Volunteering with Washtenaw Promise

Washtenaw Promise is a non-profit organization with a mission to improve educational opportunity and to increase connections to human resources for children who live in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with the challenges of poverty. We work primarily with young children, ages 3-6 and their families. We have several opportunities for student volunteers to engage with children and the community in meaningful ways. We will guide you through your experience, maintaining weekly contact as needed throughout the term, helping to make the experience rewarding for you and impactful for others. Please consider volunteering for one or more of the ideas below and plan to meet with us soon at the start of your term, to discuss more details of these options. We look forward to working with you!

Volunteering in the “Big Friends” Mentoring Program

at Beatty Early Learning Center

Over a third of all children ages five or under in the Ypsilanti community are living in poverty. Many simply don’t have enough connection to caring adults outside the family. When a supportive adult makes a consistent connection and offers friendship, it can make an incredible difference. Our Project Outreach volunteers become a “Big Friend” as they show up each week (up to 4 hours) in a public preschool with an encouraging and re-affirming presence. We provide our volunteers with training before beginning their assignment and support them on a weekly basis onsite at Beatty Early Learning Center, a public preschool, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where they work directly with kids and teachers.

Mentor Training Videos



Volunteer Orientation Presentation


Volunteering in The “Read With Kids” Program

at Ford Early Learning Center

Ford Early Learning Center is a public school in the Ypsilanti Community School District for students in preschool, kindergarten and first grade. Our volunteer program at Ford is designed to give students an opportunity for more one-on-one or small group reading time with an adult. Our intention is to work with teachers to reinforce reading skills and to help kids develop an even greater love of books and written language. We partner with the Children’s Literacy Network in this program and train volunteers to feel comfortable reading selected books in a relaxed setting in the school for 20-minute sessions. We hope that you will consider joining us at Ford for at least one hour each week. Times are very flexible to work with your schedule!

  • Contact Informations and Guidelines for “Reading With Kids” Volunteers (Coming Soon)

Our Penpal Program

Washtenaw Promise also offers an opportunity for preschool students and adult volunteers to develop meaningful connections on a weekly basis through the exchange of letters. Please contact us if you have an interest in becoming a penpal to a preschooler. You can start a friendship with a wonderful child who truly needs help in learning to read and write. You can do this from home, with the opportunity to meet your new friend at their school in the future. We will guide you through the transformative experience!