Hi Volunteers! Thanks for volunteering with us! You will find a list of FAQs and tips below to help you maximize your experience and to aid our kids as much as possible.
Q: Do you provide transportation to the centers?
A: Yes! We provide transportation. Please sign up at least two days before volunteering because that is typically when the site coordinators send out an email with a document that you can fill out to request to be driven. If you do not receive an email at least a day before, please contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll respond as soon as possible.
Q: If I drive myself, can I meet you at the recreational center?
A: Yes, of course. We typically have an assigned room, and you can just ask the front desk to direct you. If you need any more help, please contact your specific Site Coordinator. See below in the “Site-Specific FAQ” for more information on specific rooms at each site.
Q: Is there a way I can get my volunteering hours verified?
A: Yes, you definitely can. Please sign up using Connect4Literacy, and when you show up at the site, please find your Site Coordinators and sign in using the email you signed up with. If you tell us which organization you volunteer with, we will send them an email. If you have a paper that you need signed, just ask the site coordinator to sign it. For more information on signing up, please hover over the “Volunteer” tab and press on the “How to Sign Up” dropdown.
Q: I just signed up a few hours before volunteering begins, and I need a ride. What do I do?
A: If you sign up to volunteer a few hours before a volunteer event begins, chances are that the carpool sheets have already been sent out. Please email the Site Coordinator to explain the situation.
Q: Am I allowed to use electronics (laptops, phones, etc.) while I am volunteering?
A: Please do not use your phone or any electronics while you are volunteering. We only volunteer with the kids once a week for 45 minutes, and we want our volunteers to dedicate all the attention possible to the kids. Furthermore, please do not take any photos! We want to respect the privacy of our kids and their parents as much as possible.
Q: Are there any activities besides for reading?
A: Yes! We also provide small literacy games and other activities. Just ask the Site Coordinators.
Q: What do I do if every kid is reading with a volunteer?
A: Sometimes there will be multiple kids per volunteer. Ask a volunteer if you can read with one of the kids. Another possibility is to just sit down with the group and read with them.
Our kids are very friendly! Please just approach anyone who doesn’t have a reader yet and ask them if they want to read.
Let the kids choose what to read. They will be more excited and will pay attention if they have a say in what to read.
Sometimes, it can be difficult for the children to sit down for a period of time to read. Some children, especially the younger ones, may get distracted easily. Please remember to always be a positive role model for these students and set an example for outstanding behavior by staying calm and collected. We are there to help the kids improve their reading skills. It is neither helpful nor your job to discipline them. Each site has employees and other staff that are hired by the community center to manage the kids’ behaviors.
Please refrain from using your cell phone during the time that you are with the kids. Please show the kids that you respect and value the time you have with them by giving them your undivided attention.
If the kids are starting to lose focus you can make them read, do popcorn reading, or ask them easy comprehension questions about the book. If they start to argue about reading, you can bargain with the candy we give to them at the end of every session. But this should be a last resort!
Please only use Reading Aces books! Many of the kids may want to read books from home or books from school, but some of these may not be educational and/or approved. Reading Aces books are the ones with a “Reading Aces” sticker located on the inside of the cover or first page.
When it is time to clean up, please put the books and supplies back in the bin.
Metz Specific Tips:
There is a sign-in sheet at the front of Metz when you enter. Please sign in both at the front desk and with the Site Coordinators.
There is a playground at Metz, and sometimes the kids want to read on the playground. Be wary of the playground though because when the kids read there, they are more energetic and less likely to pay attention.
Gus Garcia Specific Tips:
To find the reading room, turn right immediately when you enter. Turn right into a corridor, and there will be a room before the computers.
Virginia L. Brown Specific Tips:
When you arrive, enter through the main doors and follow the hallway straight back to the recreation center office. Reading Aces will be volunteering in the room to the left of the reception desk.