Forms & Resources

Required Forms for Volunteer Tutors: 

Puentes Tutor/Mentor Registration  If you would like to become a volunteer, please fill out this form and email us at

State Background Clearance Form  Please complete a free EPATCH online background clearance form and send the results to before you begin tutoring. This takes less than 5 minutes and is free for all volunteer purposes. 

Tutoring Resources:
These brochures have some great ideas about how to help children successfully learn how to read.  Check out the Volunteer Training Materials tab for a quick set of videos on strategies for promoting reading mastery.

Social Determinants of Health:
Here is some information about the concept of social determinants of health, or the idea that social factors such as language, economic status, and geographic location can influence health outcomes.  This is an important concept guiding the Puentes mission and why we promote education as an important part of improving the health and well being of the community.  As the WHO states, "Why treat someone without changing what makes them sick?"

Key Concepts - Social Determinants of Health (WHO's main points on the topic)

World Health Organization: Social Determinants of Health (main page: definition, implications for policy, great reading materials)

WHO/PAHO Self-guided Training Course on Social Determinants of Health (an online course used to train members of WHO/PAHO & those working in health policy or ministries of health in various countries.  In Spanish, English, and Portuguese) 

Guiding Tutoring Philosophy:
Carol Dweck, a Professor of Social Psychology at Stanford University, has an interesting philosophy on educational attainment and it serves as the philosophy behind our tutoring methods.  Below is a link to a few relevant chapters in her book if you are interested in her work.  Here is a brief summary of the philosophy and how it relates to our program:

People have a mindset about intelligence which goes one of two ways – either we believe that we are born smart (intelligent) or we believe that we make ourselves smart by hard work.  The first is called a “Fixed mindset” about intelligence and the second is called a “Growth mindset”. People with a fixed mindset stop working very quickly if a test doesn’t go their way because after all you either know or your don’t.  These people do not take easily to challenging tasks either because if you’re smart then things shouldn’t be difficult.  So if you don’t do well say in chemistry it is not because you didn’t work hard enough, it’s because you’re not good at science, or math, or the teacher doesn’t like you, etc.  The growth mindset oriented person is more likely to say – “I didn’t do well on the test because I didn’t work hard enough, or because I didn’t go to the study session, or because I haven’t learned the table of elements and how they relate to each other – so I need to buckle down and work harder at learning chemistry because it is important for what I want to do in the future.” See the difference in these two ways of thinking about intelligence.

To jump to tutoring kids with a mindset approach the idea is to get the kids to adopt a “growth mindset”.  “The math or the reading is NOT going to be easy and it will take hard work, but you can do it!! Don’t shut down by taking the easy way out and say “I can’t do math because I am just not good at math … see my grades prove that I am not good at math.” Some kids get a lot of negative messages about their ability in school and they are easily maneuvered into a “fixed mindset” that needs to be unlearned and a new mindset “growth and effort” has to be instill in the learner who is having trouble learning the curriculum. 

                            -- (Dr. Amado Padilla, Professor of Psychological Studies in Education, Stanford University)