Online volunteering: Children's Literacy

LikeAustraliaLikeAustralia Registered Users Posts: 2,812
Hi everyone!

I thought I'd share this here, since there are some great readers on the boards.

First off, full disclosure: I work for this company, but I am not a volunteer recruiter. All employees are encouraged to talk about the company and the programs to get people excited about it.

The volunteer program is called In2Books and it pairs adult mentors with students in grades 3-5 to encourage the children to read and enhance their reading comprehension skills. The program is entirely online and requires no "in person" time from volunteers. The way it works is you read children's books (5) throughout the school year and exchange online letters through the In2Books writing center. I think it's a really cool program and I just got my first book assignment yesterday. :) It's called "Donuthead" - can't wait to get it!!

To register for the program, you just have to be 18 and love to read. There is also a background check required to register to ensure the safety of the kids. Normally there is a $6 fee to process the background check, but each employee has been given a code to waive the fee to any volunteers that we find, so I encourage you to use mine! The promo code is: I2BMILL and you will see the spot to insert it on the background check page, after filling in your basic contact info.

The website is: http://www.in2books.com and the registration page is: http://www.in2books.com/penpal08/ -- Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I hope some of you decide to get involved. I'm really excited to be a part of it. :)
Not Cindy or Sindy or Syndey or any other such abomination.
It's Sydney, like Australia.
Formerly known as SydneyCurl.

Comments

  • SpiralliSpiralli Registered Users Posts: 3,684 Curl Connoisseur
    This sounds like a wonderful program! I am going to check it out. Thank you for posting the code. :)
    Location: Texas
    Type: 3b/3c (i), below shoulder length.
    CO wash: A-O GPB LYY, Desert Essence Coconut, Oribe Silverati
    Leave-ins: Curl Junkie Beauti-Curls, KCKT, cno overnight
    Styling: BRHG, MGA Sculpting Gel, A-O Mandarin Magic Gel, LOTD AVG, LALSG, CJ Pattern Pusha
    DT: Curl Junkie Deep Fix, Briogeo Don't Despair Repair!
  • LikeAustraliaLikeAustralia Registered Users Posts: 2,812
    curls2grow wrote: »
    This sounds like a wonderful program! I am going to check it out. Thank you for posting the code. :)

    It really is great. I can't help but be excited about it. :)

    Also, I forgot to mention one of the best parts. The program is entirely FREE to Title I schools (Title I = underprivileged) and the one of the coolest parts about it is that those kids get to KEEP their books! Some of these kids have never owned their very own books before, so it's really special to them. It just makes me smile to think about it. :)

    PS- I responded to your PM. Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions, c2g.
    Not Cindy or Sindy or Syndey or any other such abomination.
    It's Sydney, like Australia.
    Formerly known as SydneyCurl.

  • SpiralliSpiralli Registered Users Posts: 3,684 Curl Connoisseur
    I just wanted to post back that I am officially enrolled in the program!

    Filling out the enrollment form was a snap. After approval of my application (which went quickly!), there are 2 enjoyable requirements to get the ball rolling. One was watching a 10 minute overview/instructional slideshow -- it was very helpful! The other was writing a "getting to know you letter" to the student who will be my "pen pal" for our book discussions -- the website coaches you with what to say in the letter, and there are wonderful examples. Also, the website is well-organized and user-friendly. I am so excited about getting started with this!

    Sydney answered my questions in PM -- she is so helpful and quick to reply. :angel7:
    Location: Texas
    Type: 3b/3c (i), below shoulder length.
    CO wash: A-O GPB LYY, Desert Essence Coconut, Oribe Silverati
    Leave-ins: Curl Junkie Beauti-Curls, KCKT, cno overnight
    Styling: BRHG, MGA Sculpting Gel, A-O Mandarin Magic Gel, LOTD AVG, LALSG, CJ Pattern Pusha
    DT: Curl Junkie Deep Fix, Briogeo Don't Despair Repair!
  • LikeAustraliaLikeAustralia Registered Users Posts: 2,812
    curls2grow wrote: »
    I just wanted to post back that I am officially enrolled in the program!

