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Become a Volunteer

If you are interested in volunteering, complete this application.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering for the Read Aloud Program! For the 2020-2021 school year, all Read Aloud visits will be virtual until further notice. Although virtual Read Aloud might look very different in different classrooms, our ultimate goal is still to provide a literacy experience that connects students to books and fun.

What technology and skills do I need to be able to do virtual Read Aloud storytimes?

  • We will provide training on virtual Read Aloud and one-on-one appointments as needed. As long as you have access to the necessary technology, you can do it and we’ll help you get started!
  • A device with a camera and microphone. (This can be a smart phone, tablet, laptop, or computer).
  • Some kind of streaming software. (You’ll need to talk to the teacher you read with to see what is approved for use in their classroom. Usually it will be Zoom or Google Meets).

Volunteer Qualifications

  • A love of books and of the library.
  • A respect for children as unique, important individuals.
  • A desire to help children learn about themselves and their world.
  • A sensitivity to economically disadvantaged children and their families.
  • Comfort with singing, sharing rhymes, and conversing with the students.
  • A library card in good standing.
  • A reliable mode of transportation.
  • Must be 18 years or older.
  • Bilingual volunteers are especially needed.

Volunteer Responsibilities

  • Pick up Read Aloud books at a Denver Public Library branch.
  • Prepare for storytimes by reading the books aloud before class time.
  • Read to a class once a week for 13 weeks (fall semester) or 17 weeks (spring semester). 
  • Read and discuss the books with the children.
  • Include developmentally beneficially activities such as singing, rhymes or dancing in
    the storytime. 
  • Promote Denver Public Library resources and services.
  • Communicate with the teacher and Read Aloud staff.
  • Attend a training session once every three years.

Time Requirements

Because the Read Aloud Program serves preschool classrooms, all volunteer opportunities are for weekdays between 9am and 3pm. Read Aloud includes the following time commitments:

  • Training Session and Orientation, 2 hours one time.
  • Picking up and returning book sets, 10-20 minutes once a week. We are looking into other options for picking up more books at a time so you can do this less frequently.
  • Preparing for each storytime, 30 minutes once a week.
  • Reading with your classroom, about 30 minutes once a week. (Virtual storytimes will be shorter).

Support for Volunteers

  • New volunteer training includes information on cognitive development and how to do storytime.
  • We offer three to four additional volunteer training sessions per year that cover a wide variety of topics that pertain to Read Aloud.
  • We will offer technology training and one-on-one tech help appointments.
  • We will virtually "visit" all new volunteers in their Read Aloud, once they get started, to offer feedback and answer any questions.
  • Call or email us anytime with any questions, concerns, or suggestions. 
  • Visit the volunteer resources page for tips and ideas. 

Volunteer Testimonials:

"I feel a stronger connection to my local community and I get to share my love of reading with the little ones. I even tell the teachers what I'm currently excited about reading sometimes. I have been volunteering for about 6 years, and it brings me so much joy to hear of the volunteers that have been doing this for 15-20 years. There is a piece of myself that, when given a way in the this manner, grows."

"Interacting with the kids brings me a lot of joy. I love to see how their minds work and how inventive they are in answering questions about the books. I am a huge book-lover and seeing little ones be inspired creatively by books is one of the highlights of my week."

“I live close to the neighborhoods I read in. This weekend while I was taking a stroll, I walked past a car stopped at a red light. All of a sudden a little hand popped out of the window waving enthusiastically, followed by the sweet little face of a student from one of my classrooms. It totally made my day that he recognized me and was so excited to see me!"

Contact information:

720-865-1305 or rda@denverlibrary.org

Becoming a Read Aloud volunteer is one of the many great ways to participate in serving your community. If you're interested in other volunteer opportunities at the library, please visit our volunteer opportunities page