5 ways to impact early childhood education as a volunteer this spring

volunteer reads to kids

Reading to kids is one way you can make a difference as a United Way volunteer this spring.

As daylight extends and snow-covered lawns give way to peeks of green, it’s becoming clear that spring is near.

And while warmer temperatures may not yet be a certainty for Southeastern Michigan, the change in seasons inspires us. Spring is a time to embrace renewal and start something new. And when you volunteer, you help yourself become happier and healthier and help others build the foundation for a better life.

United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s Seasons of Caring volunteer initiative makes it easy to connect to meaningful volunteer work this season and every season. This spring, you can help our early childhood education efforts as a volunteer. By volunteering, you’ll help ensure all children in our region enter kindergarten prepared for school.

With your help, parents and caregivers can guide their children along a path of lifelong learning and success.

Here are five ways to help children learn and grow this spring:

  • Dedicate a day. Help us make an impact during National Volunteer Week with our April 13 day of service. We’ll be building Bookshare Box Libraries at Focus: HOPE, which will help our nonprofit partners encourage reading and increase literacy. Participants over the age of 18 will also be entered to win a $500 Target gift card!
  • Empower a family. A child’s education begins long before they set foot in a classroom. Parenting groups, like those offered through Starfish Family Services, can help ensure a strong start from the beginning of life. As a Baby Power volunteer, you can help mothers of young children improve parenting skills and decrease maternal stress and anxiety.
  • Bring a book. Whether it’s “The Little Engine That Could” or “The Cat in the Hat,” we all have a favorite childhood book. Just 15 minutes of reading aloud per day can help kids build literacy skills. As a story time reader with Oakland Family Services, you can share your favorite stories and help prepare children for kindergarten and beyond.
  • Make time to tutor. A simple way to give back is by putting your skills to use as a tutor. Have a love for language? Volunteer Literacy Mentors with Brilliant Detroit give back by reading books, assisting with homework, and playing literacy games. This program helps increase reading levels by more than two grade levels each year!
  • Become a mentor. Most business leaders will say that having a mentor is key to success. Similarly, mentors can be just as important for children. At Center for Success Network locations in Detroit and Pontiac, mentors work one-on-one with elementary-aged students to guide them through targeted literacy lessons. Mentors also assist with homework, problem solving, and building positive, supportive relationships with youth.

For more volunteer opportunities, visit our volunteer portal.