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Why Focus On Middle School?

In our community, children who live in poverty graduate from high school at an average rate of 81%, while their classmates graduate at a rate of 89%. If any of these students have 1 or more of the following ABC indicators during their middle grades years - and there is no intervention - their likelihood of high school graduation drops to just 25%.

style=Attendance                    missing 18 days or 10% of school

Behavior                        two or more mild to serious referrals

Course Performance      failing a core course such as English or Math


We Need Your Help

The Asheville Buncombe Middle Grades Network utilizes a collective impact strategy that brings together Asheville City Schools, Buncombe County Schools and community partners around a shared vision of creating success ready 9th graders and improving graduation rates. We need YOU to get involved today as a caring adult! 

What's New?  2016-2017 Stats!

The school year is over and what a year it has been! 48 volunteers contributed 733 hours as tutors and mentors to middle school students. Ranging from meeting with a student during their lunch to supporting after school programs to mountain biking with their mentee, these volunteers are making a huge difference in the lives of students in our community. Their contribution amounts to an in-kind value of over $16,800! Pretty amazing accomplishment! 

What Does This Look Like?  

Volunteer opportunities include working with students in a number of different settings and timeframes. Opportunities range from tutoring and mentoring to event support. All volunteers who participate in these opportunities will receive the training necessary to feel confident in working with middle schoolers. Most of the opportunities will require a background check and a longer-term commitment in fairness to the student and to allow for time to build a solid relationship with the student. The long and short of it - mentors spend quality time to invest in the social and emotional well-being of a middle school student. Some programs are in school, others outside the school walls. Below are the various volunteer opportunities separated out by the time of day they are available.


  • Before-School Tutor or Reading Buddy: Once per week, tutor and/or read with students (one-on-one or in small groups) who have been identified as needing additional academic support in math, reading, language arts, science or social studies.
  • Before-School Breakfast Buddy: Once per week, spend time getting to know one student or a small group of students. You can do pre-planned activities with them or just hang out and chat.


  • Lunch/Snack Buddy: Once per week, meet with one student or a small group of students, doing pre-planned activities or talking with them. Opportunity connect one-on-one with a student at a time that is more convenient for you.
  • Daytime Tutor or Reading Coach: Tutor or read with students who have been identified as needing additional academic support.
  • Daytime Classroom Assistant: Provide classroom support for teachers, including making copies, cleaning or decorating classroom, or working with students.


  • Boys and Girls Club: Volunteer as an after-school tutor in math, language arts or English as a Second Language at the Boys and Girls Club site in West Asheville.
  • Girls on the Run: Want to help inspire and prepare girls in 6th-8th grade for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy choices? Become an after-school running coach or assistant at local middle school sites! No running experience necessary.
  • YMCA After-school Club Assistant: Assist with set-up, break-down, working with students, or other tasks. Sites include many middle schools throughout Buncombe County.
  • YMCA After-school Tutoring Assistant: Support YMCA Horizon’s Program staff and teachers with fun lessons and homework help. Sites include many middle schools throughout Buncombe County.
  • IRL (In Real Life): Volunteer to support after-school programming for middle school students at Asheville Middle School. The programming engages youth through diverse classes in art, sports, community engagement, science and discovery, theatre arts and more.


  • Homework Diner Assistant: Homework Diners are weekly family engagement events, assist with setup, serving meals, or cleanup. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE.


  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC: Be matched with a middle school student from a single-parent family to do activities two times a month for a minimum of one year. Volunteers are interviewed, trained and supported when matched. Matches plan activities together. Research shows that Big Brothers and Big Sisters help Littles build resiliency, improve self-confidence, improve social skills, increase exposure to new activities, and improve attitude toward school.
  • Open Doors: A Team Leader advocates for OpenDoors students in their schools, helping them gain access to school resources and out-of-school enrichment opportunities so they can graduate from high school and thrive. Team Leaders coordinate and provide transportation, apply for scholarships for tutoring and other needed services or enrichment opportunities, and coordinate enrichment and after-school activities.

CLICK HERE to view the complete list of volunteer opportunities that are available right now! 

 Check out this video of volunteer Jeff Paul sharing about his experience as a Big Brother