For over 20 years, DARTS Learning Buddies Program has served Dakota County communities by connecting community members with elementary students to work together on classwork, share experiences, and learn from one another for 1-2 hours each week throughout the school year.

Learning Buddies has grown from a single school in 1997 to over 212 classrooms in Dakota, Scott and Ramsey Counties. This intergenerational program has served nearly 60,000 students and logged more than 100,000 volunteer hours, but students in your community still need your help.

Do you…

  • have 1-2 hours a week?
  • want to give back to your community?
  • interested in mentoring young people?
  • want to connect with others while participating in ongoing training?
  • live or work in the Dakota, Scott or Ramsey Counties?

Story Time with DARTS Learning Buddies

With schools closed, DARTS Learning Buddies are taking story time online!

Jayshree has been a DARTS Learning Buddy for 8 years in an Apple Valley Elementary school. She has volunteered with multiple classes each week to support students with science and STEM learning. She has a background in engineering and enjoys sharing her skills and talents with students.

Now that classrooms are closed, Learning Buddies like Jayshree are connecting from a distance by reading stories online to classrooms throughout Dakota County.

We value and appreciate our volunteers and the work they do to support their community.

Learn how you can take part by calling 651-455-1560.

You can be a Learning Buddy!

Pen Pal Program

If traveling or time commitment is an issue, please ask about our Pen Pal Program!  Volunteers will write letters to a 2nd or 3rd grader from assigned classrooms and will meet with the students in-person at the end of the year. Signing up for this program takes place between June – September in order to be matched with a student.

Learning Buddies in the News!

Problem Solvers: Erin Walloch’s Learning Buddies give kids a boost in school

Thank you to our Generous Sponsors!

Thank you to our generous sponsors who make Learning Buddies and Pen Pals possible.
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