Outreach360 is grass-roots volunteer organization where International volunteers and donors work to transform the world by providing children living in economically disadvantaged areas with educational opportunities. Since 1994 we have worked with over 15,000 volunteers and through our Learning Center Model our vision is that children will grow up living a life of choice. That is to choose to pursue a college degree or be gainfully employed thereby ending the cycle of poverty. We offer a turn-key approach for individuals, teams and families to easily get involved in either the Dominican Republic or Nicaragua
The focal point of our program is the work being done at our Learning Center. We use a well defined curriculum to provide children with English and Literacy education and there are opportunities to integrate community health and environmental education. Read more about our mission, vision and values, more about our programs.
A typical morning schedule at our Learning Center may look like this (this is a sample only - each week is a new/different/dynamic):
Depart for our Learning Center and set up
Free reading in English and Spanish with our students
English/Spanish Literacy class for the other group of students
English/Spanish Literacy class for the other group of students
10:55 AM – English/Spanish Literacy class for the other group of students
Debrief & return to Volunteer Center.
*In the afternoon we will depart at 2 PM and the schedule follows the same timing as our morning program.
**The week also includes a variety of activities for volunteers (both educational and recreational)
We are using Level 1 of “Backpack”, a professional English as a Foreign Language curriculum designed for children in primary school. This curriculum comes with a great teacher’s guide as well as additional resources including posters; audio CD; and picture cards. Each of our students in our Learning Center has their own copy of the Backpack Level 1 student book and workbook. You will be working alongside other volunteers to teach.
Spanish Literacy Focus:
We are using the Scholastic Guided Reading Program in Spanish as a base to work with our students on their Spanish Literacy skills. It is not necessary to be fluent in Spanish to work effectively with our students with this program. We have had volunteers with intermediate Spanish skills who have done a great job with our students and expressed to us how much they learned from our students! This program is a varied collection of books that are categorized by the kind and level of challenge they offer students as they are learning to read. The program has 60 books divided into 12 levels. All of our children have been assessed and are working to move their way up the program. Each book in the program comes with a teacher’s guide with ideas for words to work on, expansion ideas as well as activities. Our students are keeping a reading log as well as making notes on new words learning and writing/illustrating mini book reports. Our students who are in grade 1 are just learning how to read in their primary school. For this group we are working on basic reading skills such as simple syllables and writing skills. Whenever possible we try to focus on small groups of students with one or two volunteers or even 1:1 in our Spanish literacy classes since we have students at so many different reading and writing levels.
When can I volunteer?
Short-Term Volunteer Program
Outreach360 offers a short-term volunteer program for Teams and Individuals to join us from 1-7 weeks any time of the year (starting and ending on a Saturday). Learn more about our short-term program.
Is there a program donation? We are both a volunteer and fund-raising organization; our volunteers commit to help raise funds for the programs we sponsor based on the length of their stay. We encourage volunteers not to pay any of their program donations, but instead raise funds through the sponsorship of family and friends. When you sign up, you will receive an on-line fund-raising page that will allow you to easily send out informative emails to family and friends, inviting them to sponsor you through donations on-line, or checks sent through the mail. View program donation requirements | View our fund-raising guide
How can I prepare for the experience or learn more about the program?
The Volunteer Information Guide is the best way to learn about the details of our program. You will not be prepared without reading through each section. A Outreach360 staff member will be available to you from the time you register to the time you depart for your volunteer experience and in country you will be led by a great group of leaders; view staff profiles here.We will have a full program orientation at your volunteer location and you will have a chance to visit our Learning Center and spend time planning for your classes. Please feel free to use this person to answer any questions you might have. You may also contact us through our website with any questions here.
Focusing primarily on Spanish Literacy and English Language Learning, Outreach360 sees education as a sustainable solution to poverty in Latin America and a powerful means for achieving our mission. This is a short video overviewing an Outreach360 Learning Center in Nicaragua.
Our mission is to help children growing up in very poor neighborhoods to stay in school, and to graduate qualified to attend a local university or obtain gainful employment. We are focused on education to fulfill that mission.
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810 Registered Members!
"Outreach360 is a very well developed charity which I highly recommend. They have very strong, but realistic goals that they are working towards little by little. This is an experience comparable to no other, and everyone is welcome, you don't need a teaching degree to participate. It was an unforgettable experience for me and I'm sure it would be the same for you."
Chanice Horuc-Lake, Brock University, Canada
"As a teacher, I would say that this is the most valuable trip I have taken with high school students. They had to engage immediately, get outside of themselves, and work really hard. The results of their hard work teaching kids were quickly evident and it propelled them to work even harder for the next class. Our students are forever changed by this experience. Outreach360 is a model for sustainable development at its best."
Maria McIvor, Faculty, Oregon Episcopal School, March 2012
The highlight for me was feeling accepted into the community and feeling protected and loved by Outreach360 and the community. I loved hanging out at the park and seeing how people live and teaching them. It's a great way to experience a new culture and be part of something bigger than you and your life. You will feel like you have made an impact by the time you go home. You will see new things and also bring new things for the kids to learn. If you have never taught before, you will be able to be proud you helped. I am.
Rebecca Reynolds, Age 13, Dominican Republic Program