Volunteering your time to reading with a child, even for just one hour a week, can make a huge difference in that child’s life. Contact your local school or United Way to see about volunteering as a reader in a local school.


Before you begin, it’s important to ask if volunteering with children is something that is important to your business. If you and your employees are more interested in charity food drives, or cleaning up a beach or a park, then volunteering with children might not be your cup of tea. And that’s ok! (See more Charity Activities in the Marketing Activities section.) When it comes to volunteering your time, the most important thing is to find something that is meaningful to you and your employees. You want to maximize your impact on the organization and the joy you derive from volunteering with a certain organization.

So, if you’re interested in reading to and with children… read on! (Pun intended)

Key Steps

  • Find a local school that needs your help. Coordinate with them to determine the need and requirements for volunteering.
  • Create a sign-up sheet for your employees, and if appropriate, create a sign-up sheet for customers too!
  • If appropriate, have t-shirts made for all the volunteers. It will be fun for kids to recognize you as the “reading team” from your business.
  • If you own a restaurant, cafe or bakery, see if you are allowed to provide treats for the children after reading. Keep in mind that certain schools have strict allergen guidelines to ensure that all students are kept safe while at school.
  • As the volunteer day draws closer, send reminder and confirmation emails or make calls to connect with each volunteer personally.
  • Make sure the volunteers know how to dress appropriately for the event.

Guide To Recruiting Employees

  • When providing an opportunity for employees to volunteer for a certain charity, make sure they understand it is a personal choice and they are in no way expected or obligated to volunteer. Do not require or pressure them to participate. Furthermore, do not suggest that it would benefit their employment with your company if they volunteered their service or that it would be detrimental to them if they did not volunteer.
  • An employee’s decision regarding a volunteer opportunity should not be reflected positively or negatively in their performance evaluation or in the terms or conditions of the employee’s employment with your company.
  • Ensure that your employees know that reading to and with children requires a certain personality. Above all, they want to be able to make children of various ages, backgrounds and learning abilities feel comfortable and welcome. Secondly, they should be able to enunciate clearly, and be able to have fun when reading story books aloud. The school or volunteer program will be able to provide more information on reading to and with children.

Readings in school are a great way to partner with your local school.