Volunteering for the Summer Reading Challenge is a great way to give something back to your community. You get to work with kids, encouraging them to enjoy reading and you'll pick up some great skills and experience for your personal statement or CV along the way. Signed up and ready to go? Here are five things to prepare you before you start.
1. Get organised
Volunteering with your library will be more straightforward if you are organised. It doesn't take much, just keep a note of any training or induction dates, write down useful phone numbers and familiarise yourself with your route to and from the library. That way, you won't be in a fluster, turn up on the wrong day, or get lost on the journey there.
2. Take notes
Your library may give you a booklet to keep notes and record your volunteering hours. If not, it's a good idea to keep your own records. It will be really useful to have a record of the types of things you've done, and what you've enjoyed, so that you can add it to your CV or personal statement at a later date.
3. Use a diary
The summer can be a busy time. There are holidays, activities with friends and other commitments to juggle. Use a diary and make sure you block out the time you've committed to volunteer to avoid any clashes.
4. Think about what you can offer
Libraries are full of exciting activities and opportunities. Think about what you have to offer as a volunteer and let the staff know what you're interested in. For example, if you are good with computers, there might be the opportunity to help children use the Summer Reading Challenge website, or if you enjoy being creative, you might be able to help design and run craft activities. If you think about what you can offer beforehand, it will help you get the most out of your experience.
5. Get in the right mind set
Volunteering is a great opportunity to meet new people and make friends. So, think positively about the experience ahead and turn up with an enthusiastic attitude, keen to get on with others. That way, you'll be sure to make a good impression, and find great friends.
Find out how to become a young volunteer for the 2015 Summer Reading Challenge and get involved.
If you have volunteered for the Summer Reading Challenge in the past, share your tips with us on twitter using @ReadingHackers or facebook Hack