July, 2021 Update

Thank you for volunteering with Communities In Schools of Central Texas.  There are many ways to support CIS including serving as a Reading Buddy, Tutor, Mentor, and/or Pen Pal.  We will be onboarding volunteers throughout August and September and are excited to get you started. Your patience with this process is appreciated.

If you are a returning volunteer, please complete our intent to return form here.

Jana Whittier, Community Outreach Specialist and Dulce Montoya, AmeriCorps Vista

CIS Volunteer Opportunities

At Communities In School of Central Texas, opportunities range from one-time events to weekly commitments and can include working directly with students or supporting CIS behind the scenes. Campus-based volunteers are matched to meet weekly with a student during the school year, beginning in the fall and continuing until the end of the school year. To become a CIS volunteer, please first complete the online volunteer application. For more information about serving as a CIS volunteer, check out our onboarding process flyer and FAQ page.



  • Fill out a volunteer application
  • Complete an orientation module
  • Schedule and pass a 30-minute volunteer screening
  • Attend a 1-hour training session
  • Undergo and pass a criminal background check
  • Confirm a campus placement site and start date


  • 18 years of age or older
  • Comfortable working with youth from diverse background
  • Ability to commit volunteering weekly




Reading Buddies

Students who are behind in reading levels by third grade are more likely to drop out of school before graduating. Reading Buddies provide extra support and encouragement to students, helping them gain literacy skills, build confidence, and develop a lifelong love of reading. The opportunity to read books with a safe and caring adult provides students with a foundation for empowerment and a positive attitude toward learning. Reading Buddy volunteers also serve as mentors for students, building trusting and consistent relationships over the course of the semester.

Time commitment: 30-60 minutes per week for a full academic semester

Restrictions: This volunteer position is restricted to elementary age students

I really appreciate how CIS worked hard to transition to a virtual environment for the volunteer program and gave us useful resources and training on the Zoom platform used. They also introduced us to books that could be shared through Zoom with the student for reading.  


Reading Buddy


Tutors work consistently with one or more students to address academic needs as well as provide support and encouragement. CIS tutors work in conjunction with the student’s teacher to provide academic support based on current classroom assignments, topics, and needs. CIS tutors also help students build study techniques that will permit them to study effectively and become independent, self-directed learners.

Time commitment: 30-60 minutes per week for a full academic semester

At the beginning of the semester my student was very shy. Now we sing each other math problems and make funny faces. It means so much to get to be a positive influence in the life of a student. Thank you CIS for making it possible!




Mentors serve as caring and consistent role models for elementary, middle, and high school students. Our program is focused on relationship building and the student’s preferences and interests guide what each session entails. Sessions vary by grade level but typically include activities such as spending time getting to know each other, playing games, making arts and crafts, working through challenges, offering career advice, and much more.

Time commitment: 30-60 minutes per week for a full academic year

Registration deadline: mentors are onboarded by October of each year

One of my first letters included both a letter and drawing from my student. She also had her older sister send me a note. It felt like she wanted me to know her entire self which was the best!


Pen Pal

Pen Pals

The pen-pal program is meant to provide CIS students with a mentor through the exchange of written and/or emailed letters. The letter writing will help students practice reading and writing skills while participating in an engaging and fun activity. The pen-pal mentor is expected to write a letter bi-weekly with the expectation that the pen-pal student will reply in the intermittent weeks.

Questions? Contact the CIS Volunteer Department at volunteer@ciscentraltexas.org.