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Learning Ally Volunteer Nation logo

Who We Are

The Volunteer Nation is a community of over 1,000 individuals across the world who graciously support Learning Ally’s mission. Volunteers share their talents to create human-read audiobooks and provide support in roles that help us reach the 30 million students who struggle to read. Join the Volunteer Nation in smashing the literacy divide and bring equitable education for all.

Connect with the Community!

    
volunteer quote: I volunteer for Learning Ally because I ... want to help share stories that speak to me. I've always been a reader, and books have meant a lot to me. I know how frustrating struggling to read can be and appreciate how good audiobooks can pull me into the world of a story so that I can't stop listening until I've finished the book.

 

 

 

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Interested in sharing your volunteer story or writing a blog post for us? We welcome your ideas! 

Email us: volunteer@learningally.org 

 

 

 

Volunteer Nation Blog

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“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” ~Winston Churchill


Logging Your Service Hours Just Got Easier!

The next time you log in to report your service hours you will notice a change. Starting February 2021, we implemented a small change to the dropdown menu next to Which Assignment Did You Serve In to make it easier to find your assignment. 

 

What exactly is changing? 

Each volunteer assignment will now have a number next to the text. For example, all Literature Community assignments will have the number one next to them, the Textbook Community will have a two, and so on.

 

Assignment list

How can you help us minimize errors in service tracking?

  • All volunteers should be sure their Google profile has their name (not just an email). You can update that information here.
  • All Literature volunteers should be sure to click the Discussion Group tab located in the My Projects tab after they're assigned a project. Volunteers should do this first thing when they get an assignment since that triggers adding them into a private project channel for communication. Also, be sure to use @mentions in Twist.
 

Why is it important to accurately report service hours?

  • Volunteer Recognition: We appreciate everything you do! This data helps us recognize milestones and outstanding service.
  • Program Health: We can use this data to evaluate the health of our volunteer program. This helps us see the effort that goes into audiobook production and other Learning Ally initiatives that our volunteers support. It also helps us determine how many new audiobooks we can produce, measure volunteer retention, and build recruitment plans to fill areas of need.
  • Reporting: The value of your donated service is required in our financial reporting. We also provide reports, when requested, to companies that donate to nonprofits where their employees volunteer and to foundations that are interested in our mission.

 

We recognize that there are many different assignments you must choose from when logging service hours and this in itself can be confusing. We hope this change will help you easily locate the assignment(s) you work on most often and potentially memorize its place in the list to reduce reporting errors. 

 

If you have any questions about which assignment you perform, please reach out to the staff member you work with most frequently and ask them if you’re reporting your hours correctly. 


Digging This Weather

Quite literally. The groundhog saw his shadow, so we're in for six more weeks of winter. As much of the northern US deals with the snow, Learning Ally is looking at what our spring and summer will bring. If you missed the webinar about our direction for the organization in 2021 and beyond, you can find the recording on our Resources page. If you haven't checked in lately, I also recommend perusing the Learning Ally main webpage. We've redesigned our message for students, parents and teachers, so they can see our focus on helping students at the start of their educational journeys. A fence of stacked logs and snow-covered trees beyond.


New Textbook Training Coming in February


Whoa, that's this month! A revised and updated version of our textbook training program is now in testing on the training site. At first, we will be testing with current volunteers, but by mid-February we expect that these new lessons will replace the current ones for all incoming textbook volunteers, and current volunteers are welcome to try it out or cross-train. If you would like to get involved as a tester for the revamped lessons, please reach out to the training center staff: Russell Collins or Eleanor Cotton.


Let this also serve as a subtle reminder for any current trainees: If you are part-way through the current textbook training program, you might want to hurry up and complete your work. Alternatively, you could wait a couple of weeks and start over with the new lessons. We leave that choice to you, but make sure it's your choice, and not an accident!


Office Hours Meetings Changes


Last year we expanded our Training Center Office Hours program to two meetings per week to better manage the large influx of new volunteers. When the pandemic first drove volunteering indoors and online we were scrambling to keep up. Now we've reached an equilibrium with the new arrivals to book production teams, so we now have fewer attendees at each meeting and they are not providing the value they once did. As a result, this Thursday will be the last Thursday Office Hours meeting and we will move exclusively to having these meetings on Mondays at 1:00 PM Eastern. If it proves necessary to expand the program again we may add other times, but we also urge you to reach out to us through other means as well. Remember to email voltraining@learningally.org with your questions about the training program, vol-support@learningally.org for general help requests, and to join our Twist teams and channels for more help.


Congratulations to our recent training graduates


Becky C., Rick R., Lisa V., Hannah H., Derria M., Elaine C., Tiffany A., Tameka B., Nick V., David L., Jaymes P., Joshua H., Byron R., Jennifer A., Aditi V., Anjum M., Dana F., Victoria K., Sharon B-S., Joyce C., Angela H., Rizwana S., Victoria G., Maria M., Ava M., Jason O., Meredith P., Julia B.