Children's Education Helper
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Circles Grand Rapids

Children's Education Helper

You’ll work with Circles staff and volunteers to help lead a kid-approved educational program that helps children and their families take steps to overcoming poverty in Grand Rapids. The evening will start with a community meal—a great time to get to know the parents of the children you’ll be working with. After dinner, you’ll work with the kids while their parents receive their own education sessions. While there will be some time for post-dinner play, the majority of your role will be helping Circles staff and volunteers lead interactive, age-appropriate lessons on emotional health, financial literacy, mindfulness, service, compassion etc. Your time and presence will provide a safe space for children to learn, create routine, and develop much needed friendships. The children may be anywhere from babies to teenagers, but you can choose to work with whatever age you feel most comfortable around.

Show me how to get started
2-4 Monday evenings per month (5:30 - 8 p.m.) for 16+ months
16+; pass a background check
East Hills
Trinity United Methodist Church
1100 Lake Dr SE
Grand Rapids, MI 1100 Lake Dr SE
Grand Rapids, MI 

Is This the Right Fit for Me?

You love spending time with kids. You enjoy being silly and having fun, but also value equipping children with the education and life skills they need to succeed. You’re not afraid to jump right in when needed, whether that’s reading with a child or helping with a wellness activity. You understand that you're entering a challenging situation with children who may have different backgrounds and a different set of life circumstances than you do. You know that learning from the children is just as important as teaching them.

About Circles Grand Rapids

Circles GR is a chapter of Circles USA, whose mission is to inspire and equip families and communities to resolve poverty and thrive. Circles is a nationally-known, proven and innovative way of connecting people across socio-economic lines in an effort to support people and families out of poverty. Through long-term relationships, training and networking, participants are moving from generational or situational poverty to self-sufficiency. Along the road, the community at large is invited to learn more about poverty in Grand Rapids and what can be done to resolve it through actions and policy change.

What Others are Saying

I love walking beside families as we grow and learn from one another. It means a lot when I can connect with a hard-to-reach child. Just this week I received a request for a hug from one such child and it’s like “wow” I am reaching them! These good feelings carry me through in the times when I feel impatient with families not showing up every week to the program. It’s important to remind myself that growth is a hard journey that should be on the families’ terms, not mine.


Contact the Organization

If you’re ready to ask some questions and get started, contact the Circles Grand Rapids directly.

Cathy Odom Coordinator of Childcare and Hospitality 616-309-7517

What to Expect

Submit an interest form or reach out to Cathy directly. Cathy will send you a volunteer application and then schedule a casual interview in-person or over-the-phone. You will then complete a background check and go through one training session before you begin your first shift. You’re encouraged, but not required, to attend an Access of West Michigan poverty simulation.