Meet our August Volunteer of the Month: Rose Connelly

News —— August 5, 2015

Since she first poked her head in the door two years ago, Rose has conquered venomous math homework with brave third graders in After School Tutoring, stood on the front lines of the fight against Superhero burnout in some tough Devillainizer sessions at the BSSCo., rubbed elbows with future indie critical darlings during Summer Filmmaking, and even sewed a canine cape or two on a rainy afternoon Maker Shift. But her true devotion belongs to Field Trips, where she found her calling volunteering with the team behind the fierce, fearsome and fabulous Ms. Mildew.Rose particularly relishes lending Ms. Mildew her voice (cloaked in a thick Brooklyn-kinda-1940s-newspaperman-ish accent); and her heart swells with pride at the wild and outstanding stories that H. Mildew Publishing has approved.

1. How did you first get involved with 826NYC and why did you decide to volunteer?

I was an intern at StoryCorps, and a staff member recommended that the interns check out this thing called 826NYC. I visited and asked someone at the store for info, and he was like “ok great, hang on a second,” and casually opened the bookcase door to the Secret Library to find a staff member. I basically don’t remember anything that happened after that, my brain was just frozen on “HOLY SCHNITZEL THEY HAVE A SECRET BOOKCASE DOOR IS THIS REAL WHEN CAN I COME BACK”

2. What’s your favorite part of volunteering at 826NYC?

When you lead students through writing their story on a field trip, there are occasionally moments when you catch yourself saying things like, “So now that the bionic bunny rabbit has confronted the demented chicken Master Snuffles about his plan to RUIN the jungle parade, how must Master Snuffles FEEEEEL?????” Those are usually moments when you feel good about your decision to get up in the morning.

3. What do you do when you’re not at 826NYC?

I’m a Costumed Interpreter and Educator at the Tenement Museum—I lead tours of a restored tenement building and tell the stories of the families who lived there in days of yore, and also play a 14 year-old Jewish immigrant from 1916 for the museum’s living history program. Basically I make a living by playing make believe and talking too much, which is everything I dreamed of when I was five. In my free time, I occasionally volunteer in The Moth’s community storytelling workshops, complain about the weather, and make breakfast smoothies in monstrous colors.

4. What advice would you give a new volunteer?

Volunteer for a Field Trip! I think they are an excellent way to get your feet wet as an 826 volunteer.

5. What are your super powers?

This one time I was supervising the Writing Corner during tutoring, and a student started turning everyone in the room into superhero characters. My superpower was “the power to ask villains nicely to please stop.” So…