Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

volunteer for reading programs

Support readers! Volunteer at Seattle-area programs

Your time and your voice (or your teen's) can make all the difference.

A lot of things in life rely on strong reading skills, yet many children in the Seattle area don’t have access to books or caregivers who are available to read to them. If you have the time, there are several places in need of volunteers to move their children’s literacy efforts forward. Have an older teen (14 or older) who loves acting or is simply a great reader? Encourage them to look for volunteer opportunities at local libraries. Another idea? Create a story time in your neighborhood and encourage parents and teens to rotate as readers.

Start your own story time

Starting a weekly or even monthly story time event in your neighborhood isn’t difficult. All you need to decide is who you want to read to (what age), where (at your home, a local library or community center, or park can all work), when (the date and time), and what (research age appropriate books, choose your list for the year). Then distribute flyers and you are off. For a simple guide on how to create your group by literacy advocate Jodie XX, go to the Growing Book by Book blog.

Volunteer for a literacy program

Seattle Public Library Story Time assistants help children’s librarians provide a fun and enjoyable environment for children at Story Time at library branches. Help with room set up and take down, welcoming families, singing songs and making crafts. Most Story Time programs are offered on weekday mornings. A 4-month commitment is requested. Some opportunities for kids 14 and older.

King County Library System Reading Buddies share eBooks with students, coach reading pronunciation, pace, and comprehension. They help 1-2 students at a time, in a Zoom breakout room. Age 16 and older

Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program is looking for enthusiastic Story Time Volunteers to read books and create simple crafts with preschool- and kindergarten-age kids. 206-461-0123

Reach out and Read is a national program running at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Volunteer responsibilities include reading to patients, siblings and families in the clinic waiting areas and engaging families in discussions about the program. 206-987-2155

Reading Partners is seeking volunteers to follow a structured curriculum and help students learn specific skills necessary to become proficient readers. 206-992-4484

More at Seattle’s Child:

Summer reading: Picks from local booksellers and reviewers

Monthly book picks from KCLS youth and family services manager Rekha Kuver

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About the Author

Sydney Parker