Current Volunteer Opportunities

2018 Volunteer Opportunities

You need no experience or training to volunteer with pre-K-to-12 students as a writing, research or art coach, or in another active role.

To sign up, contact volunteer@behindthebook.org with each program code, date, and time you’d like to volunteer. After you’re confirmed, the program coordinator will follow up closer to the date with details about the curriculum, how you’ll work with students, and other important information. If you need to cancel, please let us know as soon as possible. 

First time volunteering? Please submit our brief questionnaire to let us know your interests and availability. You’ll also receive announcements of new program dates as they’re scheduled.


Program BA6RWG-M (Mott Haven)

Date: Wednesday, March 7th
Times (choose one or both): 8:50 – 9:40 AM and/or 10:30 – 11:20 AM
Location: Bronx Academy of Letters
Volunteer Role: Writing Coach

Overview: Two sixth-grade classes read Rita Williams-Garcia’s One Crazy Summer, about three sisters who spend the summer of 1968 learning about the Black Panthers, Vietnam—and their mother, a poet and activist who left them years before. Students will also visit the Black Power exhibit at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Coaches will help them polish argumentative essays that address topics like immigration, segregation, bullying, and gun control, in response to the prompt What would I stand up for? Program Coordinator: Chris Fleming

Program 1252SV-S (PS 125 Harlem)  

Date: Wednesday, March 28th
Time9:00 – 10:30 AM
Location: P.S. 125 (Ralph Bunche School)
Volunteer Role: Writing Coach

Overview: The Museum by Susan Verde inspired second-graders to consider how they decide what they like about a work of art, and what influences them to make that choice. Is it subject, color, light, brushwork? To learn more about this visceral connection, students visited Harlem’s Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, where they chose a painting and wrote about what they like and don’t about it, and why. Coaches will help small groups finalize their first drafts. Their writing and artwork will be published in a professionally designed and printed book. Program Coordinator: Jo Umans

Program IC12DPP-C (Mott Haven) 

Date: Wednesday, March 28th
Times (choose one or more)9:00 – 10:00 AM, 10:00 – 11:00 AM and/or 2:50 – 3:50 PM
Location: International Community High School
Volunteer Role: Writing Coach

Overview: Three 12th-grade classes read Dan-el Padilla Peralta‘s Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League, a memoir of his journey from homelessness to the top of his class at Princeton. Students examined themes of immigration, identity, the adaptation process, and overcoming challenges to write about how you can stake a claim to the American Dream if people don’t think you belong here. Coaches will work with small groups as they polish their first drafts. Program Coordinator: Myra Hernandez

More new programs to come soon! We’ll send announcements as they’re posted.