Volunteer FAQs

Program and Schedule

Q. How many kids will I be tutoring?

A. Ideally, each tutor has two children who read at about the same level for each session. Sometimes a child will need individual tutoring. Sometimes you may have three children, but the goal is one tutor to two children.

Q. Do I have to make “lesson plans” for these sessions?

A. No, everything you should need is at the site. This is not school and you are not expected to be a classroom teacher.

Q. How will I know what I should be doing — which kids I should tutor, etc.?

A. Each site has a “Team Lead” who has experience with Read and Feed. They will assign the children to tutors based on their knowledge of the kids and the tutors and taking into account the tutors’ preferences. If you have questions about procedure or what to do, you can ask the Team Lead for advice.

Q. How are the tutoring sessions managed?

A. Each program site has a Team Lead that will guide the volunteers.

Q. How do I know what to do with the students?

A. Read and Feed provides curriculum guidelines and volunteer training which includes ideas on how to work with each grade level.

Q. How long is a Read and Feed semester?

A. Our Fall and Spring semesters follow the Wake County Traditional School Calendar and run from late September to the end of April. Our Summer semester is 9 weeks.

Q How many students are at a Read and Feed session?

A. Our mobile classroom sessions are from 5:00pm – 6:00pm & 6:15pm – 7:15pm, serving children during 2 sessions of 12 children each. Our facility based sites are typically larger and can accommodate all 24 children in one session.

Q. Where does the food come from that we serve the students?

A. We currently have multiple partners. We try to work with the local community to provide the food. Most of our meals come from Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. However, we have great church partners that provide meals for several sites. In addition, some of the meals at our more remote sites come from local restaurants.

Q. Where do the books and incentives come from?

A. The books are donated from individuals and we are fortunate to have been and continue to be the recipient of local businesses and schools holding books drives for us. We purchase the incentives as we are very intentional that all of the incentives have the same dollar value.

Q. If a student is doing well, is there a way that I can provide positive feedback to his/her teacher?

A. It’s best to provide this feedback to the Read and Feed staff who can then share it with the student’s teacher.

Q. What do I do if a student is not behaving?

A. First, speak with the student and talk with them about their behavior. Then if need be, ask the Team Lead for assistance. If the behavior is disruptive to the group, then an incident report should be completed. We can then share this with the parents and the school.

Q. What do I do if the student tells me about something going on at their home?

A. Refer to the Team Lead or Read and Feed staff will pass the information on to the school liaison.

Q. What do we do if there is an emergency with one of the children?

A. Tell the Team Lead so that they can contact the child’s parents.

Q. Do we have the emergency contact info on file for each child?

A. Yes.

Q. What do I do if a student does not want to read?

A. You may encounter this as sometimes the children are tired. If they do not want to read, then read to them. Remember our goal is -“ Giving kids an appetite for reading”.

Q .Do I work with the same student each week?

A. Ideally, yes.

Q .How much time are they to spend on reading?

A. Our goal is to spend 35 minutes on reading and reading comprehension.

Q. Why do all of the rewards cost 4 bucks?

A. Because we have such a limited amount of time with the children each week, we have found that having the rewards all the same price makes managing this part of Read and Feed more streamlined.

Q. Why do volunteers need to sign in?

A. We need to accurately track volunteer hours and the costs normally associated with those hours for general reporting and grantor requests and updates

Q. What happens in the case of inclement weather, an RV breaking down, etc?

A. Read and Feed staff (or the Team Lead) will contact volunteers with specific instructions.

Participating Children

Q. What kind of kids will I be tutoring?

A. They are like any other Kindergarten-through-5th-grade kids you might meet, except they happen to not read well. Some of them read quite poorly, others just not up to grade. The reasons vary, but many of our children come from homes where English is not spoken and their parents cannot help them with their reading problems.

Q. What if I’m assigned to a child I really don’t like, or can’t get along with?

A. While most Team Leads will stay with a good pairing, if you don’t want to work with a child, tell the Team Lead and, if it is possible, they will assign you to someone else. In practice, there will be some rotation among the kids because of another tutor not showing up, a child who needs individual help, etc. You won’t always have the same kids.

Q. Are these children discipline problems — you know, the kind of kids that disrupt classrooms?

A. These are normal kids with all the joys and problems normal kids have. A few can be disruptive (the Team Lead will try to minimize this), but most of them are friendly, helpful and a joy to be around. They are in the program because they need help with reading.

Q Do all of the students speak English?

A .Yes, but there are some who do not speak it well.

Q. How do the children get to and go home from Read and Feed?

A. They either walk or the parents bring them.

Q. Can we walk or drive the children home?

A. Because of liability issues, you should not drive a child home under any circumstances. If you need to walk a child home, find another adult volunteer to walk with you.

Volunteer Skills and Responsibilities

Q. I don’t have any training as a reading teacher. Will I be effective anyway?

A. Very few Read and Feed tutors are teachers. If you can read, you can help the children read better. You will read with them from books and help them answer questions based on what they have read. Many of our kids have poor vocabulary skills, so helping them learn the meanings of words, as well as how to pronounce them, is a big plus for the kids.

Q. Do I have to cook or do dishes or anything?

A. No. The food is all prepared off-site and it is dished up and served to the kids. Dishes are disposable and discarded after use. Tutors may be asked to assist in serving the meal. If you want to help, ask the person in charge of feeding what you can do to assist.

Q. I don’t know. I’ve never done anything like this before. Maybe I’m not the type for this.

A. If you don’t like kids, this is definitely not for you. But if you like children this is a wonderful opportunity to meet some really great kids. You will get to make a very real and important difference in their lives. Failing kids are just another statistic when you read about them, but once you meet them, they’ll never be a statistic to you again.

Q. What will my responsibilities be when I volunteer at Read and Feed?

A. We have different volunteer opportunities – reading tutor, Team Lead, driver, office support or pick up and deliver food and more.

Q. Can I volunteer when my schedule permits or do you need me every week?

A. We ask that you commit to the entire semester, which is normally 12 weeks. We know that life gets in the way, so ideally we ask that you commit to ten of the 12 weeks and that you let us know up front when you will not be there so that we can find a substitute tutor and so we can let the child that you work with regularly why you are not there.

Q. Can my children volunteer?

A. Read and Feed offers some volunteer opportunities for high school Juniors and Seniors at our office in Cary. Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a Parent or Guardian. Our office address is 171-10 High House Rd, Cary NC 27511. For more information, please contact us at info@readandfeed.org.

Q. Do I need to volunteer for both sessions?

A. Only if it is convenient for your schedule. It’s more important that you commit to the session(s) for the semester.

Q. Does it matter that I’ve never tutored before?

A. No, not at all. Read and Feed will provide training and curriculum guidelines and the materials to work with the children.

Q. What do I do with my personal belongings?

A. It is best to lock them in your car or not bring them as Read and Feed does not provide a secure area for storage of personal items.

Q. If I am tutoring on the mobile classrooms, are there bathroom facilities?

A. No.

Q. Is there a volunteer orientation for new volunteers?

A. Yes, there is an orientation and training and it is required in order to volunteer. The days and times are listed on the website.

Q. Are there background checks on volunteers?

A. Yes and they are kept confidential from other outside sources.


Q. Does Read and Feed accept donations?

A. Yes, we do. Cash and donations of gently used elementary age books are greatly appreciated.

Q. What kinds of supplies does Read and Feed need?

A. Read and Feed can always use books, school supplies, gallons of water, ranch dressing, paper products and individually packaged snacks that we can give to the children as they leave for the evening.