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Pediatrics – SPARK Center

Internships and Volunteer Opportunities

Education/Classroom Internships

Contact Information

Cathy Robinowitz
Supervisor, Child Life and Early Education

The SPARK Center offers year round classroom internships for students in fields such as early childhood education, early childhood special education, child life, child development and health related fields. Most classroom internships are for undergraduate students. However, graduate students, especially those in the field of Child Life, can also be accommodated. Internships generally begin in September, January or late spring/summer.

As SPARK is part of Boston Medical Center, interns are required to follow BMC’s orientation protocol. Schools sending classroom interns to SPARK are required to have an up-to-date contract (including liability insurance) with the legal department at BMC. The SPARK supervisor can assist in confirming this information with the legal department at BMC. If an updated or new contract is required, she can advise the appropriate person at the college/university regarding whom to contact at BMC to facilitate this process. When the contract is in place, potential interns can call the SPARK supervisor to discuss the program and, if appropriate, schedule an on-site interview. If the placement is agreed upon by both parties, the intern’s contact information will be sent to the Human Resources Department at Boston Medical Center. The hospital will then contact the intern about its orientation procedures, including specific medical and human resources requirements. The process will also include an orientation session at the BMC campus. After successfully completing BMC’s orientation, the intern will be ready to begin at SPARK. Upon beginning SPARK the intern will participate in a more specific orientation related to SPARK’s procedures.

Each intern will be placed in an early childhood classroom. The interns will be oriented to the specific children, SPARK philosophy and classroom routine by the teachers in the classroom. Interns will be expected to develop written goals for the internship, based upon interests and school requirements. Formal supervision with each intern will be scheduled with the SPARK supervisor on a weekly basis. The SPARK supervisor will maintain contact with the intern’s college/university supervisor throughout the internship.

SPARK greatly values the contributions of classroom interns, believing that both staff and interns offer each other valuable learning experiences and opportunities.

Volunteer Opportunities

Contact Information

Barbara Armandt
Program Associate, Education Intern/Volunteer Coordinator

SPARK gratefully welcomes volunteers! There are many ways that volunteers can make valuable contributions to our program, and SPARK treasures our rich history of partnership with community volunteers to build brighter futures for children.

We currently offer two ways to volunteer at SPARK:

  • Direct Care Volunteers – assisting early childhood teachers with children in classrooms
  • Non-Direct Care Volunteers – providing specialty services

Direct Care Volunteers are required to apply to the Volunteer Services Dept. at Boston Medical Center – http://www.bmc.org/about/volunteer.htm. The website gives information on requirements. Please note:

  1. Volunteers must be able to commit to SPARK for a three-month period. Exceptions of two-month periods for summer college volunteers may be considered.
  2. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old.
  3. Volunteers must submit three letters of reference, as well as detailed Immunization Records and a current TB screen.
  4. Once accepted, volunteers will be required to attend a scheduled orientation session at Boston Medical Center. They may also be required to complete a CORI application.
  5. After approval from the Volunteer Services Department at BMC, we would be happy to schedule a visit and tour of the SPARK Center.

Non-Direct Care Volunteers offer assistance in ways that do not involve contact with children. They should contact Barbara.Armandt@bmc.org.  Time commitment requirements and orientation procedures will be arranged on a case-by-case basis. Opportunities available may include:

  1. Helping staff with special events and facility projects.
  2. Providing coverage at our reception desk and helping with light administrative tasks.
  3. Helping with facility projects – such as painting, yard work, gardening, small repairs.
  4. Fundraising activities such as a carwash or tag sale.
  5. Running small errands.

Practicum / Internship Program in Mental Health

At this time, we do not have openings in our Practicum or Internship Program for the 2016/2017 school year. Thank you for your interest in SPARK and please check back for 2017 potential updates.

Volunteer/Research Assistant Opportunities – Medical

At this time, we do not have openings for any Volunteer/Research Opportunities. Thank you anyway for your interest in SPARK.

Contact Us

Barbara Hughes
Program Coordinator / Director of Events
Call: 617.414.0502
Fax: 617.534.2057
Email: SPARK@bmc.org


Boston Medical Center
Department of Pediatrics
The SPARK Center
(Supporting Parents & Resilient Kids)
255 River Street
Mattapan, MA 02126


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Call: 617.414.0505
Fax: 617.534.2057


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