Please check back often – this page changes constantly. We are always looking for more free events that support the homeschool community! If you have a free event you would like to be added to our page, you can email





Teens can win cash prizes in Pierce County writing and art contest 

Pierce County Library System invites teenagers throughout Pierce County to show their creative talents in Our Own Expressions Teen Writing and Art Contest. The 21st annual contest runs Jan. 20 through Feb. 28, 2017.

Teenagers in grades 7-12 who live in or attend school in Pierce County may enter the contest, individually or as a team, in one or all four categories: poetry, short story, photography and drawing. Participation in the contest is free.

Entry forms will be available starting Jan. 20 at any Pierce County Library or at

Judges will review writing entries on the basis of originality, style, general presentation, grammar, spelling and evidence of skill appropriate for the writer’s age. They will review art entries on the basis of composition, evidence of skill commensurate with the age of the artist, creativity and effective use of media.

The library system will publish all the winning contest entries and distribute them throughout Pierce County libraries and to the winning students’ schools. Pierce County Library Foundation will award cash prizes in three groups: grades 7-8, grades 9-10 and grades 11-12, in each of the four categories.

Contest winners’ work will be featured in an awards ceremony at Pacific Lutheran University on May 31.

Last year, students representing 84 Pierce County schools submitted 1,071 poems, short stories, drawings and photographs.

The News Tribune, Pacific Lutheran University and Print NW help fund the contest.

Learn more about teen services at

Inland Northwest Muscular Dystrophy Association Camp – Volunteers Needed!

Every year, we put on a week long summer camp for kids 6-17 living with muscle-debilitating diseases at no cost to our families. Through the program, we partner our campers one-on-one with volunteer counselors. Counselors assist campers with daily care needs and participate in all activities. This might include help with pushing wheelchairs, dressing assistance, and more.

Volunteering at MDA Summer Camp is a life enriching and inspiring opportunity. Volunteers help kids discover new interests, build self-confidence and experience the independence of being away from home in a safe environment where barriers don’t exist. It is an amazing opportunity to enhance their résumé when applying for scholarships, college, graduate school, employment, etc. Camp also provides a remarkable opportunity for volunteers to meet new people, build lifelong friendships with fellow counselors and create lasting memories for children living with muscle-debilitating diseases.

Volunteers must be 16 years or older.

The Gig Harbor camp will take place from June 25-July 2 at YMCA Camp Seymour. Anyone interested in that camp may contact Bridgett Husk at or 206.283.2183.

The Inland Northwest Camp will be from July 16-23rd at Camp Twinlow in Rathdrum, ID. Those interested in attending that camp may contact me, Brooke Lively, at or 509.325.3747.

Letters About Literature Contest

A contest that encourages young readers to write a letter to the author of a book that changed their view of the world or themselves. The contest is open to students in grades 4-12 and I would like to advertise it to homeschoolers and encourage them to participate.

Information about the contest, including a link to the guidelines and entry form, is available on the “Letters About Literature 2016” page of the Washington State Library’s website here:

 Pacific Lamprey Geocache Adventure

Ready for an educational adventure? Get the kids outdoors to learn about the Pacific Lamprey, one of the world’s oldest and most interesting fish! They can explore nature and learn to navigate using GPS at the same time with the Pacific Lamprey Geocache Adventure. Several hand-carved juvenile Pacific Lampreys are migrating from geocache site to site by way of human helpers, “swimming” along their rivers to eventually arrive at the Pacific Ocean. One was just released in Idaho and will be headed along the Snake toward the Columbia River ( Another just started in the Yakima Basin and wants to travel along the Columbia ( The third has made its way to the ocean and is ready to migrate back upstream along the Columbia and Willamette ( Can you find one of these cuties and help it on its way?

This is a project of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For more information, see or contact Rebecca Smith at

Help Homeless Shelter Cats!

Purrfect Pals is a no-kill cat shelter and sanctuary in Arlington and has more than a dozen off-site adoption sites in partner pet stores in the Puget Sound area.

We need volunteers to come in for two hours once a week to clean cubbies, scoop litter pans, refresh water and food, play with cats, and talk to visitors. It’s a great way to learn more about animals, about having a “job,” about being responsible, and about giving back to your community.

Teen/parent teams are welcome at all of our locations and teens 16 and older are welcome at our Petco stores. We have off-site programs in:

Seattle/North Aurora

We also need foster homes for raising kittens and caring for sick cats. For more information and a link to our online application, please visit our web page at and click on Foster Volunteer.

Young Women Empowered (Y-WE)

Our leadership, mentorship and arts programs for girls are low-cost or free and would be a great addition to any homeschool curriculum. One particular program which might be of interest to the youth and families you work with is our theater intensive program called Y-WE Speak. Girls get to see professional shows at the Seattle Rep, take theater workshops, and ultimately create and perform a show of their own on the Rep stage. You can read more about this program at:

I wanted to let you and your staff know that Young Women Empowered (Y-WE) is offering two free sample events at Seattle Rep for ANY girl (ages 12+) who wants to see a free professional show, take a free amazing workshop, and learn about the programs Y-WE offers. Girls do not have to sign up for Y-WE if they attend and they will not be heavily recruited. It’s just an opportunity for them to check it out and for us to spread the love and resources we have to offer with the greater community! Some other youth orgs are bringing groups of their girls as a field trip. If you know girls or staff who would like to attend, please pass this event link along to them:

I would be happy to reach out directly to theater teachers and anyone else within the school whom you think would be a good contact for this opportunity.

Pierce College Science Dome

The Science dome is an immersive and interactive 38’ dome-shaped screen that allows you to; view the night sky from anywhere in the known universe on a butty day, be immersed in an alien environment with breathtaking full-dome images, explore the Egyptian pyramids, fly through the human body and so much more. For more information, check out the website:

Pacific Science Center WetLab Academy Seminars/Workshops

Located on a biologically diverse 320-acre wetland nature park in the heart of urban Bellevue, Washington, the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center is a collaboration between the City of Bellevue and Pacific Science Center. Our award winning, Gold LEED® certified facility offers classrooms, wetlabs, a tree house, Visitor Center and hiking trails that all highlight the beauty of the surrounding wetland.

Wet Lab Academy

High school students have the opportunity to step away from the traditional high school chemistry curriculum at the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center in Bellevue. Utilizing our state-of-the-art laboratory and field equipment, students perform scientific investigations taking advantage of the living laboratory of the Mercer Slough Nature Park.

The Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center is located at 1625 118th Ave. SE, Bellevue, WA 98004. To register call (206) 443-2925. For updated schedule information visit or email questions to

Volunteer Options for Home Schooling Youth 16 and Over

More than half of all kindergartners in our state are entering school without the social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills they need to be successful. Research shows that those who start behind often stay behind. The good news is that reading with kids on a regular basis can make a real difference. That’s why we are inviting you to become a Volunteer Reader for United Way of King County.

We’re looking for friendly, responsible people to read with young kids—one-on-one (not group reading)—at select sites throughout King County. Volunteers are needed during weekday daytime hours, and need to be at least 16 years old. By committing to read 1 hour a week for a minimum of six months, you can have a profound impact on the lives and outcomes of young children in our community.

For more information including sites and shift times go to or call 206.461.3700.

Looking for other volunteer opportunities?

You can find this and thousands of other volunteer opportunities on the United Way of King County Volunteer Center website: You can tailor your search by the age range of the volunteer.