Join our Volunteer Team!

Words Alive is recruiting volunteers for the following programs and opportunities.  To learn more and to get started, please sign up for a Volunteer Orientation! 


Current Volunteers

Orientations are offered monthly, and are held at the Words Alive Office*

  • Next Orientation Date: To Be Announced

To sign up, please contact Jonathan Camitan. See our Employment & Internship Opportunities here!

Volunteer Opportunities

1. Volunteer Reader with the Read Aloud Program (RAP): RAP is a read-aloud program focused on preschool through third grade education in low-income communities across San Diego County and Oceanside. This program motivates children to develop a passion for reading. Dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers devote their time reading aloud weekly, bi-weekly or monthly to children in the classroom. These sessions go far beyond just reading a story, creating lifelong readers and lifelong learners.

2. Volunteer Book Group Facilitator with the Adolescent Book Group (ABG): ABG is a multi-faceted program within Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS) focusing on college and career readiness with at-risk teens impacted by homelessness, teen parenting, delinquency issues, and/or the foster care system. Volunteers facilitate monthly or bi-weekly book discussions within classrooms to improve reading levels, vocabulary, literary analysis and critical thinking.


3. Volunteer Literacy Workshop Facilitator with the Family Literacy Program (FLP): FLP is a workshop-based program delivered to families over a course of seven weeks in the spring. Cohorts of parents attend seven workshops, receiving approximately 10 hours of parent education on topics of early literacy development in preschool age children. Each workshop includes an information session and skill-building exercises for parents, group story time, and guided activities for parents and children. Volunteers will support the program facilitation each week, volunteering approximately four hours/week. Spring program only!

4. Volunteer Mentor with the Words Alive Westreich Scholarship Program: As we open applications for the scholarship to our book group student participants, we recruit volunteer mentors to accompany our scholarship winning students on their journey through higher education.  Mentors advise the student throughout the academic year, meeting at minimum monthly to discuss progress and fund requests for the scholarship.  This is a rewarding opportunity with a year-long commitment, but one that volunteer mentors and mentees can manage on their own time.  Kicking off in July!

5. Volunteer Committee Member and Leader Opportunities: Words Alive is driven by programmatic volunteer support in our classrooms, also by internal volunteer leadership. Leadership committees hold working and decision-making meetings year-round on a monthly basis, led by a volunteer chair.  Membership is encouraged to participate and learn in support of our mission. If you have a specialized skill set or passion, we invite you to share your expertise and continue your professional growth with our organization. If you're interested in joining either the Event, Fundraising and Development, or Communication committees please contact Susan Arias, and we will invite you to join an upcoming session!


One training session is required PER OPPORTUNITY. All training sessions are held at the Words Alive Office*.

Volunteer Steps

  1. Submit a Volunteer Application: Submit a volunteer application. Information is confidential.

  2. Attend a Volunteer Orientation: Join us for an information session that covers the history of Words Alive, our programs and current volunteer opportunities. Meet other new volunteers, like you! To sign up, please see the above dates and contact Christina Meeker.

  3. Chat with our Volunteer Management: After attending the orientation, schedule a phone chat (5-10 minutes) with our volunteer management staff about your status, placement and next steps.

  4. Submit to a Background Check: Volunteers working in the classroom or a position of leadership (e.g. Board of Directors) must submit to our multi-county background check. The background check is a one-time requirement of no charge. Please submit pages 2-3 of this background check form. Information is confidential. Please complete in full. Notarization is not necessary.

  5. Submit TB-Test Results: Volunteers working in the classroom must have a current TB-test on file, and must renew every four years after the read-date to remain active. Please see your primary care physician, or consult this county-recommended list of clinics, for test administration. More information on the test, clinics and the CA Education Code, which enforces this policy, can be found here.

  6. Attend a Training: To finalize your new volunteer role, please attend the program/job-specific training session. For in-class opportunities, training dates are listed above. For internships, committee work and all other levels of involvement, training will be provided the first day/meeting of your role.

Please note: we cannot accept individuals with court-ordered volunteer service.
*We are located on the second floor of a building without elevator access.  Please notify us of any mobility needs so we can make accommodations.