Frequently Asked Questions

Does having a mentor or a tutor really make a difference?

YES! Students who have Inspiring Minds mentors or tutors often show improvement in whatever academic area they are being tutoring in, as well as significant gains in positive behaviors and self-esteem.

What is the goal of an Inspiring Minds volunteer?

Inspiring Minds views tutoring and mentoring as complementary. Our volunteer tutor/mentors strive to help students unlock their potential as an “independent learner.” Volunteers tutor in the relevant skills and subject matter, but also work to increase students’ learning abilities to meet future challenges – part of this is confidence-building and encouragement!

What exactly do Inspiring Minds’ volunteers do?

Our in-school volunteers tutor and mentor a Providence public school student one-on-one or in small groups of 2-3 at a time. Tutors receive guidance and instructions from the classroom teacher and Inspiring Minds and are never expected to teach new material. Often, our volunteers help students by asking relevant questions, providing encouragement, and keeping students focused on their everyday tasks.

What age group can I tutor/mentor?

Inspiring Minds is focused on Providence’s youngest learners, grades PreK-5. If you are interested in tutoring in an elementary school we are not serving or a middle or high school students, please contact the Providence Public School’s Family and Community Engagement Office at (401) 456-0686 or by e-mail:

What if I have no previous training or experience?

That’s okay! We will train you! All volunteers receive an initial orientation and relevant trainings are made available to those who are interested. Tutors receive tailored activities from teachers/coaches for each student they work with and our staff and volunteer coordinators are always available to provide support.

How often can I volunteer?

The minimum commitment we ask for is one hour a week, but you are welcome to volunteer as much time as you can give!

Do I have to pay to have a background check?

Yes. There are three ways you can get the required background check: In Person at the Attorney General’s Office in Cranston, by mail, or at Inspiring Minds. Please see our fact sheet that explains all of the options.BCI Info

How do I give feedback about my experience?

Contact us! After each session, you can rate the experience our online volunteer management system and provide a reflection. Let us know if you need support or tell us a great story about your experience.

How can I sign up?

Click here! to access our online volunteer management system. If you need help, or have questions, give us a call at 401-274-3240 or come by our office at 190 Broad Street. 2nd Floor West. Providence, RI 02903