Current Volunteer Opportunities

March – April – May 2017 Volunteer Opportunities

No experience or training is necessary to volunteer with students as a writing, research or art coach, or field trip supervisor.

To sign up for one or more of the opportunities below, contact volunteer@behindthebook.org with the program code(s) and date/time(s) you’d like to join. Once you’re confirmed, you’re all set. The program coordinator will follow up a few days before each date with details about the curriculum, your role in the classroom, and any other information you’ll need. If you must cancel, please let us know as soon as possible so we can find a replacement.

Volunteer spots can fill quickly, so please check this page regularly for updates. We also announce new programs by email, Twitter, and Facebook.

If you haven’t volunteered before, please join our team by completing our brief questionnaire.


Program EA7TM-M (Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn) FULL

Date & Time: Friday, March 31st  • 11:20 AM – 12:55 PM
Volunteer Role: Writing Coach

Overview: Seventh-graders read Torrey Maldonado‘s Secret Saturdays, the story of a boy in Brooklyn who keeps a secret from his best friend: He’s ashamed that instead of spending Saturdays with his friends, he visits his father in jail. Writing coaches will help students explore in their writing what’s behind keeping a secret, and how it affects their lives. Program Coordinator: Nicole Daniels

Program 461RO-C (Fort Greene, Brooklyn) FULL

Date & Time: Monday, April 3rd • 9:00 – 10:30 AM
Volunteer Role: Writing Coach

Overview: First-graders read Sofi and the Magic, Musical Mural by Raquel Ortiz, the story of a girl transported through a magical mural to her native Puerto Rico, where she describes what she sees as she flies over a celebration. Students will choose a celebration or holiday from their own culture and, imagining they’re flying like Sofi, write descriptions of what they would see, hear, smell, taste, and touch during the experience. Writing coaches will assist small groups in editing their final drafts. Program Coordinator: Myra Hernandez

Program 2412IH-W (Crown Heights, Brooklyn) NEW

Date & Time 1: Tuesday, March 28th • 9:30 – 11:00 AM FULL
Volunteer Role: Field Trip Mentor

Date & Time 2: Tuesday, April 4th • 9:30 – 11:00 AM
Volunteer Role: Writing Coach

Overview: Second-graders read two of Isabel Hill’s architectural picture books. With a focus on Urban Animals, which highlights the fantastic assortment of animals hiding in building details, students will be accompanied by volunteers as they tour their school’s neighborhood to observe and photograph architectural elements. Writing coaches will guide them as they edit an informational paragraph about the image they’ve selected. Their writing and photos will be published in a book. Program Coordinator: Nicole Daniels

Program 984YC-K (Inwood) NEW

Date & Time: Thursday, April 6th • 9:30 – 10:30 AM
Volunteer Role: Writing Coach

Overview: This fourth-grade class read Yangsook Choi’s The Name Jar, which chronicles a Korean girl’s immigration journey to the U.S., and how she overcomes the worry of whether anyone will be able to pronounce her name. The author discussed her craft, and helped students synthesize the book’s concepts and themes. Working with volunteers, students will apply what they’ve learned to write their own stories, focusing on character, plot development, and setting. Program Coordinator: Bureen Ruffin

Program 1542PB-E (Harlem) NEW

Date & Time: Friday, April 21st • 9:00  – 10:30 AM
Volunteer Role: Writing Coach

Overview: After reading Virgil & Owen, Paulette Bogan’s story of a penguin who befriends a lost polar bear, second-graders will work in groups to create a skit about conflict resolution. Volunteers will guide them as they write about constructive resolutions to issues they face in school, such as bullying, anger management, or not sharing. The students will perform their skits for guests. Program Coordinator: Myra Hernandez

Program EA6ZE-M (Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn) NEW

Date & Time: Thursday, May 11th • 11:20 AM – 12:55 PM
Volunteer Role: Writing Coach

Overview: Zetta Elliott’s powerful story Bird, about a boy who learns that his love for drawing is a way to process the challenges his family faces from his brother’s addiction, inspired sixth-graders to write a poem about how they’ve overcome obstacles. Writing coaches will guide students in reaching their final drafts. Program Coordinator: Nicole Daniels

More dates to come soon!