By Volunteer Coordinator Emily Rosenberg
At the beginning of every program we tell students that they’ll be working with writing coaches individually or in small groups. We want them to experience an intimate professional writing workshop and to thrive as authors under the attention of an editor. We’re able to keep that promise thanks to the 125 volunteers who contributed 245.5 hours in our classrooms this year – as writing coaches, art assistants and field trip chaperones.
Our most dedicated volunteers are Linda Marchand, with an amazing 39.5 hours to her credit over the school year; Maritza Struyvenberg, who devoted 23.50 hours to working with our students; and Ali Maher Barclay, with 17.5 hours of time in our classrooms. They have helped first graders to come up with descriptive ways to talk about seasons and time, guided fifth graders in making collages to illustrate their civil rights stories and coached 11th graders to edit and extend their personal essays.
We were also delighted to welcome volunteers from corporate community engagement programs. Employees from Bonobos came to EBC in Brooklyn to help ninth graders on their project with author Rita Williams-Garcia, and groups from Houlihan Lokey and Neuberger Berman joined us for two workshops at P.S 241 in Crown Heights and P.S 154 in Harlem.
It’s not only individual attention that helps students grow as writers. Our volunteers – who include a casting manager, graphic designer, a quality assurance manager, students and retirees – all help us broaden the students’ horizons by introducing them to people with different backgrounds and occupations.
When you visit a classroom to work directly with our students you’re adding to their depth of experience just by talking about yourself. And by providing support and encouragement to guide them through the creative process, you are motivating them to become confident readers and writers.
Thank you to all our volunteers for the enrichment you add to our programs this year. We hope to see you again in the fall!
Contact met at volunteer@behindthebook to learn more about our volunteer opportunities.