Help School Children

Are you looking for a rewarding volunteer experience that makes an impact in your community? Since 1997, the DARTS Learning Buddies Program has served Dakota County communities by connecting older adults with elementary students to work together on classwork, share experiences, and learn from one another for 1-2 hours each week throughout the school year. DARTS has partnered with 34 elementary schools throughout the county. We can help match your skills and talents with a classroom near your home or work to make an impact in a child's life. This intergenerational program has served more than 38,000 students and logged more than 70,000 volunteer hours but students in your communtiy still need your help. Complete an application online or call Erin Walloch at 651-234-2227 to get started!

Learning Buddies Program

Overview:

The Learning Buddies Program connects older adults with students in grades K-5 to work together on class work, share experiences and learn from one another. This program matches adult volunteers' skills and interests with the needs of classrooms to help enhance students’ reading, math and science skills. Studies have shown that intergenerational programs such as Learning Buddies benefit children’s social development too.

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See video

Pen Pals Program

Overview:

Befriend and mentor a 2nd grade student by writing one letter per month throughout the school year. This is a wonderful volunteer opportunity for people of all ages and for those who need flexibility in a volunteer experience!

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Learning Buddies Volunteer Portraits

Three amazing Learning Buddies named Bob, Kaye and Peg volunteer in a 2nd grade classroom each week to help students with math. The class splits into groups of 4-5 students and each volunteer takes a group. One morning, the groups read a book incorporating a hands-on math activity for the students to complete while the book was read to them. One book was about baking cookies, lemon pie and muffins and highlighted the concept of fractions. The second book was about sea life and incorporated multiplication facts throughout the story.