Welcome to Family Centers' Volunteer/Community Engagement Information Page. We have many opportunities at Family Centers for you to get involved and make a difference! If you have an idea for a project or volunteer experience that you don't see listed, please email Jennifer Flatow.
We also welcome corporate and school groups.
Literacy Volunteers at Family Centers is looking for volunteers to teach adults to read, write and speak the English language. Workshops teach a variety of techniques with emphasis on determining how the student learns best. Training includes practice and demonstration, lesson planning, and goal setting. Interested volunteers must be able to attend all sessions and previous teaching experience is not necessary. Please contact us for more information and join our dedicated group of dynamic tutors and make a difference in your community!
Please Check Back for Info on the Next Tutor Training to Be Held in the Late Fall/Early Winter!
The Den for Grieving Kids
With over 45 trained volunteer facilitators, the Den for Grieving Kids provides vital services to families in lower Fairfield County creating a safe environment for children, teens, parents and caregivers to discuss their bereavement issues. On-going supervision and instruction help the facilitators develop their capacity to be a helpful presence to the bereaved.
We offer two types of facilitator positions: the nights of service facilitator and the school based group facilitator. Nights of service facilitators are asked to commit to either a Monday or Wednesday evening schedule (meeting twice a month from 6:00-9:00pm). The evening consists of a pre and post meeting between facilitators and staff to both prepare and debrief about the interaction with participants. Please click here to see the 2016-2017 Den calendar.
School based group facilitators commit to a weekly schedule of about one hour onsite at their assigned school, with some preparation time required outside of the school visit. Currently there are Den groups taking place in 18 schools in the greater Greenwich/Stamford area. The time for this position varies slightly from week to week so students do not consistently miss the same class. Please click here to see a list of current school based group locations.
The Den hosts an annual training for new and returning volunteers each fall. If you are interested in becoming a facilitator, please click here to inquire about becoming a Den Facilitator.
Early Care and Education
Family Centers' Early Care and Education program is seeking volunteers who can assist in the classroom with children ages 3-5 years old. Volunteer sessions are available Monday through Friday in the morning between 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or in the afternoon between 2:45 p.m.-5:45 p.m. at one of two locations in Greenwich: The Grauer Preschool (40 Arch Street) or The Gateway Preschool (2 Chapel Street). All volunteers will be supervised by licensed early childhood education teachers, and will help facilitate activities and learning experiences for children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old. Interested volunteers should have some experience working with young children, and/or experience in an early childhood setting. All volunteers are required to come in for a personal interview and to complete an application. Volunteers must meet the minimum age requirement to volunteer (15), and those volunteers over the age of 18 must submit to a background check. Family Centers' Early Childhood Education Program is accredited by the NAEYC.
Greenwich Head Start and Family Centers' School Readiness Program (located at Armstrong Court in Greenwich) seeks dedicated volunteers to work in our classrooms with children ages 3 & 4 years old. Volunteers should enjoy being around young children in a preschool classroom setting and should be comfortable talking and listening to children with the ability to "get down on their level" both physically and mentally. Volunteers should enjoy books and stories that are age appropriate and also have the ability to “ad-lib”, enhance stories and ask questions as they go. The goal of this volunteer position is NOT to teach young children to read, but to inspire good feelings about reading and books and to increase interest in reading and books both inside and outside the classroom. This volunteer position is very flexible and can take place either in the morning (between 9:30-12:00) or in the afternoon (between 3:30-5:30). The minimum age to volunteer is 15, and those volunteers over the age of 18 are required to complete a background check. All volunteers are asked to schedule a personal interview.
Recreation Activity Volunteer
Greenwich Head Start and Family Centers' School Readiness Program (located at Armstrong Court in Greenwich are interested in afternoon volunteers (3:30-5 pm) to lead special group activities. Activities may include include: dance, yoga, art, reading, introduction to sports, musical instruments, cooking and science. Volunteers would create and implement three to four mini classes (20-30 minutes in length) and visit each of our four classrooms. Throughout the day our children have opportunities to explore learning areas, but this volunteer opportunity could lead a teacher-direct/more focused activity. Our teaching staff would support the volunteer and partake in the class with the volunteer leader. Family Centers’ Site Manger will work with the volunteer details regarding space and supplies needed to make the visit a success. The minimum age to volunteer is 15, and those volunteers over the age of 18 are required to complete a background check. All volunteers are asked to schedule a personal interview.
Classroom Materials Drive
Mega Blocks, Duplos, and Legos (o my!): Greenwich Head Start and Family Centers' School Readiness Program (located at Armstrong Court in Greenwich is always looking to expand our collection!! These materials are an excellent way for our children to develop fine motor skills and create mini-figure stories and scenes which inspire so much language!
Dramatic Play: We are always looking for gently used dress up materials (skirts, lacy gloves, sports gear, heals and loafers, purses and wallets) to encourage the children to explore the different characters and roles in their lives.
Loose Parts: We are looking for large tires to add to our back playground. These versatile materials can be used for climbing, jumping, stacking, creating an obstacle course*
*Please note that loose parts materials must be able to be delivered directly to Armstrong Court
Family Centers’ Site Manger will work directly with the donor regarding delivery of items
RITE Program (Reaching Independence through Employment)
Individuals and families utilize the career, educational counselling, goal planning, work readiness, life skills and family support services of the Reaching Independence through Employment (RITE) program as tools to reach a higher level of self-sufficiency and healthy interdependence. The RITE Program Coordinators guide the participants throughout, using a model of continuous evaluation and encouraging participant self-assessment along the way. Participants can engage in individualized and group based support focusing on resume writing, interview skills, the job search, LinkedIn and other web-based tools, financial literacy and more.
