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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.

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Stay in the know with your fellow volunteers, read the latest volunteer spotlight, and learn about current events happening in the Volunteer Nation.


Volunteer Spotlight - David Frens

David Frens has decided to retire after being an active Narrator with Learning Ally for 13 years and logging in over 5,000 hours. In that time, he helped create science textbooks that are helping students with learning differences access grade-level content for school.

 

In 2007, he began volunteering in the Phoenix Studio and when it closed, he transitioned into volunteering remotely with the Athens Studio where our team had the opportunity to work with him.  Christine Hoffman remembers assigning projects and proofing his work. David was one of our earliest remote volunteers, more or less beta testing what would become the Virtual Studio. David always understood the importance of putting our mission first while adapting to a new way of volunteering.  Then, when we transitioned completely to virtual in 2017, he joined the Virtual Studio.

 

He was a prolific Narrator, moving through dense science textbooks, covering medicine, nursing and other science texts, in short amounts of time. David was a neurologist in his early life and he willingly shared his knowledge through narration. His tenacity and knowledge allowed us to close large projects quickly and move those recordings into the audiobook library. His reading interests ranged from biology, chemistry, philosophy, humanities, and religion/theology.

 

Besides reading for us, David reads fiction and nonfiction for Sun Sounds of Arizona, a radio reading service for visually impaired people. 

 

David has a total of 5,872 volunteer hours and over 1,173 visits to our Virtual Studio (and Phoenix Studio). He stopped reading in June 2020, and finally, he reached out to us in the Summer.  Retiring was not an easy thing for him to do, as he is an active retiree, but he let us know he has been finding new ways to volunteer in his community, so there are some lucky organizations benefiting from his generosity and knowledge!

 

We cannot thank David enough! He has been a star volunteer.  His generosity has had a profound and lasting impact on our students. His willingness to share both his time and talent says a lot about him. David’s willingness to give selflessly to help others will never be forgotten here at Learning Ally. Thank you, David!

 




Comments are closed.
Showing 4 Comments
Avatar  Lisa Marie Velenchenko 11 months ago

Hi,

I would like to do some VO support with you. How do I learn about these opportunities?

Thanks,

Lisa Velenchenko
612-702-4094

Avatar  Stacie Court 11 months ago

I worked with David when he was part of the Athens "halo". He was wonderful to work with and had a great sense of humor. David, we will miss you!

Avatar  Tere 11 months ago

Wish you lived closer to nyc, id hire you to "set me up" to be a reader in my home studio ( for LA) needs help!!! Great work you've done!! Tere

Avatar  Kathi Jensen 11 months ago

Happy retirement, Dr. Frens! LA will miss you.