CIS Volunteer Opportunities

At Communities In Schools of Central Texas, opportunities range from one-time events to weekly campus-based commitments during school hours. To get started as a CIS community volunteer, fill out the online volunteer application.

The volunteer onboarding timeline for the 2024-2025 school year will run as follows:

  • Volunteer Applications will open July 2024
    Applicants will be invited to schedule a volunteer screening starting in late August
    Training sessions will begin in early September
    Campus placements will begin in mid to late September


  • Fill out a volunteer application
  • Complete an orientation module
  • Schedule volunteer screening
  • Undergo and pass a criminal background check
  • Sign and submit volunteer policies and procedures
  • Attend volunteer training session


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


  • Reading Buddy
  • Tutor
  • Mentor
  • Pen Pal
  • One-Time Events
  • Service-Learning Volunteers

If you are a current volunteer who plans to return for the 2023-2024 school year, please complete our intent to return form here.

Volunteer Programs

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.

One-Time Volunteer Opportunities  

One-time event volunteers are critical to our work and help make activities as well as events fun and memorable. Opportunities include serving as a guest speaker, assisting at a campus beautification project, offering tutoring support, helping the Basic Needs Department, assembling kits, and supporting seasonal needs. Events vary in level of commitment and location. Inquires may be submitted here. For more information about our one-time volunteer opportunities, click here.


Service-Learning Volunteers

We appreciate our partnerships with Central Texas Universities and are grateful for the extra support we receive from service-learning volunteers. To get started, please complete the Service-Learning Volunteer Application. Your point of contact for any questions or follow-up is Samantha Gutierrez, sgutierrez@ciscentraltexas.org.


For any questions, contact the CIS Volunteer Department at volunteer@ciscentraltexas.org or see FAQs.