When you volunteer with 826NYC, you’re joining hundreds of dedicated and passionate New Yorkers who make our daily programming and operations possible for over 3,000 young writers each year.

An 826NYC volunteer with a happy young author at our youth writing center. Both the volunteer and student are standing and other young authors and adult volunteers are visible in the foreground and background.


Seven of 826NYC's young authors sit with a volunteer in 826NYC's backyard during a publication celebration.

After School & Weekend Programs

Volunteers support our young writers’ growth in after-school and weekend programs by leading weekly book club conversations, guiding collaboration during group work, and helping students fine-tune their masterpieces. Commitments range from five-week Write Away Workshop series to fantastical full semesters in Dungeons & Dragons & Writers. Orientations and program-specific trainings give you all the tools you need to help with everything from adjectives to zeroing in on a prompt.

Volunteer with a storytelling field trip!

Field Trips

If your schedule doesn’t have room for a weekly commitment, jump in and join a field trip! Field trips in our Write Together program meet on weekday mornings, and volunteers fill essential roles, including illustrating original stories (no experience or artistic skill required!), assembling brand-new student books, helping small groups choose the next step in their choose-your-own adventure stories, and playing the role of our beloved grumpy editor, Dr. Mildew.

Bring your unique skill set to 826NYC


826NYC’s beautiful chapbooks, annual reviews, and school anthologies are all copy-edited, proofread, and designed by talented volunteers. The same goes for many of the graphics we use regularly, materials for events, and even the gorgeous photos on this website. Whether you have an eye for punctuation or picture-perfect layouts, we want to hear from you! Contact volunteer@826nyc.org to get involved.

Volunteer Community

826NYC celebrates our volunteers as crucial and unique members of our creative community. Volunteering and mentoring go beyond working with our students, and are also excellent ways to create new connections with other adults in the space. Our volunteers come from a plethora of backgrounds, skills, and interests, and their passion for supporting NYC youth brings them together.

We invite volunteers to stay connected by attending 826NYC book launches, learning from our educational materials and community events, and sharing their reflections with staff members on a regular basis.

We provide a variety of benefits for volunteers, including a 40% discount on any purchase at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co., end-of-year appreciation gifts, and ongoing free opportunities for professional development.


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. See About 826NYC for more on our core values.

Student Voices

Backroom Crawl

BY Liam C., Age 13 years old

7/29/1987   As I walked into the Complex, the usual yellow walls and buzzing lights greeted me. Johnson already had the rope on him, so we were clear to start the exploration. As we walked, we talked about things such as how we found out about Async or Mr. Beck’s failed assassination attempt. This went on for a while…

To Walk in My Shoes

BY Kelise B., Age 11th grade

To walk in my shoes, walk in some yellow Converse. Grab a mask and don’t take it off. Maybe run a little faster outside. It gets overwhelming in the dark. Take that flimsy green and white card and ram it aggressively through the scanner, DON’…


BY Rafael C., Age Age 10

A day in the world of Echenonia would go like this. You, a Xenolichen, would go hunting for nanomorphogan flowers for breakfast. They taste like asparagus with a dark purple stem and a green and red mouth/petals. They’re found in the dense Oaklum forest. On your way back to your village, you would probably spot an Oxopeckien—a dangerous bird-like creature that would not hesitate to tear you into s…

A Note to My Future Self

BY Ayana A., Age 11

Dear Myself, You will wear a sparkly blue-and-pink shirt with jeans and long hair. You will dye your hair brown and blue. You will have a white-haired kitten named Peppermint. You will be in 11th grade. You will be 17. I will get you a gift which is a diary with a sparkly fuzzy pen, along with a pencil case. I’ll buy you a new bookbag. It will be unicorn style. The unicorn will be blue, pink, a…