Referrals to numerous agencies for basic needs, computer training and job skills training are also provided. The RITE Program is free of charge and is open to residents living in or near lower Fairfield County.
Job Readiness Day Host
Do you have employees who would like to mentor, although do not have the time to commit to a year-long program? This is an opportunity to be a mentor for ONE DAY, and create a lasting impact in someone’s life!
The RITE Program is looking to partner with local businesses that would be willing to share their expertise and model “a day in the life” in a professional setting to aspiring and determined candidates. RITE Program Coordinators identify a small group of clients who are ready to spend time shadowing employees, receiving feedback on their resumes, participating in mock-interviews and simply gaining exposure in a professional environment. This “day in the life” is entitled the “Job Readiness Day” and can last for just a few hours up to a full work day, depending on the wishes of the host organization. This unique experience is equally as rewarding to business owners and employees as it is for our eager clients. This program is not a promise of employment to RITE clients, but more to showcase all aspects of a professional work environment and its place in the community.
Family FIRST Tutors
FamilyFIRST is a new collaboration between Family Centers and the Greenwich YMCA. This fall a number of students are enrolled and are committed to the program five days a week with a goal of closing the achievement gap by providing supportive services to them and their families.
We are seeking High School Tutors to assist both K-5 students, as well as middle school age students who are attending this program. Tutors will provide academic support in math and reading for students on an as needed basis. Instruction and activities are designed expressly to promote subject mastery, develop grade-level competencies and to teach study skills.
Tutoring shifts are available Monday through Friday from 3:30-4:30pm and is hosted at two locations: the YMCA located at 50 E. Putnam Avenue, and St. Roch Church located at 10 St. Roch Avenue.
Community and Supportive Services
Recreational Activity Volunteer
Family Centers is looking for enthusiastic adults or college/ high school students to work in collaboration with our Resident Service Coordinators at our various public housing locations to facilitate recreational, social and educational activities. If you have a special talent or interest and you are willing to share it with others, this could be the perfect volunteer opportunity! Activities can meet weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or even just once, depending on the volunteer's availability and the nature of the activity. Day of the week and times are flexible.
Click here to inquire about becoming a Recreational Activity Volunteer.
Food Delivery Volunteer
In collaboration with the Connecticut Food Bank (Commodity Supplemental Food Program) and Charter Oak Communities, Family Centers is looking for volunteers to assist with the unloading and distribution of food boxes at four residential senior locations in Stamford.
Volunteers are needed the second Thursday of the month from approximately 9:00-12:30. The delivery schedule will begin at 9:00am and unfold as follows: Stamford Manor (26 Main Street): 50 boxes, Post House (40 Clinton Avenue): 25 boxes, Quintard Manor (18 Quintard Terrace): 15 boxes and lastly Rippowam Manor (11 North Street): 30 boxes. Each stop will take about 30 minutes with the unloading and delivering into the building. Volunteers should be able to lift up to 25lbs. and must provide their own transportation from site to site.
Nurturing Families Network (NFN): Stamford & Greenwich Hospitals
The Nurturing Families Network (NFN) is a statewide support program for first-time parents that provides a system of continuous care designed to promote positive parenting. The NFN program at Family Centers is offered to all new parents giving birth at Greenwich and Stamford hospitals. After completing their training, volunteers contact parents by phone and offer support, educational materials, group events and referral information to other community services. Information to parents may include topics such as newborn feeding, childcare, stress management, immunizations, and other critical information about the health and care of their new baby. Volunteers will be supervised by the program coordinator.
Hours are flexible for this opportunity and volunteers may work out of our Stamford location (60 Palmer's Hill Road) or one of our Greenwich locations (40 Arch Street or 22 Bridge Street). In addition to the training a personal interview and background check is required. Spanish speaking volunteers are encouraged to apply.
Click here to inquire about becoming an NFN volunteer.
Housing Resource Program
Family Centers’ Housing Resource Program provides temporary rental assistance for individuals who are living with a prolonged mental illness and are chronically or facing homeless in the greater Stamford and Norwalk areas. The goal of the program is to provide stability through rental assistance until greater independence can be achieved.
If you are interested in assisting our clients through a food drive/ making a donation to our Stamford pantry, please refer to the list below of preferred items that we are seeking:
If you are interested in making a food donation for our clients, please contact Gregory Hauck.
Mothers for Others, a partnership with Family Centers, Inc. & Greenwich Social Services
Mothers for Others is a diaper bank for lower Fairfield County, run by a group of mothers and based in Greenwich, Connecticut. Families that are in need receive a two week supply of free diapers and wipes. The organization also accepts gently used or new infant and child equipment (strollers, high chairs, swings, and pack n’ plays) toys, books, and games for children newborn to age 5. Mothers for Others allows our community to find a meaningful place to donate unwanted items while helping other families obtain those same items that they need but cannot afford. With the help of Family Centers, Inc., YWCA, Kids in Crisis and Greenwich Social Services, Mothers for Others is able to identify and assist local families that have immediate needs for items that will help their children thrive and grow.
Diapers, wipes, and other donations may be dropped off during the day (M-F) at the Mothers for Others sorting room on the 2nd floor of Second Congregational Church (139 East Putnam Avenue, Greenwich). To read more about Mothers for Others, please click here: http://www.mothersforothers.org/
Click here to download our Volunteer Handbook