Our community-based nonprofit organization provides free tutoring throughout the school year to about 50 students who attend Kensington Parkwood Elementary School and North Bethesda Middle School. Our mission is to “spark a love of learning” by pairing up individual students with volunteer tutors. SPARK has been called a mini-United Nations because the our rich diversity of children as well as tutors, many of whom work at the National Institutes of Health which is located about one mile from the Ken-Gar Community Center in Kensington, Maryland.


Please go to VOLUNTEERS for more details about tutoring during the 2007-08 School Year.

SPARK has received considerable recognition including the prestigious WETA TV’s “Hometown Heroes” Award, the Montgomery County PTAs Partner with Children Award, Marriott’s Spirit to Serve Community Award, and the state JC Penney Golden Rule Award. Here are a few comments by students, their parents and teachers. SPARK tutors are equally enthusiastic (please click on VOLUNTEERS).

My son is more receptive to help from other people besides me. Also, private tutors can cost about $40 an hour.” – Father of 5th grader

I get more help with my homework at SPARK and understand what I’m doing.” – 7th gader

Three of the four students do not hand in their homework on a regular basis.Thanks to SPARK, I get it at least two times a week. Thanks for all of your work. SPARK benefits the entire community.” Rosemarie Architzel, Kensington Parkwood Elementary School teacher

Congratulations on receiving the Partners for Children Award. It is good to know that your hard work has been rewarded in such a nice manner. Thank you SPARK for the time and effort you put into providing support for our school.” – Dr. Jerry Weast, Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent

For more information about becoming a SPARKplug, click the VOLUNTEER button. All SPARK tutoring and training sessions are held between 6:30 – 8:00 pm at the Ken-Gar Community Center.

If you do not have time to tutor but want to make a tax-deductible contribution to support our volunteer-run nonprofit that has provided free tutoring to over 500 children on an annual budget of less than $10,000, please click on the DONATE button.

Without the generosity and spirit of some many people, SPARK would not be what it is today!