Volunteer Opportunities for Teens
Our Teen Services librarians offer Service Learning and Learning Buddy volunteer opportunities for high school students to make a positive impact in their communities while earning community service hours for high school.
About Learning Buddies
Learning Buddies is an education enrichment program for K-5 students at the Beacon Hill, Columbia, Douglass-Truth, Greenwood, NewHolly and West Seattle branches. Teen volunteers and kids read together, learn math and play educational games with support from librarians.
If you are a high school student who enjoys math, reading and helping kids succeed in school, please consider volunteering as a Learning Buddy. You will gain service learning experience and earn community service hours for school.
Learning Buddies tutor kids once a week. Volunteer opportunities are available at the following Library branches, October through December and March through May.
- Beacon Hill Branch: Tuesday, 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
- Columbia Branch: Thursday, 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
- Douglass-Truth Branch: Tuesday, 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
- NewHolly Branch: Tuesday, 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
- West Seattle Branch: Tuesday, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The West Seattle Branch's Learning Buddies program offers math learning activities.
The Greenwood Branch's Learning Buddies program takes place at the North Seattle Boys and Girls Club, 8635 Fremont Ave. N. from 3:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Become a Learning Buddy
High school students must be at least 14 years old 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.
- Enjoy reading with kids and talking about books.
- Able to explain basic math concepts to kids.
- Be kind, patient, flexible and creative while you are helping kids learn.
- Good organizational and time management skills. Volunteers are expected to arrive on time and participate in every session of the Learning Buddies series.
How to sign up
You can request a volunteer application and schedule an interview at one of the following Library branches at least one month before the fall or spring Learning Buddies series. After your interview, you will be invited to participate in a Learning Buddies volunteer orientation.
- Beacon Hill Branch: call the Teen Services librarian at 206-684-4711
- Columbia Branch: call the Teen Services librarian at 206-386-1908
- Douglass-Truth Branch: call the Teen Services librarian at 206-684-4704
- Greenwood Branch: call the Teen Services librarian at 206-684-4086
- NewHolly Branch: call the Supervising Librarian at 206-386-1905
- West Seattle Branch: call the Teen Services librarian at 206-684-7444
About Teen Service Learning
Teen Service Learning is a great way for you to help your community, develop skills for jobs and college, and earn community service hours for school. You will learn about community needs and provide service projects with other teens.
Volunteer opportunities are available for high school students who are at least 14 years old and live in Seattle. Service learning at the Library can help you:
- Develop important skills for school, jobs and life, such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication and working with others.
- Earn community service hours to complete high school requirements.
- Gain leadership and project management skills. This volunteer experience can be included on your college and job applications.
- Get to know great people and hang out with friends!
Become a Service Learning Teen Volunteer
Locations and time commitment
Teen Services librarians offer service learning at the following Library locations. Librarians help teens discover their own potential to affect change through discussions about community needs and service projects. Service learners meet with librarians at least once a month.
How to sign up
Contact the Teen Services librarian at your local library to request a volunteer application and a meeting to discuss your service learning interests. After your meeting, the librarian will invite you to a volunteer orientation.
Other Ways to Earn Community Service Hours
Because it may not be possible to complete 60 hours of volunteer service at the Library, we suggest that teens provide volunteer services for at least two organizations during high school. Check out these websites for information about volunteer opportunities for teens.
- Camp Fire - Teen Leadership Program
- City of Seattle - Volunteering and Participating
- Seattle Parks & Recreation - Service Learning and Community Service for Teens
- Seattle Tilth - Garden Volunteer Opportunities
- The Service Board
- Student Conservation Association
- Teens in Public Service
- United Way of King County
- The Vera Project
If you have a question or need help, contact the Teen Services librarian at your library, email our Volunteer Services Coordinator or call 206-386-4664.