826 Volunteering

Each year, more than 5,000 active volunteers make our work possible and keep our programs free of charge. These passionate individuals are found at our centers and neighboring schools each day—supporting morning field trips, sitting side-by-side with our students after school, and helping entire classrooms learn the art of writing. They even help with administrative work such as graphic design and website maintenance.

Our volunteers actively connect with youth every day.

Who can volunteer, you ask? In a word: you! 826 National's volunteers are local community members from a wide range of professions and backgrounds—writers, teachers, artists, college students, parents, bankers, lawyers, and retirees.

Whatever your skills, as a volunteer, you’ll positively impact youth in your community. If you'd like to volunteer at your local 826 chapter, please click the following links for information on volunteering in Ann Arbor/Detroit/Ypsilanti, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.

After you sign up to volunteer, you’ll be trained by our experienced staff as a mentor in one (or however many you wish!) of the following areas:

After-School Tutoring Training

Volunteers learn best practices for tutoring students, including keeping students inspired, tackling tough assignments, getting homework finished, and cultivating a positive bond.

Young Authors' Book Project

Volunteers learn the ins and outs of 826 National's book projects. From tips for working with students one-on-one to helping students edit their writing to handling sensitive material that students sometimes write.

Storytelling & Bookmaking Field Trip Training

Volunteers learn best practices for working with a full class, fielding difficult questions or suggestions, drawing out quiet students, and keeping the atmosphere fun and productive.

Reading Strategies & ELL

Volunteers interested in serving as mentors for English Language Learners learn how to meet the complex needs of those students who are learning English as a second language.

College Essay Training

Volunteers benefit from the experience and expertise of college admissions directors who read and select essays, and leave with the tools they need to help high school students face the most intimidating essay they’ve ever written.

Workshop Teacher Training

Volunteers develop new workshops, refine class schedules and goals, rework rough drafts of lesson plans, and receive general tips for teaching.