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DePauw Community Service Programs


YMCA After school at RIDPATH

The Clay County YMCA School-Aged Child Care program at Ridpath Primary School is committed to instilling in children the core values of the YMCA: caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.  Student volunteers are needed to assist the experienced staff in providing a safe, caring and enriching after school environment where children are helped with homework, tutored in math and reading, and engaged in activities that encourage them to make new friends, enjoy new experiences and have fun. The program runs Monday through Friday at Ridpath Primary School from 3 to 6pm.   For information contact:
Note: The site requires a regular weekly volunteer commitment of at least one hour/week and requires a background check


This program serves Asbury Towers retirement home and nursing facilities. Students interact with senior citizens to gain perspective on the process of aging. Students may choose to develop individual friendships or assist with group activities. Interaction with residents may include conversing, writing letters, reading aloud, playing card games, or sharing talents (especially in the performing and creative arts). For volunteer information contact:
Note: This program requires a TB test.


Best Buddies is a global volunteer movement that offers opportunities for one-on-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Best Buddies Colleges pairs people with intellectual disabilities in one-on-one friendships with DePauw student volunteers.  Individuals with intellectual disabilities struggle with establishing friendships outside of their own environment. By becoming a College Buddy, volunteers offer the Peer Buddy a chance to broaden their life experiences. For volunteer information contact:  
Note: This program prefers a commitment for the entire academic year.


Big Brothers Big Sisters is a national mentoring program.  DePauw students spend time with their "Little" partners both during and outside of school hours. Littles and Bigs spend time together in activities such as talking about school, doing homework, reading together, shooting hoops in the gym, or playing on the playground.  Bigs can also take their Littles off campus to enjoy activities such as bowling, laser tag, basketaball games, walking in the Nature Park, or simply handing out on DePauw's campus. At the end of the day, the goal of the program is for the college role models to provide friendship, guidance, and inspiration for the many challenges of adolescence.  Many DCS volunteers have mentored the same child for several years. For volunteer information contact: 
Note: This program prefers a commitment of one volunteer hour/week for the entire academic year, and a background check.


Volunteers serve as mentors to high school students needing assistance with the college decision and application processes.  Currently, the program serves Greencastle High School  and will hopefully expand to other schools in Putnam County in the coming years. DePauw students act as college application counselors, assisting in areas such as filling out the Common Application and the FAFSA, writing essays, registering for the SAT/ACT, and applying for scholarships. The mentor will meet his/her student bi-weekly to counsel and support the mentee throughout the entire college application process. For volunteer information contact: 
Note: This program requires a commitment of two monthly on-site visits, email/phone check-ins as needed, a background check, and attendance at monthly meetings for information acquisition and reflection


Head Start is a comprehensive child and family development program. Children who attend Head Start participate in a variety of educational activities, receive developmental screenings, have healthy meals and snacks, and enjoy playing indoors and outdoors in a safe setting. Student volunteers play with children, assist at mealtimes, and help to maintain the facility as they gain an understanding of the challenges facing families on limited incomes. Head Start is located at the Area 30 Career Center located east of the University. For volunteer information contact: 
Note: This program requires a background check and a TB test.


The Humane Society of Putnam County is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to serve animals in need in Putnam County. The shelter is temporarily closed, however, the Humane Society of Putnam County continues to operate.  Volunteers work to educate the community on overpopulation problems, plan and assist with the running of large-scale fundraisers,  and assist with the operation of Rescued Treasures, a volunteer-run resale store. All revenue from the store assists the Humane Society of Putnam County in its plan to reopen and sustainably run the Putnam County shelter.  Rescued Treasures is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm. For volunteer information contact:


jumpstART is a free program that aims to connect Putnam County youth grades K-5 to different types of art movements, styles and artists in a fun and engaging way. We do so through a brief lesson followed by an art activity. We meet on the  first Saturday of every month for two hours. Student volunteers assist with set-up and breakdown of supplies, as well as aid children during the activity period. Volunteers work with the children to ensure a positive and engaging program that teaches Putnam County youth about art, but also provides them a fun outlet. For volunteer information contact:


The Knoy Resource Center is a non-profit program of the Cloverdale Community School Corporation.  It serves all ages with supplemental educational resources.  DePauw students tutor in the after school program for grades K-5, Monday -Thursday between the hours of 3 - 5pm.  Placements are available for any combination of days/times.  For volunteer information contact:  


The Non-Food Pantry serves needy families in Putnam County by providing non-food necessities such as toothpaste, shampoo, toilet paper, baby/toddler and feminine hygiene products. The program is hosted by St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Greencastle, and is sponsored by organizations and churches in Putnam County and Indianapolis.  Volunteers are needed once or twice a month at St. Andrews to fill the supply bags or to run the monthly distribution and to manage donation drives at DePauw and in the community. For volunteer information contact:


The Reading Improvement Center serves children needing extra help with reading and mathematics.  Volunteers can participate in programs at the Greencastle school system or in the  Tutoring at Gobin program located at Gobin Memorial Methodist Church. Tutors work with the Center director and teachers to plan appropriate curriculum for sessions, tutor one-on-one, and lead games and activities - ultimately also serving as mentors. For volunteer information contact: 
Note: This program requires a background check.


