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?

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 they’re paired with 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?

You tell us! We focus our efforts on Providence’s youngest learners, however, if you are skilled in physics or have an affinity for history or just love geometry, we likely know a student or two who would love to work with you.

What if I have no previous training or experience?

That’s okay! Developing positive relationships is easy! 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. Inspiring Minds’ requirement is aligned with the Providence Public School Department’s policy to have an in-state background check (BCI) on file. The cost is $5 for the state background check conducted by the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office. There is no fee for volunteers over the age of 62. Here is our fact sheet about BCIs: BCI Info

What if I am not enjoying your volunteer experience?

Contact us! We will work with you to improve the situation or change your assignment!

How can I sign up?

Give us a call at 401-274-3240, walk in to our office at 763 Westminster Street, or apply by clicking here!