    Filling out the enrollment form was a snap. After approval of my application (which went quickly!), there are 2 enjoyable requirements to get the ball rolling. One was watching a 10 minute overview/instructional slideshow -- it was very helpful! The other was writing a "getting to know you letter" to the student who will be my "pen pal" for our book discussions -- the website coaches you with what to say in the letter, and there are wonderful examples. Also, the website is well-organized and user-friendly. I am so excited about getting started with this!

    Sydney answered my questions in PM -- she is so helpful and quick to reply. :angel7:

    Aw, I'm so excited that you're all done with registration! The tech guys will be happy to know it went well. :) (I do content, so I'm not really involved in making the website work. ;) I made all the graphics on the homepage with the ribbons and streamers and stuff. Hee!)
    Not Cindy or Sindy or Syndey or any other such abomination.
    It's Sydney, like Australia.
    Formerly known as SydneyCurl.

  • SpiralliSpiralli Registered Users Posts: 3,684 Curl Connoisseur
    Hi Sydney!
    Do you know if we will receive in e-mail (in our regular e-mail account, not the the site's mail center) to let us know that there's a message from the teacher or student? Just want to know if I need to keep logging into the site to check for that, or if I can just wait for an e-mail to let me know that something needs my attention. Thanks for replying when you have time.
    Location: Texas
    Type: 3b/3c (i), below shoulder length.
    CO wash: A-O GPB LYY, Desert Essence Coconut, Oribe Silverati
    Leave-ins: Curl Junkie Beauti-Curls, KCKT, cno overnight
    Styling: BRHG, MGA Sculpting Gel, A-O Mandarin Magic Gel, LOTD AVG, LALSG, CJ Pattern Pusha
    DT: Curl Junkie Deep Fix, Briogeo Don't Despair Repair!
  • LikeAustraliaLikeAustralia Registered Users Posts: 2,812
    You should get a regular e-mail when new things appear in your in2books mailbox, but it could get trapped in your spam filter or something like that. I'd check in once a week or so to see if there's anything new happening. You'll also probably see an invite to join the In2Books facebook group and if you join that, you'll get updates through that too.
    Not Cindy or Sindy or Syndey or any other such abomination.
    It's Sydney, like Australia.
    Formerly known as SydneyCurl.

  • SpiralliSpiralli Registered Users Posts: 3,684 Curl Connoisseur
    Thanks! I don't use FaceBook, so I will rely on e-mails and checking the site, as you suggested.
    Location: Texas
    Type: 3b/3c (i), below shoulder length.
    CO wash: A-O GPB LYY, Desert Essence Coconut, Oribe Silverati
    Leave-ins: Curl Junkie Beauti-Curls, KCKT, cno overnight
    Styling: BRHG, MGA Sculpting Gel, A-O Mandarin Magic Gel, LOTD AVG, LALSG, CJ Pattern Pusha
    DT: Curl Junkie Deep Fix, Briogeo Don't Despair Repair!
  • LikeAustraliaLikeAustralia Registered Users Posts: 2,812
    No prob. :)

    I actually just got my first book today on my iPhone kindle app. It's pretty cool and the book is actually a riot. I was reading it while I was waiting for my fiance to get his hair cut and giggling in the salon waiting area. The receptionist was giving me dirty looks. :laughing9:
    Not Cindy or Sindy or Syndey or any other such abomination.
    It's Sydney, like Australia.
    Formerly known as SydneyCurl.

  • LikeAustraliaLikeAustralia Registered Users Posts: 2,812
    Hey c2g, have you gotten your student match yet?
    Not Cindy or Sindy or Syndey or any other such abomination.
    It's Sydney, like Australia.
    Formerly known as SydneyCurl.

  • SpiralliSpiralli Registered Users Posts: 3,684 Curl Connoisseur
    Thanks for checking back with me, Sydney. Yes, I got my student match! :hello1: I am excited! :) But I did not receive an e-mail telling me to check the website for any new info -- do you know if that is standard, or perhaps a glitch in my account?
    Location: Texas
    Type: 3b/3c (i), below shoulder length.
    CO wash: A-O GPB LYY, Desert Essence Coconut, Oribe Silverati
    Leave-ins: Curl Junkie Beauti-Curls, KCKT, cno overnight
    Styling: BRHG, MGA Sculpting Gel, A-O Mandarin Magic Gel, LOTD AVG, LALSG, CJ Pattern Pusha
    DT: Curl Junkie Deep Fix, Briogeo Don't Despair Repair!
  • LikeAustraliaLikeAustralia Registered Users Posts: 2,812
    Fun!

