Volunteer Opportunities

From teaching a class to our read-aloud sessions, explore our volunteering opportunities at NFS!

Introduction

We welcome individuals, and members of faith-based communities, civic organizations, and businesses as volunteers for Nashville Freedom Schools. 

A volunteer may offer an occasional or one-time service, like being a Read-Aloud Guest. Or, they may make a summer-long commitment, and teach a skill a twice a week. For example, Mary Muhammad, Vanderbilt University student (pictured here) taught a Spanish-language class this last season in 2017.

Volunteers must complete a screening and application process. For more information, please email us.

 If you have time once or twice a week you may volunteer to:

  • Tutor a scholar in reading
  • Help a teacher in the classroom
  • Write/edit brief articles for our newsletter
  • Teach a weekly class in art, music production, poetry, choral music, dance, video production, rap, computer coding, graphic design, money management, math, science, cooking, language (i.e., French, Spanish, American Sign Language)
  • Shop for needed supplies for a Freedom School site
  • Lead a physical education activity, such as kickball, basketball, relay races, etc.

If you want to volunteer once or twice a year, you can:

  • Serve as a Read-Aloud Guest (10-12 minutes, mornings)
  • Demonstrate a craft or skill, such as sewing, woodworking, knitting, model-building, arts and crafts, no-stove food prep (afternoons)
  • Help with onsite registration of scholars
  • Set up/pack up a Freedom School site
  • Shop for art supplies or snacks
  • Chaperone a field trip
  • Lead a life skills class for Junior Interns (i.e., dating and relationships, budgeting, saving for college, career planning)
  • Arrange and host a field trip at your workplace or at another learning place
  • Plan a Parent Empowerment night event or presentation on such topics for parents as budgeting, understanding your child’s IEP, managing conflict, keeping your family safe online, how to save for your child’s education, fire safety, gun safety, low-cost recreational activities for your child
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90 Readers

Each day at each Freedom School, a Read-Aloud Guest shares a story, book, essay or poem with scholars.

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300 Hours

Nashville area volunteers donate more than 300 hours of teaching, reading, field-trip time, leg work and sweat equity each summer to help make Freedom Schools soar.

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Donor-Workers

A significant number of people who give money to Nashville Freedom Schools also give their time to support scholars, parents, and staff.

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Parents Step Up

While parents don’t pay tuition for their children’s participation in Freedom School, many of them donate what they can—from snacks and juice boxes to time as chaperones and onsite helpers.

Guest Readers

The ability to read and write is vital for academic and career success in any field. Nashville Freedom Schools emphasize this by inviting a guest reader to each site each day.

Our reading guests include professionals from across the city, such as business owners, lawyers, nurses, doctors, chefs, religious leaders, educators, government officials, parents/guardians, students, writers, musicians, performers, community activists, government officials, and former inmates-turned-advocates.

Most of our readers share favorite children’s books, stories, essays, and poems. Others, though, tell stories, play an instrument, act out scenes from plays or movies, or teach a lesson. The purpose it to encourage teens and children the importance of the spoken and written word.

Read-Aloud guests read for 10 minutes during the morning Harambee sessions. To be a guest reader in next summer’s sessions, email us.

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Group Read

A group or agency may schedule your staff or members to read for a week or more at any Nashville Freedom Schools(c) site.

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Give Books

Readers often buy a book for the Freedom School site and donate it after they read. Email us for suggested titles and topics.

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Ten Minutes

Guests read for 7 to 10 minutes only. If your time is limited, but you still want to volunteer, become a Read-Aloud guest.

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Other Ideas

Read in a language other than English, read in American Sign Language, sing a song, or tell a story. What counts is showing scholars how to communicate.

Volunteer Opportunities

Nashville Freedom Schools(c) depend heavily on volunteers to teach, mentor, and enrich the lives of our scholars and their families. Our summer sessions run for six weeks, 8:00 a.m.. until 3:15 p.m., Monday through Friday.

We also need volunteer support during the year as we prepare for the next Freedom School session.

In-session volunteers may choose to give one or two hours (eg., help with first-day registration and set-up) during the summer, or may offer a weekly or daily class. (A 2017 volunteer taught a three-day-a-week Spanish language class.)

Our needs go from individual tutoring for scholars who struggle to helping serve snacks or sponsoring a field trip.

To volunteer, individuals must be undergo a criminal background check and read and sign our volunteer policy statement.

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Hold an Info Session

Invite your coworkers or social group members together to learn how to support Freedom Schools.

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Be A "Runner"

Make copies. Run errands. Sort supplies. Organize our books. Help us pack and unpack.

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Host a Field Trip

Sponsor a visit for scholars at your workplace, studio, farm, etc.

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Teach Your Hobby

Do you knit? Fish? Play checkers? Speak French? Scholars love to learn new skills. Demonstrate once, or teach a weekly class.

"Yes! I'd like more information on becoming a volunteer."

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