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Los Ayudantes


Working in Redwood City since 2002, Los Ayudantes (the “Helpers”) provides help to students to build English literacy skills and U.S. cultural awareness. We work with small groups of students in the classroom and provide after school enrichment and book clubs so students can get extra reading practice and be encouraged by positive adults who believe in them.

Volunteer Role

Most volunteers work directly with students. Volunteers lead small reading groups of 3-4 fourth or fifth grade students in the after school Book Club program, working with leveled books and engaging in discussion about plot, characters, and relevance to the students’ own life experience. We also incorporate Readers’ Theater into our Book Club program, so volunteers may help students practice and present a short piece to classmates.

Volunteers who work with middle school students work collaboratively with the classroom teacher and may help students with social studies or language arts assignments, where the focus is on critical thinking, understanding key points and relevant supporting details from the text, then applying what they have read to construct a cohesive argument. Students often lack context for what they read, so connecting the topic to things they already know, or giving them background information that relates the topic to a larger historical or social perspective is very helpful.

Students or People Served

4th through 8th grade students.

Los Ayudantes works with 4th and 5th grade students at Fair Oaks Community School and with 6th-8th grade students at McKinley Institute of Technology (MIT)

Volunteer Times

Wednesdays between 8:30am – 9:35am, 11:20am – 12:10pm and 2:45pm – 3:45pm
During the academic school year.

Program Services

Fair Oaks Community School – Book Club meets on Wednesdays, 2:45pm – 3:45pm
McKinley Institute of Technology – tutors work with small groups in one or both class periods, between 8:30am – 12:10pm.

Volunteer Commitment

1 hour per week, for the duration of the school year

Volunteer Requirements

Live Scan, TB test, love of reading, demonstrated experience working with youth, positive and respectful attitude. Fluent in English.


Join us one hour a week and help students develop reading skills, the foundation necessary for school success and a bright future. We offer a fall training in collaboration with the schools/teachers we partner with. New volunteers typically “shadow” an experienced volunteer until they are ready to lead a group of students. We also need volunteers who can help with grant applications, photography, website.

We can use Spanish speakers

We occasionally have students who speak no English and require additional assistance in the middle school classroom in order to complete in class assignments. Spanish speakers could help us with written and oral communications to parents, primarily delivered electronically.

Contact Details

Contact Name: Kimberly Gonsalves
Contact Title: Program Director
Contact Email: kimberly@losayudantes.org
Contact Phone: 650.273.READ (7323)
se habla espanol