    You should have gotten a "You've been matched" e-mail. Have you checked your spam filter? We are working out some glitches, but I wasn't aware that that was one of them, so if you still can't find it anywhere, please be sure to let me know.
    Not Cindy or Sindy or Syndey or any other such abomination.
    It's Sydney, like Australia.
    Formerly known as SydneyCurl.

  • SpiralliSpiralli Registered Users Posts: 3,684 Curl Connoisseur
    No, I did not receive a "you've been matched" e-mail. :sad1: I've been going through my spam carefully since signing up, just in case any In2Books info landed there.

    I did, however, receive an e-mail in my inbox (not spam) entitled "Pen Pal Expectations" a few days ago.
    Location: Texas
    Type: 3b/3c (i), below shoulder length.
    CO wash: A-O GPB LYY, Desert Essence Coconut, Oribe Silverati
    Leave-ins: Curl Junkie Beauti-Curls, KCKT, cno overnight
    Styling: BRHG, MGA Sculpting Gel, A-O Mandarin Magic Gel, LOTD AVG, LALSG, CJ Pattern Pusha
    DT: Curl Junkie Deep Fix, Briogeo Don't Despair Repair!
  • LikeAustraliaLikeAustralia Registered Users Posts: 2,812
    curls2grow wrote: »
    No, I did not receive a "you've been matched" e-mail. :sad1: I've been going through my spam carefully since signing up, just in case any In2Books info landed there.

    I did, however, receive an e-mail in my inbox (not spam) entitled "Pen Pal Expectations" a few days ago.

    Hmmm. Strange. We are working on the messaging system, but that particular e-mail should be working. I'll look into it. Sorry about that. At least you got your student though! Heee! It's so fun. I already read my book and wrote my first "book letter." :blob7:
    Not Cindy or Sindy or Syndey or any other such abomination.
    It's Sydney, like Australia.
    Formerly known as SydneyCurl.

  • SpiralliSpiralli Registered Users Posts: 3,684 Curl Connoisseur
    I just bought my book on Amazon yesterday because it helped me get free shipping with other books I wanted. Hoping to receive it in the next week or so!

    I love that the program offers the links to Amazon and the other purchasing option (sorry, I can't remember the name). For future books, I am going to order through the non-Amazon option. I plan to donate the books when I'm done, so I don't want to go the library route.
    Location: Texas
    Type: 3b/3c (i), below shoulder length.
    CO wash: A-O GPB LYY, Desert Essence Coconut, Oribe Silverati
    Leave-ins: Curl Junkie Beauti-Curls, KCKT, cno overnight
    Styling: BRHG, MGA Sculpting Gel, A-O Mandarin Magic Gel, LOTD AVG, LALSG, CJ Pattern Pusha
    DT: Curl Junkie Deep Fix, Briogeo Don't Despair Repair!
  • SpiralliSpiralli Registered Users Posts: 3,684 Curl Connoisseur
    Syndey, just wanted to post that you are so good to keep following up on this thread. I am really hoping that others are reading it and signing up too. This looks like such a wonderful program, and it could not be any easier (or more rewarding, to help a young child with their reading efforts!) for the volunteer!
    Location: Texas
    Type: 3b/3c (i), below shoulder length.
    CO wash: A-O GPB LYY, Desert Essence Coconut, Oribe Silverati
    Leave-ins: Curl Junkie Beauti-Curls, KCKT, cno overnight
    Styling: BRHG, MGA Sculpting Gel, A-O Mandarin Magic Gel, LOTD AVG, LALSG, CJ Pattern Pusha
    DT: Curl Junkie Deep Fix, Briogeo Don't Despair Repair!
  • LikeAustraliaLikeAustralia Registered Users Posts: 2,812
    curls2grow wrote: »
    I just bought my book on Amazon yesterday because it helped me get free shipping with other books I wanted. Hoping to receive it in the next week or so!