A Puppy

BY Leslie M., Age 7

A puppy was happy. She was pretty. Her name was Daisy. One day, she was reading a book and and doing her homework. A boy came. He was a puppy. He asked to play with Daisy. Daisy said, “Yes.” The boy’s name was Dragon. Dragon and Daisy played tag. Then Daisy fell down and broke her leg. And Dragon helped her to walk. Then they went home and Dragon took Daisy to the doctor. The doctor was also a dog…

A Quick Loan

BY Dakota M. (East Harlem Writers’ Room), Age 12

“Mom, how are you feeling?” mumbled Troy. “Not very great. I’ll need medication quickly,” Mom said softly as she lay on her hospital bed. “How much will the medication cost?” Troy said curiously. “One thousand dollars,” mumbled Mom. “But we can’t get that kind of money right now!” screamed Troy. “Well, we’ll just have to see and wait,” said Mom. Troy wanted to cry, but he tried his best not …

About Keven

BY Keven M., Age 10

I like to do math. I go to school with my sister. I see birds in the trees and I eat an apple. I have my book and a toy. I have a mom. I have a dad. I have a book and a home and a toy. I go to the park. I love the color blue, the color orange, the color black. I like to play with my sister. We play tag and run around together. We also like to play on the swings. When my dad plays with us, we do hi…

Being a King and a Beast

BY Kai C., Age 10

If I could be any animal, I would be a rabbit. I would have the name Furry because I have lots of fur. I want to be a rabbit because I could be a household pet or a wild animal. On a normal day I would get pet and fed all day like a king. Once in a while I would scurry out of the house, go into the woods, and be wild. I would not be a king, but I am still a beast, ruling my territory! After a …

Candy Galaxy

BY Dorian V. (Williamsburg After-School Tutoring), Age 9

If a washing machine was a portal, I would use it to go to the candy galaxy because I love candy. There would be slides that are made of candy, and you could eat the candy, but every time that you ate a candy in 3 seconds a new candy appears. And every time that it gets dark the candy will turn into beds. If you feel lonely the candy will turn into people and then you could play with your candy fr…


BY Denisse R.G. (Park Slope After-School Tutoring), Age 9

Cookies, I love cookies. When I was five years old, my first taste was at the bakery. I took a bite, and I went crazy because of all the sugar. I had lots of energy and it was delicious. There are many types of cookies. For example, there are cookies with sprinkles, chocolate chip cookies, and Mexican cookies. Mexican cookies are cookies that Mexican people make when it is the Day of the Dead. …


BY Emmanuel W., Age 17

All the sounds of people are gone. Nature seems to be running just fine. It actually looks beautiful outside but it’s unnerving because of the lack of people and sound that normally comes from a loud city environment. I don’t miss tastes much because I’ve been eating pretty often. I would say that it smells pretty much the same. The most unnerving part about all of this like I’ve mentioned befo…

Fish Holiday

BY Karmelitta V., Age 8

In Fish Holiday, I read 10,000 books. I made up Fish Holiday: it is a day to celebrate underwater creatures. I go fishing on Fish Holiday, but you can paint too. It is in summer. In Fish Holiday, you eat catfish. Humans wear fish socks, fish pants, fish hair, and fish nails. Everyone must brain their hair like fish. I do not like fish because they’re boring. When you go fishing, you have to sit…

For Some

BY Halei A., Age 16

While for some kids coming out as being gay or lesbian to their parents is easy, for me it was much harder. I knew my parents would always accept me as their daughter, but it was the fear of hearing what they had to say. Before telling my parents, I had to actually find myself first. Finding myself took time; it was an actual thought process. I went through the process of thinking, Is this actuall…

Grandmother’s Oxtail: A Flavor Eruption

BY Alexia M., Age 5th Grade

Mmmmmmmmmm. I remember when I first ate my grandmother’s oxtail. Mmmmmmm. The flavor of the spicy sauce that she put on the side. I could smell the aroma of the oxtail from downstairs. My grandmother told me to come downstairs to eat. When she put the plate in front of me, I could see the sauce dripping off the oxtail and the white rice. I just had to put some of that spicy delicious sauce on top …