This spring, Cambridge School Volunteers (CSV) will celebrate its 50th anniversary. A 1966 meeting of a few Cambridge mothers who wanted to create libraries in the elementary schools has grown into an independent, non-profit organization with more than 1,000 volunteers. This year, under the auspices of a full-time staff, 15 corporate partners, and 17 board members, our volunteers served more than 3,000 Cambridge students with 52,001 hours of tutoring and mentoring.
While Cambridge School Volunteers has seen many changes over the past 50 years, CSV’s mission to help all Cambridge students achieve academic and personal success remains unchanged. Today, as always, the one-to-one relationships that we forge between individual K-12 students and caring, competent adult volunteers stands at the heart of what CSV does. These personalized “matches” make a genuine difference in students’ academic outcomes, and these differences, in turn, have the power to change lives.
Through these pairings and our array of in-school volunteer programs—ranging from early literacy and math support across Cambridge’s twelve elementary schools to our Tutoring Center, College Readiness, and Science Olympiad programs at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School—Cambridge School Volunteers is helping to meet the educational needs of the city’s children and youth today and to improve the prospects for their future.
CSV has also demonstrated a consistent commitment to grow, evolve, and partner effectively with the Cambridge Public Schools (CPS). When the School Committee created upper schools in 2012, Cambridge School Volunteers seized the opportunity to provide more robust tutoring and mentoring to middle school students. In the process, we created Learning Centers to provide after-school tutoring and expanded NetPals, our seventh-grade science mentoring program. With our longstanding and continuing partnership in mind, last spring we honored CPS Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey M. Young, on the occasion of his announcing his intention to depart CPS in June 2016.
While much has changed in the world over the past 50 years, Cambridge School Volunteers has honed our focus on one- to-one relationships between volunteers and students. I believe these relationships are the key to our success. Most of us remember an adult in our lives, often a teacher, who made a difference by taking a personal and keen interest in who we were. The interest of one adult can inspire a student to be successful. Our commitment for the next half-century is to continue to forge these life-changing relationships between students and their tutors, advisors, and mentors.
President, Board of Directors Cambridge School Volunteers