Mentors in Toledo Schools

Literacy Tutoring and Mentoring with a Track Record of Success.

Bring CCRSG to your school this fall using ESSER Funds. Our career programming qualifies and gets your students ready for high school and beyond!

Mentors in Toledo Schools or MiTS provides literacy and social emotional support to help all students meet the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. School day tutoring and mentoring is provided one-to-one by highly trained volunteer mentor/tutors. Classroom lessons are used in the program to catch struggling students up to their non-struggling peers.

This year, Mentors in Toledo Schools is providing virtual tutoring during regular school hours. It will still be one-to-one with students to give them that personal attention and support needed, especially at this time when so much has changed during the pandemic. We are proud to announce that Washington Local Schools is joining us this year.

If you can take 30 minutes out of your work day once per week, we would love to have you join us as a tutor. It’s easy and so important for these children.

To bring MiTS to your school or to volunteer, please contact Director of Tutoring Programs, Sharonda Diggins, at [email protected]. Background checks and training are free to our volunteers.

What makes Mentors in Toledo Schools (MiTS) so successful?

  • It’s volunteer tutors working hand in hand with teachers to provide students with one-to-one literacy tutoring.
  • It’s caring, consistent mentor/tutors providing individualized support on the same class lessons student’s peers are experiencing but that teachers simply cannot do with a class size of 25 or more students.
  • It’s students spending time with well-trained literacy mentor/tutors during the school day, so nothing going on in class is missed but rather enhanced instead.

How does the program work?

Mentors in Toledo Schools employs a director and a host of site coordinators that serve in the schools to ensure that teachers, students and mentor/tutors are receiving a great experience. When we are in person, students leave the classroom to spend 30 minutes with our highly trained mentor/tutors working on lessons that other students are doing in the classroom. This allows one-on-one time on lessons covering the Five Pillars of Literacy with a caring, consistent adult focusing both on that child’s literacy and social-emotional growth. During the pandemic, we are reaching students both in school and at home, wherever it is convenient for schools, parents and students.

Volunteers can dedicate from half an hour a week up to two hours per week tutoring. The schedule is flexible to accommodate personal needs with a dedicated number of individuals providing time to the program. The program runs only during the school year, October-May, and follows a typical school schedule of holiday breaks.

Schools we served in 2019-2020: Arlington, DeVeaux, Escuela SMART/SMART school, Garfield, Larchmont, Longfellow, McKinley, Old Orchard, Queen of Apostles, Sherman and Whittier schools.
We added Greenwood  in Washington Local this year.
Some statistics from last school year.
    • The total number of mentoring/tutoring sessions was 9,187.
    • The total number of mentored/tutored students was 684, up 26% from last year!
    • The total number of mentor/tutors was 196.

Want to learn more?

View our video of our program in Toledo Public Schools

View our video about the pen pal program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please consider becoming a mentor/tutor for the program.

We would love to have you join us in our efforts to ensure that all students in Toledo are successful readers by third grade.

If you are interested in volunteering, please click here to visit the Volunteer to Mentor Information form or call Dionisia Vasquez, at 419-242-2122.

Mentoring day will become your favorite day of the month or week!

Free volunteer training for the MiTS program is now available on our Volunteer Training page.

There is a series of different trainings available. Click here to find out more and take the free training.


MiTS: A History of Better Outcomes for Students

Mentors in Toledo Schools has a history rooted in the Ohio Reads program. When that program ended, Jay Mirrow of Temple Congregation Shomer Emunim, asked the principal of Toledo Public School’s McKinley Elementary if he might revive the program at his school with a group of volunteers from the Temple and a group of Kindergarten through third-grade students needing help with reading.

The program now serves over 500 Kindergarten through third-grade students in area public and private schools with more than 200 volunteers from several faith communities and businesses including the Temple, Cedar Creek Church and the Area Office on Aging.

Mentors in Toledo Schools is both scalable and economical because we utilize so many dedicated volunteers to work with students. We would be happy to talk to you about it bringing our program to your school.  We use real-time technology to collect student data so teachers know right away how their student performed during tutoring that day. We compare tutor and teacher reports to the student’s standardized test scores to measure growth in literacy skills.

For more information on how our program works providing caring, consistent adults in the lives of students and improving student literacy, click the links to read our evaluation reports and an article about our program published in the Journal, Evaluation and Program Planning, below.


Get Involved

Click the links below to view MiTS Program Reports from MetriKs Amérique LLC.

MITS Full Evaluation Report 2016-2017

MITS Full Evaluation Report 2017-2018

MITS Full Evaluation Report 2018-2019

Evaluation and Program Planning Lavenia and Burgoon (2019)

MITS Full Evaluation Report 2019-2020

Volunteer for the Mentors in Toledo Schools program.

Our tutoring times are mornings, Monday-Friday (depending on the school you select) during the school year. We tutor grade levels in half-hour sessions and see grades kindergarten through four throughout the morning. And this year, you can tutor from wherever you are with a computer or a tablet and internet access.

We guarantee it will become your favorite time of week!

If you have signed up to volunteer, click here to view our Best Practices for Volunteers Online Training. It will only take 20 minutes.


Learn More

For more information contact Dionsia Vasquez,  [email protected]

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Mentors in Toledo Schools is sponsored by: