Volunteer Roles

Hutch School Classroom Volunteers



Provide reading assistance and/or classroom help for family members and pediatric patients at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Hutch School, which is an agency school of the Seattle Public School District and accredited by the State of Washington. The school is located at 527 Minor Avenue North.


  1. Be capable of bringing a positive, caring attitude each day, and leaving personal issues at the door when arriving to volunteer.
  2. Be knowledgeable of, and adhere to Hutch School’s Healthy Student Policy.  In addition, adhere to all volunteer infection control and confidentiality policies.
  3. Provide emotional support and reassurance to students by being an attentive listener.
  4. Strive to remain compassionate, non-judgmental, flexible and impartial when assisting people who have lifestyles, spiritual beliefs, and interests that are different from your own.
  5. Respect the privacy of patients and family members, and abide by the Volunteer Services program’s confidentiality policies.
  6. Work alongside classroom teacher/Staff member or work with individuals or small groups of students under direction of staff member.
  7. Comfort working with students in one-on-one of one and small group capacity.


The Manager of Volunteer Services and the Hutch School staff will provide supervision to school volunteers. On-going feedback and evaluation of the program will be requested. 


New volunteers must be able to commit a minimum of twelve months to the Volunteer Services program. Volunteers assist an average of one two to four hour shift per week. Both tutoring and classroom help take place during the school day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Patients are extremely vulnerable to potentially life-threatening infections because their immune systems are suppressed from chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Because of this, all volunteers must abide by universal precautions and infectious disease guidelines in order to protect themselves and patients. These guidelines are listed in the Volunteer Manual.


  • Experience working with K-12 students, or specific grades within that range, preferred.
  • Able to provide empathetic listening, warmth and compassion.
  • Respect of diverse lifestyles, cultures, religions and values.
  • Ability to be flexible and respond to changing needs of patients and family members.
  • Ability to maintain emotional boundaries and lead a balanced life.
  • Ability to work as part of a team with other volunteers and staff.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Volunteer applicants are asked to complete disclosure forms for a national criminal background check. Annual tuberculosis testing and documentation for chickenpox (varicella), measles, mumps and rubella are required for all volunteers who have contact with patients. In addition, volunteers between the ages of 19 and 64 are encouraged to receive a single dose of Tdap vaccine to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. 


Volunteers participate in two orientation sessions and a role specific orientation, along with an interview, before they are assigned to a specific shift. Volunteers are encouraged to attend in-service education programs for continuing education.


  • Opportunities to support families from around the world and diverse cultures.
  • An opportunity to gain experience in a multi-disciplinary health-care setting.