    I love that the program offers the links to Amazon and the other purchasing option (sorry, I can't remember the name). For future books, I am going to order through the non-Amazon option. I plan to donate the books when I'm done, so I don't want to go the library route.

    That's great that you've decided to donate! We are working with some university groups (greek, other clubs, etc) and they are also doing "Double" community service with the program since the whole group is volunteering and then they donate all 5 of the books from each member. Pretty neat! :flower:
    Not Cindy or Sindy or Syndey or any other such abomination.
    It's Sydney, like Australia.
    Formerly known as SydneyCurl.

  • SpiralliSpiralli Registered Users Posts: 3,684 Curl Connoisseur
    Had to cancel my Amazon Marketplace order. Seller was not good. My cc wasn't charged; seller didn't ship the book when they committed so I cancelled the order. But that puts me behind in starting to read the first book. Luckily, not a lot of pages, so when I get it I can finish it in a day or 2.

    Instead, I ordered through the In2Books website this morning. Hoping I get this one by the weekend. If not, I will have to chase it down locally. Sort of frustrating that there's no way to view the order status online, and I didn't get a confirmation e-mail for my order (I did e-mail them this afternoon to ask if my order went through). Now just waiting for a reply.
    Location: Texas
    Type: 3b/3c (i), below shoulder length.
    CO wash: A-O GPB LYY, Desert Essence Coconut, Oribe Silverati
    Leave-ins: Curl Junkie Beauti-Curls, KCKT, cno overnight
    Styling: BRHG, MGA Sculpting Gel, A-O Mandarin Magic Gel, LOTD AVG, LALSG, CJ Pattern Pusha
    DT: Curl Junkie Deep Fix, Briogeo Don't Despair Repair!
  • LikeAustraliaLikeAustralia Registered Users Posts: 2,812
    curls2grow wrote: »
    Had to cancel my Amazon Marketplace order. Seller was not good. My cc wasn't charged; seller didn't ship the book when they committed so I cancelled the order. But that puts me behind in starting to read the first book. Luckily, not a lot of pages, so when I get it I can finish it in a day or 2.

    Instead, I ordered through the In2Books website this morning. Hoping I get this one by the weekend. If not, I will have to chase it down locally. Sort of frustrating that there's no way to view the order status online, and I didn't get a confirmation e-mail for my order (I did e-mail them this afternoon to ask if my order went through). Now just waiting for a reply.

    I'm not totally familiar with the i2b bookshop, so if you have any issues, definitely don't hesitate to contact them. The best thing to do is login and check your classroom's schedule, if you haven't already, so you know exactly when your letter is due. If you have trouble getting the book by your deadline for whatever reason, just message the teacher and let them know what happened.
    Not Cindy or Sindy or Syndey or any other such abomination.
    It's Sydney, like Australia.
    Formerly known as SydneyCurl.

  • SpiralliSpiralli Registered Users Posts: 3,684 Curl Connoisseur
    Just posting back that my experience so far with the program has been a bust. I was assigned a pen-pal back in the fall, then informed 1-2 months ago that the class was de-enrolled (or some similar meaning) from the program. Prior to that, the teacher was not replying to my e-mails as to why I had only gotten the first book assignment, and then she replied to basically tell me to "chill" and that I would hear from her when it was time. The program timeline was well into the 3rd or 4th book at those times. In2Books said I would be re-assigned and now I doubt that will happen, with only about 6 weeks left to the school year.

    I hope that I get contacted when re-enrollment starts for next school year. I really would have liked to participate in this program. It seemed very worthwhile and well-organized. Maybe I just got a teacher that didn't meet requirements or something?
    Location: Texas
    Type: 3b/3c (i), below shoulder length.
    CO wash: A-O GPB LYY, Desert Essence Coconut, Oribe Silverati
    Leave-ins: Curl Junkie Beauti-Curls, KCKT, cno overnight
    Styling: BRHG, MGA Sculpting Gel, A-O Mandarin Magic Gel, LOTD AVG, LALSG, CJ Pattern Pusha
    DT: Curl Junkie Deep Fix, Briogeo Don't Despair Repair!

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