When you volunteer with 826NYC you’re joining a community of nearly 500 dedicated and passionate New Yorkers who make our daily programming and operations possible. Last year volunteers led classes of public school students in 122 field trips, mentored 148 students in after-school tutoring, supported ongoing curricular support at the Writers' Room in East Harlem, helped produce almost 40 publications of young writers’ work, and so much more. As a volunteer, you’ll not only create spaces for students to express themselves, but you’ll also become a part of a community of caring and fascinating adults.
We primarily require volunteers to be at least 18 years old and/or high school graduates. Exceptions for 16 and 17 year olds can be made on a case-by-case basis. Volunteers in student-facing programs must be able to pass a background check with the NYC Department of Education and consistently attend their confirmed shifts, barring extenuating circumstances that are communicated to us ahead of time. We expect volunteers to be nondiscriminatory in their treatment of students regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ability, or socioeconomic status, among other identities. 826NYC expects volunteers to promote a belief that intelligence and skills can be grown over time and take advantage of ongoing training opportunities. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in a request that involved parties step down from our volunteer corps.
During the school year, we have a variety of programs in which volunteers can participate. The best way to get started is to sign up for an orientation where you can learn more about all of our programs. The orientation is required to volunteer in our After-School Tutoring (shifts on Monday – Thursday; 2:45pm – 6:15pm), Writers’ Room (shifts on Tuesday – Friday; 8:00am-3:00pm), and In-Schools projects (Days/times vary, usually weekday mornings), and is a great way to learn more about 826NYC and develop best practices for working with our students.
If you have any questions, you can email our volunteer team at email@example.com.
Field Trips and Store Shifts
Not all of our programs require completion of an orientation before getting started – you can sign up for a field trip or a store shift today! You can see all of our available shifts by looking at this calendar, and if you’re already in our system, you can sign up directly that way! If you aren’t, signing up is as easy as emailing our volunteer team at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he can help you get signed up.
The vast majority of our chapbooks, flyers, event materials, invitations, and posters are designed by volunteers. We are always looking for graphic designers and editors to support the publication process. We also frequently need professional photographers to document our events, which include everything from student book release parties to major fundraisers. If you’re interested in getting involved, please email our volunteer team at email@example.com!
Volunteering with 826NYC is not only working with our students, it’s also an excellent way to create new connections with fellow members of the community. Our volunteers come from a plethora of backgrounds, skills, and interests, but their common interest in helping NYC youth explore their voices through writing brings them all together.
We host monthly events exclusively for our volunteers, ranging from evening happy hours to Q&As with renowned journalists to roundtable discussions on urban education.
We provide benefits for volunteers in any way we can, including a 40 percent discount on any purchase at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. We also partner with local businesses to get the exclusive deals and discounts for our volunteers.
Commitment to Inclusion
As an organization committed to encouraging youth in their creative expression, personal growth, and academic success, 826 National and its chapters recognize the importance of diversity at all levels and in all aspects of our work. In order to build and maintain the safe, supportive 826 environment in which great leaps of learning occur, we commit to inclusion: We will not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, nationality, marital status, English fluency, parental status, military service or disability.
Become a Volunteer
“If you’re thinking about it, just do it! Sign up for an orientation — I was surprised just how much 826 has going on, and how many different ways there are to be involved. It’s honestly been more rewarding than I could have possibly imagined, and if you, like me, do not have much experience working with kids, don’t worry — the intimidation factor dissolves pretty much instantly as soon as you walk into this magical space.”
–Leeann, 826NYC Volunteer
If you want to attend an upcoming orientation, complete the form below. Orientations will provide in-depth training on topics useful for volunteers interested in our After-School Tutoring, In-Schools, and Writers’ Room programming, which all take place on weekday mornings or afternoons. You can also select your interest in short-term and weekend opportunities on the form below. If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to email our volunteer team at firstname.lastname@example.org!