Tutoring and Mentoring (TAM) Program

The Tutoring and Mentoring (TAM) Program is a
free after-school program serving “medium-risk” to “high-risk” students in first through sixth grade with reading, math, and basic homework support. Through TAM’s structured educational and recreational activities, we are able to encourage and strengthen the developmental assets in our students which ultimately helps them achieve academic and social success.

The TAM Program occurs afterschool from 2:45pm until 4:45 pm at five local elementary schools (Brook Hill, J.X. Wilson, Abraham Lincoln, James Monroe and Schaefer), providing afterschool tutoring and mentoring to nearly fifty students.

During the first hour, the TAM Program provides healthy snacks for all of the children participating. Once all of the children have enjoyed their snack we have the volunteer tutors emphasize on academic assistance by offering one-on-one tutoring. The second hour is spent mentoring in different activities such as, playing sports, arts and crafts and playing games. The intention of this program is to help our TAM students develop moral character traits, which will help them ultimately become good citizens and assets in our community.

The TAM Mission Statement

To improve the academic achievement of students through increasing their overall knowledge, skills and time devoted to schoolwork, by providing additional or remedial academic instruction and guidance. Our mission is accomplished by one-on-one interaction, which encourages the student to achieve their goals by emphasizing the complete person; academically, spiritually, emotionally and physically.


academic success

Two of our TAM students, Magaly and Stephanie (sixth grade), have been in the program for the past four years. During this time they have been working with their volunteer tutor Barbara. The TAM Program has helped them in many ways, including assisting with homework and developing the confidence to achieve their future goals. “I would be sad if I wasn’t part of the TAM Program. Barbara helps me understand how to figure out my math problems. I had a C- in math, but now I’m getting B’s and A’s” says Magaly.

Stephanie is planning for her future. “I plan on graduating from high school in 2021 and graduating from college in 2025, then I want to get a medical degree and become a surgeon. I want to help people” says Stephanie. The TAM Program has helped Stephanie learn to enjoy reading and she is now confident in achieving her future academic goals. Both students enjoy working with Barbara and think of her as a friend, not just their tutor. Both Magaly and Stephanie agree that, “Barbara is always supporting us”.

Interested in volunteering for the TAM program?

Are you over the age of 16 and feel that education is important?  Do you care about the future of the youth in Sonoma County? If so, then you may be the right person to become a tutor/mentor to a very lucky child.

Our tutor/mentors are volunteers from all walks of life, with a common interest in children and education. The commitment they make is to faithfully meet with their assigned students, one-on-one, for two hours each week while school is in session. As children and their adult tutors get to know each other, a trust develops and along with that trust, a desire to improve. School leaders report TAM students see test scores rise and along with that improved self-confidence and self-discipline.

Interested in becoming a tutor? Call Laura Shepherd, Director of Tutoring and Mentoring, at 707-535-4251, or email her at laura.shepherd@usw.salvationarmy.org.

Volunteer requirements

The requirements are as follows:

  • Complete a volunteer tutor application, include two references
  • Participate in the orientation and training process
  • For the safety of our students, volunteers will be fingerprinted as a part of a Department of Justice (DOJ) criminal background check
  • State Law mandates that all volunteers working in the public schools must have a negative TB test on file

Interested in donating to the TAM program?

We have several ways for individuals and organizations to donate to the TAM program.You may simply donate gifts of cash to sponsor a student in the TAM program. Or you may also help by providing elementary age books, notebooks, binder paper, pencils, art supplies, recreational equipment (soccer balls), board games or  by providing the healthy snacks for all of the students.

We have found providing healthy snacks to be important to teach children about the benefits of healthy eating when they are young, so they will seek out healthy foods on their own as teens and adults. Your donation will encourage them to make healthy snacking decisions.

We hope you will consider donating to the TAM program. Please call  Laura Shepherd, Director of Tutoring and Mentoring, at 707-535-4251, or email her at laura.shepherd@usw.salvationarmy.org if you are interested in donating to the TAM program.

Useful documents:

Tutoring and Mentoring Brochure

Tutoring and Mentoring Sponsor a Student Brochure

Tutoring and Mentoring Volunteer Application