Become a Power Lunch Mentor

Help make a difference in a student’s life by volunteering as a Power Lunch mentor!

During the 2019-2020 school year, EWDC partnered with over 600 volunteers to bring shared reading to students at 12 public elementary schools in the District of Columbia and Virginia. Not only did these 600+ mentors make a difference in their students’ lives, but they got something valuable in return.

Time and time again we hear from our mentors that Power Lunch reading sessions are the best part of their work week and they get just as much out of the experience as their students.  

But even with these amazing mentors, there was still a waitlist of students at all our schools – students that wanted to join Power Lunch but couldn’t because we didn’t have enough mentors to meet student demand. That’s why we need you to become a mentor today!  


Testimonials from Power Lunch Mentors

Being a power lunch mentor is pure joy. I've been able to share my love of reading with another person, as well as see that person develop as a student and explore the world around them. It also gives me a greater sense of purpose. Not to mention a great way to get out of the office and refocus. 

I love the idea that I might be inspiring a child to love books, which is something I wish I had had as a child. Additionally, it is a great break from work - I sometimes get to [my school] a little overwhelmed from work, but I always leave feeling great. 

FAQs About Power Lunch

  • I’ve never worked with kids before, can someone help me?

    Absolutely! Our experienced program staff have resources to help you engage your student.


  • How Much Of A Time Commitment Is Power Lunch?

    Less than 30 hours a year! And if you work with a partner, it’s just 15 hours of reading.

    The Power Lunch program usually kicks off in late September and runs through the end of May. Reading sessions take place once a week during the student’s lunch and recess period. If school is closed, then reading sessions are cancelled. So mentors that start at the beginning of the program year will volunteer for approximately 30 hours. But since we bring new mentors on all the way through March, the actual time commitment depends on a volunteer’s individual start date.

For a full list of Frequently Asked Questions, click HERE.

Mentor Clearance

  • About mentor clearance

    To serve as a Power Lunch Reading Mentor, you will need to complete the required Volunteer Clearance process for your preferred school.


  • Arlington Public schools Clearance

    If you plan to read at Key Elementary School in Arlington, you must submit an APS Volunteer Clearance Application. 

    Click HERE to access the APS Volunteer Clearance Application in English.

    Click HERE to access the APS Volunteer Clearance Application in Spanish.


  • District of Columbia public schools Clearance

    DCPS requires all volunteers to obtain clearance before volunteering in a DCPS school. EWDC will not match a Power Lunch mentor with a student until we have a copy of a valid clearance letter on file.

    Mentors are responsible for maintaining a valid DCPS clearance while working with students, including renewal of the DCPS clearance every 2 years. To obtain the initial DCPS Volunteer Clearance, you must:

  1. Complete the DCPS Clearance Application. This requires basic contact information, as well as your DCPS Application Type (“Volunteer”), your School (the Power Lunch site you applied for), and Organization Contact (Sarah Aldridge,, 202-216-9467).                
  2. Provide documentation of a negative Tuberculosis (TB) test result within the last 12 months.                                    
  3. Complete DCPS Fingerprinting. – This is completed by a DCPS technician, either at an EWDC clinic or at the DCPS Central Office (1200 First Street NE, 10th Floor). The DCPS office is open Monday - Thursday, 8am-5pm, and Fridays, 8am-3pm. Remember to bring a valid state-issued photo ID and your TB test results.  

Fingerprint and clearance processing take about 3-10 business days. You’ll receive an electronic Clearance Letter from DCPS. Forward this email to Then, you’ll be ready to be matched with a student! 

To renew your DCPS Volunteer Clearance, updated TB test results are not required. You need only complete Steps One and Three, the DCPS Clearance Application and DCPS Fingerprinting (see above). Renewals cannot be processed more than 60 days before expiration. EWDC will alert you once you are eligible for renewal. 

  • EWDC Clearance Clinics

    To help Power Lunch mentors through the DCPS clearance process, EWDC hosts clearance clinics during the school year. Updated clinic details can be found on our online calendar of events (


  • TB Testing Overview

    There are three types of tests which prove you do not have active TB:  

    1. TB Skin Test: This is the most typical and least expensive test. It requires two visits with a healthcare provider within a 48-72 hour period; first to administer the test, and then to read the test.    
    2. TB Blood Test                                                                                     
    3. Chest X-Ray: only required if skin test and/or blood test are positive; DCPS accepts volunteers with latent TB) 


    TB tests can be completed by your doctor or a qualified healthcare provider at most outpatient or retail health clinics. Costs and appointment availability vary. Below are some clinics that provide TB testing: 

                CVS Minute Clinic                                                     Walgreens 

                Farragut Medical & Travel Care                           One Medical 

                MedStar PromptCare at Capitol Hill                   WellnessMart 


  • EWDC TB Test Reimbursement

    If volunteers prefer to undergo TB testing through their healthcare providers or an outpatient clinic, EWDC offers TB testing reimbursement up to $40. To be eligible for reimbursement, volunteers must: 

    1. Complete the DCPS Volunteer Clearance process 
    2. Provide their clearance letter 
    3. Be matched with a student  
    4. Attend their first Power Lunch session with their student                                                                                                                                                                   

    To request reimbursement, please fill out the TB Test Reimbursement Form within 30 days of your first Power Lunch session. You’ll also attach a copy of your receipt. It will take a few weeks to receive your reimbursement.