Volunteer at Star Learning Center

Provides Students with one-to-one Tutoring

A young woman tutoring another young woman.
A woman and young girl smiling while seated at a desk next to a bookshelf.

Star began as a volunteer homework help program in the 1950s at Neighborhood House on the West Side. In 1971 Neighborhood House joined with St. Matthew and St. Timothy’s Center and shortly afterwards the Star Learning Center was born in name and purpose. In 2011, St. Matthew’s and St. Timothy’s Neighborhood Center joined forces with Goddard Riverside, incorporating the Star Learning Center Program into our offerings.

Volunteer Opportunities

We have a community of over 175 volunteer tutors, ranging in age from 15 to over 80 years old, all committed to ensuring that every child has the support they need to thrive academically. We welcome anyone in 10th grade or older to apply to become a volunteer tutor. Click here to apply for School Year Tutoring or Summer Tutoring.

Help a student improve academically and nurture their interest in learning in a supportive environment!

  • Join our community of more than 175 tutors.
  • A program with over 50 years in the community.
  • Making a difference! Star tutors volunteered over 5,600 hours over our 2022-23 program year.

More than just a tutoring program

Star matches each student with a tutor that they will meet with once a week for two hours for the duration of the program (school year or summer). When matching students and tutors, we take into account not only the subjects needed and grade level but also each individual’s temperament and learning/tutoring style. Each volunteer receives an orientation on their student and an individualized planning sheet to help guide their sessions. Tutors also have access to tutoring materials for a wide range of subjects and grade levels and a library full of books they can read with their students. 

In addition to tutoring, Star provides assistance to students and their families in navigating various educational systems and processes, including:

  • Navigating the NYC public high school application process 
  • Navigating NYC public schools’ special education system, obtaining and working with an IEP (individualized education program), and finding resources to support a student with a disability
  • Referral to a college application and success program
  • Finding and applying for educational opportunity enrichment programs such as Prep for Prep and the TEAK Fellowship

Through Star, students gain confidence and motivation to learn. We help them set goals, grow their social emotional intelligence, and connect with resources and mentors that will help them succeed in school and beyond.


“I wanted to reiterate how much T loves coming to tutoring on Thursdays. It pleases my heart, that the connection with Janet is valued to him. And he has made progress with us at home.”

Parent of a 3rd grader at Star

“Yesterday I graduated, and as I reflected on my journey, I realized how supportive you were of me in pursuing my aspirations and seeing this experience through. I just wanted to say thank you for being a part of my network of support and for giving me the tutoring I required. Without Star Learning, I genuinely doubt I would have performed so well in college. In addition, I graduated summa cum laude…despite the odds, I tried my hardest to finish strong. I am grateful to have completed this part of my life.”

Recent graduate who received tutoring at Star in middle school and college 

K and A’s Story

K, a working professional tutor, and A, a high school student, began working together at Star in October 2020. A’s grades took a downturn as the pandemic continued, particularly in 2021, with numerous Cs, Ds, and Fs on report cards. By the beginning of the 22-23 school year with the help of a different Star Tutor A had managed to bring her grades up, especially in the humanities, but was still struggling with math, one of K’s specialties.

K arrived at every session with a coffee in one hand and a treat for A in the other. During her work with A, K was able to determine that what she needed most was help with managing and keeping track of her school assignments. Different teachers used different platforms to assign and track assignments, and A lacked a management system for what was due and when. With K’s steadfast support, A was able to take the C she received in geometry in the fall term and turn it into a B+ in the spring. K also helped her apply to Summer Search, a mentorship and training program for city youth. Thanks to K’s dedication and can-do attitude and the sense of motivation she instilled in A, A finished the year strong and was able to go on the Summer Search program instead of attending summer tutoring.