What does an activity look like?
It can be any organized recreational or extracurricular school activity in which students typically take part. TIES arranges a trained student partner for each participant to facilitate a successful experience for all members of the group.
How long is each activity?
An activity may be one event, such as attending a school dance or after school football game, or an ongoing class (dance, martial arts, music, gymnastics) or continuing participation in a community organization such as Scouts. If an activity is ongoing, two or more peer volunteers may share the commitment.
What restrictions are there to joining an activity?
Any activity that is organized and has an adult activity leader is available to the TIES program. Modifications, as needed, are arranged on an individual basis through the collaboration of the TIES Coordinator, the activity leader, parents, teachers, and other interested parties.
Who pays the activity fees?
The participant pays whatever fees, if any, are required by the activity of choice.
Is one peer volunteer assigned to one participant?
Peer volunteers make a commitment for one activity at a time and each activity is arranged as a separate project. For long-term activities, two or more peer volunteers may take part. Some partnerships endure from year to year, while others may change with each activity. Individual input and choice is a dynamic element of the program for both peer volunteers and participants.
As a participant what kind of support will I receive?
Your partner will provide whatever support will make the activity successful and enjoyable for you. It may be as general as keeping you company in a new activity, or it may be specific physical, verbal or social support (see Volunteer FAQs, What will I be doing? for sample strategies).
Does the school provide transportation for me?
The school district does not provide transportation, and the TIES Coordinator is not allowed to transport participants. Parents are responsible for transporting their child to and from an activity.
What if I do not like the peer volunteer?
The TIES Coordinator aspires to match peer volunteers with participants based on common interest, age, and gender. Both parties complete similar applications on which they list their interests, hobbies, or activities they are currently involved in, or have been involved in before. From this information, the TIES Coordinator proceeds to make arrangements. The program is designed to be individual and flexible. If at any time either the participant or peer volunteer feels that he or she was not correctly matched, the Coordinator will gladly find another partner.
Can the peer volunteer spend time with me in my home?
TIES only provides peer volunteers for school- or community-sponsored activities that are run by an activity leader. If a participant and peer volunteer choose to spend time together outside of this type of activity that is their decision and not part of the TIES Program.