The long-running program exposes 3rd-5th graders to basic Spanish comprehension.  It is hosted by Tzouanakis Elementary School once a week during after school hours.  Volunteers work with groups of 3-6 six students either independently or with a partner.  Weekly lesson plans are split between tutoring and helping the kids practice their Spanish knowledge in various fun activities.  Activities may include drawing, "Simon Says," "Mata mosca," and more.  For volunteer information contact: 


Once a week, the Spanish Enrichment Program meets with a group of 2nd-3rd graders at Ridpath elementary. The focus of this program is to teach a group of Ridpath elementary school students the basics of the Spanish language. Each week, volunteers spend half of the afternoon playing games with students, such as red light green light or kick ball. They then spend the other half of the time teaching the participants different Spanish vocabulary such as colors and greetings. The weekly activities are split between one-on-one and small group  interactions.

Volunteers will have the opportunity to become more thoroughly involved in the young Greencastle community through spending their time with the programs participants. As a volunteer, the goal is to become role models for the students by offering them a time to have fun outside of school and interact with college students while also helping them enjoy learning Spanish. For volunteer information contact


The Italian Enrichment Program at DePauw is an opportunity for students to volunteer in Greencastle elementary schools and preschools.  Students who are currently enrolled in an Italian course volunteer at the beginning of each semester and are assigned to one of the following schools: New Pathways, Deermeadow and Tzouanakis Elementary School.  DePauw Students are assigned to teach their class for 20-30 minutes, depending on the grade level, and then stay for an extra hour to assist the teacher in whatever he or she may need.  Each week the DePauw Students attend a lesson planning session with the Italian TA, Alessandro Frati.  Not only does this program provide a great learning experience for the children of Greencastle but it also allows the students of DePauw to learn valuable teaching skills while perfecting the Italian language. For volunteer information contact


The Student Friend Program serves primary through middle school students struggling with an assortment of mild disabilities or social challenges. Volunteers spend time with a counselor-selected student at the school during school hours engaging in such activities as playing board games, helping with homework, practicing appropriate social skills and reading.  DePauw’s Student Friend program serves six area schools.  For information on a particular school program contact the DCS coordinator.
Note: All Student Friend programs require a background check and prefers a full academic year commitment.

Central Elementary School contact: 

Deer Meadow Primary School contact: 

Greencastle Middle School contact: 

Filmore Elementary School contact:

Ridpath Primary School contact: 

Tzouanakis Intermediate School contact:


In its 20th season, Sports Night provides the youth of Putnam County the opportunity to participate in sports-related activities while building relationships with DePauw students. The program aims to enhance the lives of the children who participate by offering a fun environment for teaching the skills and value of being a team player. Sports Night is a free program open to all Putnam County 1st through 5th graders and is offered once a month while DePauw classes are in session.  For volunteer information contact: 
Note: This program prefers a commitment to the eight monthly Sports Nights for the entire academic year.

Click here to access registration application and Sports Night updates


The TALKS Mentoring Program is conducted in partnership with Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church.  The goal of TALKS is to provide local middle school students with a mentor that will help them make personal commitments to integrity and excellence in the pursuit of life paths. DePauw student mentors are paired with 1-3 mentees in weekly 30 minute meetings at Greencastle Middle School and follow a proven program that addresses self-esteem, peer/family relationships, and life skills. Through association with the TALKS program, DePauw student volunteers can expect to acquire experience and knowledge useful to a lifetime of helping others grow.  For volunteer information contact: 
Note: Mentors are expected to commit to serving a full academic year and attending monthly team building meetings.


The Tots Time program is held at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church and is run in conjunction with Putnam County Family Support Services. Volunteers are needed every Tuesday morning from 9am to noon to engage children newborn to 5 years old. DCS volunteers participate in free play, crafts, reading, snacks, and other activities. Everyone knows how much attention pre-school children require. The purpose of this long-standing free community program is to support parenting by offering time off to run errands, job seek, clean, or simply relax.  For volunteer information contact: 
Note: This program requires a commitment to a regular time period (from 1-3 hours) on Tuesdays and a background check


Tutoring at GMS is a program that serves the Greencastle Middle School community with homework help, after-school reading and math clubs, and general tutoring.  Volunteers work closely with the guidance counselor and classroom teachers to coordinate sessions.  Each session is conducted around the volunteer's schedule and volunteers are expected to commit to 3 hours/week.  Monthly volunteer-coordinator check-in is mandatory. For volunteer information contact: 
Note: This program requires a background check

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