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Orientation for Prospective Art & Science in One Volunteers

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Tobin Montessori School

197 Vassal Lane

Cambridge, MA 02138

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Thank you for your interest in helping engage kids with science learning and acquire basic science observation and recording skills through CSV's Art & Science in One program. Many of our volunteers return every spring because they find working outdoors closely with one child, sparking the student's interest in nature and the environment, to be so rewarding. You'll find your volunteering is rewarded not just by your effect on student learning but also by the shared purpose amongst volunteers, staff, and educators involved in this program.

Art & Science in One, Session A (Wednesdays): March 6 or 18 (orientation), March 20, March 27, April 3, April 10, April 24, May 1, May 8.

Art & Science in One, Session B (Fridays): April 5 (orientation), April 26, May 3, May 10, May 17, May 24, May 31, June 7


What is Art & Science in One?

Art & Science in One (AS1) provides one-to-one volunteer mentors in outdoor nature journaling to an entire classroom of elementary school students. The class is a mixed class of Grade 4 and Grade 5 students in Cambridge's public accredited Montessori school.

Do I have to be an artist or scientist to join as a volunteer in this program?

No, you do not. However, you do need to have an enthusiasm for the outdoors and for learning new things. The main requirement is being able to model genuine interest and curiosity in a natural setting. Artists and scientists are, however, always very welcome as members of this volunteer mentor community!

You should also have an interest/comfort level in working with children of this age (9–11).

What is the time commitment?

Volunteers must commit to attending each of eight two-hour sessions (including the orientation).

All sessions begin promptly at 11:30 a.m. and end at 1:30 p.m.

Can I volunteer in both sessions (session A and session B)?

Yes. Each session (one in early spring, and one in late spring) serves a different class, and we are delighted to welcome applicants who wish to become a mentor in both sessions.

How do I sign up for orientation?

Click "Select a Date" above, and then "Register." You can also call us to register: 617-349-6794. The Art & Science in One program coordinator will contact you by phone prior to orientation.

What happens at orientation?

At orientation, you will learn about the goals of the program, how and when you will be trained, and about the school and students. In addition, you visit and learn some basic information about the outdoor habitat at the heart of the program, guided by a city ranger and CSV staff. We'll go over dates and logistics and you will have the opportunity to ask questions. You'll fill out the required forms for joining the program as a mentor, as well (please bring a photo ID, and, if possible, your completed referral forms to orientation).

Is orientation required to join AS1 as a volunteer mentor?

Yes. Orientation is part of the application process. The orientation is a mandatory session for people volunteering as mentors in the Art & Science in One program. Also, attending orientation does not guarantee that you will be accepted into the program as a regular mentor, as we may have more applicants than needed. Alternates who are trained with regular mentors and called to fill in, in case of emergency, are also needed.

You'll leave the orientation with a better understanding of Art & Science in One as well as information a range of CSV volunteer opportunities that might interest you, both in the spring and in the following school year.

When is orientation?

Your orientation will be on one of the two dates listed here on Eventbrite. You should choose only one date. If you intend to apply for the first session (Session A), you must come to the March 6 or March 18 orientation. If you intend to apply for the second session (Session B), you may choose either orientation date. See this FAQ, above, for the full list of session dates.

When will I be trained?

Training is embedded in the first few sessions on the list of dates.

What if I have vacation, work travel, or exams during one of the program dates?

Because mentorship is an important feature of volunteering in this program, and we know the value of a reliable, consistent mentor for our students, we ask you to commit to all dates. If you have no more than one known schedule conflict, we'll talk to you about the possibilty of joining the program, but we give preference to candidates who can commit to all of the dates on the schedule.

What about April School Vacation Week during Session B?
There will be no session on the Friday of April School Vacation Week, which falls during Session B.

Who are the students? Will I have one student?
The students in the program are all the students in combined 4th- and 5th-grade classroom, who reflect the Cambridge Public Schools enrollment. Each volunteer in the program is paired with a single student for the duration of the program.

Can I help if I’ve never worked in a school?
Yes! You do not have to have prior experience as a tutor or teacher.

Do I need to provide references or have a CORI check?
Yes. You'll receive a reference from once you register, and bring. Your two references should be individuals who have known you for at least one year. Also, bring a government-issued photo ID (driver's license or passport) for a CORI (criminal record) check.

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Tobin Montessori School

197 Vassal Lane

Cambridge, MA 02138

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