Saturday Academy: Hands-On Learning


Here’s a way to build community: Bring young learners and knowledgeable mentors together in an educational space.

Luckily, the Portland area has a nonprofit engaged in exactly that work. Saturday Academy is a nonprofit with an impressive history serving over 170,000 students throughout Oregon and SW Washington since its founding in 1983. Every year they share their love of learning and education to over 7,000 children.

The organization works to provide educational opportunities for students grades 2-12. Community experts of all kinds act as mentors and teachers, sharing via hands-on, in-depth learning essential knowledge and skills.

It’s a partnership that allows mentors to share their valuable expertise, and for young people to have attentive, supportive teachers. The academy is also particularly mindful of the needs of children from disadvantaged communities and schools, and the kinds of educational support they need.

Saturday Academy welcomes teachers from many fields and walks of life. The program needs help from all kinds of folks, from volunteers to engineers. Those with a background in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) are preferred, but those with experience in the humanities and arts are also needed. They encourage folks with an interest in mentorship to reach out, as there are volunteer opportunities in many areas.

This week at Portland Radio Project we featured Saturday Academy as part of our award-winning Community Voices series. You can listen below to interviews with key members of the organization:

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