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December 17, 2017

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Support Your Library : Learning Buddies Volunteer Program for High School Students

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Library closed Dec. 24 and 25

All locations of The Seattle Public Library and the book drops at the Central Library will be closed on Christmas Eve, Sunday, Dec. 24 and Christmas Day, Monday, Dec. 25.

Learning Buddies Volunteer Program for High School Students

Join our Buddy Program

Learning Buddies is an education enrichment program for K-5 students at the Beacon Hill, Columbia, Douglass-Truth Branch, Greenwood, NewHolly and West Seattle branches. Teen volunteers and students read together, learn mathematics and play educational games with support from librarians.

 

If you are a high school student who enjoys math, reading, science and interacting with children, we would love to have you volunteer as a Learning Buddy. You will gain service learning experience and be able to report volunteer service hours to your high school. We ask that you: 

  • Play literacy, math and science educational games that have been provided by the Library.
  • Look at the books that have been recommended by a librarian and ask your buddy to select books to read with you.
  • Share while you read together, talk about what's happening in the story and make connections.
  • Help your buddy learn vocabulary by talking about new words, how they are used and what they mean.
  • Be a positive role model for children. Always be kind, supportive and an attentive listener while helping children learn.
  • Abide by The Seattle Public Library's confidentiality policy and respect children's privacy. Do not share information about Learning Buddies' participants with your friends or family.

 

Time Commitment

The Library offers a Learning Buddies series in the fall and winter/spring. Teen volunteers are asked to interact with children once a week throughout the entire series. The following volunteer opportunities will be available during the 2017-2018 school year. 

  • Learning Buddies at the Beacon Hill Branch, 2821 Beacon Hill Ave. S.
    October 3 - December 5, 2017: Tuesday, 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
    March 6 - May 22, 2018: Tuesday, 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
  • Learning Buddies at the Columbia Branch, 4721 Rainier Ave. S.
    October 3 - December 12, 2017: Tuesday, 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
    March 6 - May 22, 2018: Tuesday, 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
  • Learning Buddies at the Douglass-Truth Branch, 2300 East Yesler Way
    October 2 - December 4, 2017: Monday, 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
    March 5 - May 14, 2018: Monday, 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
  • Learning Buddies sponsored by the Greenwood Branch, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.
    October 18 - December 6, 2017: Wednesday, 3:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
    March 28 - May 16, 2018: Wednesday, 3:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
    The Greenwood Branch's Teen Services librarian will offer two Learning Buddies series at the North Seattle Boys and Girls Club, 8635 Fremont Ave. N.
  • Learning Buddies at the NewHolly Branch, 7058 32nd Ave. S.
    October 3 - December 12, 2017: Tuesday, 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
    March 6 - May 22, 2018: Tuesday, 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
  • Learning Buddies at the West Seattle Branch, 2306 42nd Ave. S.W.
    October 3 - December 5, 2017: Tuesday, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
    March 6 - May 22, 2018: Tuesday, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
    The West Seattle Branch's Learning Buddies program offers math learning activities.

 

Qualifications

Teens must be at least 14 years old, enrolled in high school and live close to a Library branch that offers the Learning Buddies program. Qualifications and skills of successful Learning Buddy volunteers include: 

  • Fluency in spoken and written English. Good interpersonal communication skills, especially active listening.
  • Enjoy reading with children and talking about books, math and science.
  • Ability to explain basic math concepts to elementary school students.
  • Ability to be kind, patient, flexible and creative while you are helping children learn.
  • Enjoy collaborating with other volunteers and Library staff.
  • Respect diverse lifestyles, cultures, religions and values.
  • Good organizational and time management skills. Volunteers are expected to arrive on time and participate in every session of the Learning Buddies series.

 
Application and Orientation Process

Please print and complete a Learning Buddy volunteer application. You can request an interview with the Learning Buddies volunteer liaison at one of the following Library branches. Give your application to the liaison at your interview.

  • Beacon Hill Branch: call 206-684-4711
  • Columbia Branch: call 206-386-1908
  • Douglass-Truth Branch: call 206-684-4704
  • Greenwood Branch: call 684-4086
  • NewHolly Branch: call 206-386-1905
  • Rainier Beach Branch: call 206-386-1906
  • West Seattle Branch: call 206-684-7444

After your interview, you will be invited to participate in a Learning Buddies volunteer orientation before you begin interacting with K-5 students.

 

You are welcome to contact Anne Vedella, volunteer services coordinator, at volunteer@spl.org or 206-386-4614 if you have questions.