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. Ninety-two percent of our students come from immigrant families. Our predominant population of students is of East African ethnicity (70%), followed by 9.5% Vietnamese and 5.6% Latino. Nine percent of our students identify as African American. Once our students join YTP, they generally enjoy a long tenure at our centers. Forty-four percent of the students attending YTP tutoring centers have done so for at least three years consecutively.
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 86% of our students. And most families cannot afford academic tools and other resources common in middle-income households, such as computers and Internet access.
"(The 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 2014, 455 children were served by the Youth Tutoring Program (YTP). In a recent survey, 98% of the students and 88% of their parents reported improvements in grades or schoolwork (or maintenance of already good grades) due to participation in our program.
The children who participate in the Youth Tutoring Program live in low- and mixed-income 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, low self-esteem, and little or no after-school supervision or parental involvement in their lives.
The YTP mitigates these risk factors by offering hope, help, and a positive presence in these youths’ lives. As a result of attending tutoring, students turn in higher quality homework more frequently and they gain the basic math and language arts skills they need to work at their grade level.
Through community support and student popularity, the program has grown substantially.
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