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.
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Every year we take some time in April to recognize the great work our volunteers have done, and will do!
You have been instrumental to the work we do to provide access to educational material for students with learning differences. When you dedicate your time and energy to volunteering with Learning Ally, you are improving the lives of thousands of students who struggle to read. Words cannot adequately express the gratitude that we wish to express. Please know that your service is recognized, appreciated, valued and cherished.
To celebrate your service, we are hosting a Volunteer Appreciation Celebration on April 20th, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM EST. Join us in recognizing the contributions of volunteers and community partners like you! We’ll be joined by parents, students, and educators to help us celebrate your hard work and dedication. Click here to register for the event!
If you're a volunteer already working on book projects you've probably used Google Hangouts to stay it touch with your teams as you work on narration, proofing, and so on. Google however, has decided to sunset Google Hangouts. Rather than change over to their professional product, we will take this opportunity to move to using Twist for these communications. We first introduced Twist as a platform for our online chat and conversations over a year ago, and you'll find several articles and posts about it in the archives of the volunteer portal.
Twist is already in common use for Literature titles, but is still not commonly used on Textbook projects. Audrey Santos and Christine Hoffman are leading efforts to help all volunteers transition to Twist. In addition to their email messages, you'll also find that an online meeting has been set up for Friday, April 9th at 2 PM Eastern, 11 AM Pacific. If you want to get started with Twist on your own and need help, please refer to our Twist Reference Guide.
We reached 50% of our goal in the first month of our annual donation drive! So with two more months to go, it stands to reason that we can hit 150% by the end of May. If you haven't gotten involved yet, either through making donations yourself, or by creating a campaign page to invite others to donate, then check out this article on the volunteer front page and learn what you can do to help. You'll find more links there to other ways that you can contribute. Raise awareness and share the message of Learning Ally to more schools and students. (And don't forget to find out if your employer has a matching donations program.)
Refining our production process means finding better tools and improving on those we already have. Be on the lookout for some changes this summer! We'll be updating our Textbook assignment process, making it more like the ways we already assign Literature titles. That includes a better home site with quick access to book summaries all on one page. Pozotron is a new tool that will make proofing our VOICEtext titles easier and more accurate. With these innovations and some hard work we'll deliver better audiobooks to more students faster than we have before.
Webb S., Jelen DC., Rachel Y., Denise G., Carol W., Claudia W., Stacy D-W., Yinka., Katherine S., Lara R., Adrian T., Jakara S-D., Amy S., Monique O-G., Anne H., Stella O., Kate T., Richard W., Hollie T.
As March begins we kick off a major fundraising drive with Building Books for Student Success. BBSS runs from now until the end of May, so get involved ASAP! You can do a lot to help us help more students.
BBSS is our annual fundraising campaign when we ask our volunteers to join us in reaching our goals to support more schools and students. While you are welcome to make donations yourself, it's more important to Learning Ally that you join us in creating your own campaign page. Fundraising to help our students can go much further than our volunteers, and by inviting someone to make a donation through your page, you can offer them an opportunity to help if they can't volunteer. You can also find out more about how to have your employer make donations in recognition of your donated hours, as well as some tips on creating special events to help engage and motivate your friends, family, and peers to get involved. You can find more information about BBSS on the front page of the volunteer portal.
If you're looking for more ways to be involved as a book-production volunteer, then check out the Quality Assurance programs. We've mentioned them before, but as we continue to work to match projects up with teams of narrators and listeners, there may be gaps in your schedule. Don't let that time be lost! It's always better to stay engaged with volunteering however you can. Our Quality Assurance programs will allow you to use your time to experience Learning Ally audiobooks just like our students do. The feedback you share on those titles will guide us to repairing or even replacing older books in our catalogs, raising the bar on quality. To find out more and to get involved, check out the QA program pages on the volunteer portal site.
Last week we had our first online Learning Ally volunteer trivia event! Doing something a little different for our monthly webinar, we took the time to turn on microphones and cameras, greet each other face-to-face, and learn a little something about Learning Ally and our peers. We hope to have more events like this in the future so that we all keep each other in mind as we work together. Thanks to everyone who joined us, and we look forward to doing it again!
Kat M., Madrie T., Lisa Marie V., Richard S., Derria M., Hannah H., Jacob S., Monica M., Sulema M., Robyn F., Cheryl K., Jannine H., Regan S., Firas A. O., Julia B., Meredith P., Meredith P., Jason O.