Become a Power Lunch Reading Mentor
Help make a difference in a student’s life by volunteering as a Power Lunch mentor!
During the 2018-2019 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 600 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!
Here’s what some of our 2018-2019 Power Lunch mentors said about their year:
FAQs About Power Lunch
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.
I’m a new mentor and I don’t know which school to volunteer at?
You get to decide! Power Lunch currently serves students at 11 schools in the District and Arlington, VA, each of which has a waiting list and needs additional mentors. Take a look at our list of schools and see which location works best for you. That being said, many of our mentors come to us as part of an employer-based volunteer program that has selected to work with a particular school. If this applies to you, then you can select the school your organization has decided to support.
What time does the Power Lunch reading session take place? What days?
Power Lunch reading sessions are held during the student’s lunch and recess period. The actual timing varies depending on the school and on the student’s grade. Generally speaking, most reading sessions will take place between 11:00am and 1:00pm
Generally Most of our Power Lunch schools hold reading sessions 5 days a week. At the moment, the only exceptions are:
Amidon-Bowen: Reading sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Savoy: Reading sessions on Tuesday and Thursday.
Updated information about session days and times for the 2019-2020 program year will be available during the summer.
What if I select certain days I think I am available and then my schedule changes? Or what if I can’t come on my regular day?
We understand that things change. That’s why our Power Lunch program team will reach out to make sure a specific day and time works for you before being matched with a student. They will also be available if you need to cancel a regular reading day or look to reschedule for a different day during that same week.
What if I don’t think I can commit to reading every week?
If you don’t think you can commit to a regular weekly session, you can sign up with a partner alternate reading sessions. For many this means shared reading responsibilities with a co-worker. If you don’t have a co-worker that can serve as a partner, we can help find one for you!
What if I want to mentor at a DCPS school but I don’t have my DCPS Volunteer Clearance?
That’s okay! You can absolutely apply to the Power Lunch program before you get your DCPS clearance. We will follow up after your application is submitted to assist you in obtaining the necessary clearance so that you can start reading with a DCPS student. You can learn more about the DCPS clearance process below. Reminder – you do not need a DCPS Clearance if you plan to volunteer at Key Elementary school in Arlington, VA.
I have a DCPS Clearance but it will expire during the 2019-2020 school year. Can I still serve as a Power Lunch mentor?
Yes! So long as you have a valid clearance you can start reading with a student. We will work with you to renew your clearance during the school year so that you don’t have a break in your volunteer service.
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.
District of Columbia public schools Clearance
If you plan to read at a DCPS school, there are three things you need to do. Don’t worry, we can help with all of these!