tutor trainings on various topics throughout the year. All tutoring centers are staffed with a full-time Center Supervisor. Our staff members are available to answer any questions volunteers have.
Tutoring Center Information