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Become a Volunteer

Apply Here to Become a Read Aloud Volunteer

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 books on the hold shelf once a week at a Denver Public Library branch.
  • Prepare for storytimes by reading the books aloud before class time.
  • Visit and 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.
  • Preparing for each storytime, 30 minutes once a week.
  • Visiting and reading in your classroom, about 30 minutes once a week.
  • Travel time to and from classroom, 15-20 minutes once a week.

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 visit all new volunteers at 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