supporting Cambridge public school students

Our Mission and History


Founded in 1966, Cambridge School Volunteers (CSV) is an independent non-profit organization supporting the academic and personal success of Cambridge public school children. CSV develops programs that match caring and competent adults with students of all needs and levels.

newsprint photograph of three women in 1966 looking together at a sheet of paper

CSV History

Since 1966, Cambridge School Volunteers has had a remarkable record of success bringing the community into the public schools.

The CSV story began with a large quantity of books and a handful of PTA mothers eager to set up much needed libraries in the elementary schools. Committed to improving the standards of public education, these mothers came together to identify other areas where volunteers could be placed to help children in the public schools.

Over time, the School Department welcomed the group as an integral part of the public school system. In 1974, to increase opportunities for funding, CSV incorporated as a non-profit organization.

CSV early daysThe early years brought a variety of programs: the high school Tutoring Center, one-to-one tutoring, classroom assistants, and many special curriculum enrichment programs. Once these were in place, CSV worked to partner with local corporations, government agencies, universities, and community groups. Today, there are more than fifteen corporate partnerships, some of which have been going strong for more than two decades.

CSV is proud of its legacy in volunteerism to support education in our schools. In 1979, National School Volunteers designated CSV one of the “top 30” volunteer organizations in the country with an “Apple Tree Award.” That same year, it was awarded a Certificate of Merit from the U.S. Office of Education. Through the years, representatives from other school systems in Massachusetts and around the country have come to CSV for consultation to develop similar programs.  In 2012, CSV was designated a Partner in Title One intervention by the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, a nod to the scope and quality of CSV’s services for low-income students. In June 2017, CSV’s NetPals program was honored as the Outstanding Collaboration in Service and Volunteerism by the Massachusetts Service Alliance.

We are pleased to be entering our fifth decade with the support of so many corporations, foundations, individuals, and the Cambridge School Department, and we are enthusiastically looking forward to developing new programs for the children of Cambridge.