Volunteer with SAYL

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 Reading Buddies

volunteer abel luna
I really enjoyed being a tutor; seeing the students learn and grow. Their reading levels went up as did their confidence and grades. One of my students showed me his report card and STAAR scores. He was so proud that he passed. It is such a rewarding experience. - SAYL Volunteer

Volunteers are essential to the success of SAYL’s Reading Buddy program! Reading Buddies must be at least seventeen years old and be able to commit at least one hour per week, for a full school year, approximately 16 sessions. During this time, the volunteer works one-on-one with two students, each for thirty minutes. If Reading Buddies are able to commit to more time each week, they are encouraged to work more than the minimum requirement of one hour.

The first step to becoming a Reading Buddy is to sign up for a one time, two hour training session, and complete the Reading Buddy Application. SAYL staff will match you with a school that corresponds with your availability and area of town. At the training you will be asked to complete a criminal background check. Once the background check has cleared, the SAYL staff will contact you to schedule your first tutoring session.

Complete the Online Application and Register for a Training! (<- click link)

Are you a returning Reading Buddy?  No need to reapply!  Contact Laura Nygaard at laura.nygaard@sayl.org or call 210-299-1533 x 105 to sign-up for a new training or to find out information on your school!

Upcoming Volunteer Trainings:

Training registration is now open for the 2016-2017 School Year. The following trainings are open to the public and will be held at the SAYL office or at Cafe College on the following dates. (Confirmation email will list training location.)

Trainings for the 2016-2017 School Year: 

Thursday, January 26 – 5:30pm – 7:00pm – SAYL Office

Tuesday, January 31 – 5:30pm – 7:00pm – SAYL Office

Saturday, February 4 – 10:30am – 12:00pm – Café College

Wednesday, February 8 – 11:30am – 1:00pm – SAYL Office

If you are already registered for a training and need to reschedule or change your training session please contact Laura Nygaard at laura.nygaard@sayl.org or call 210-299-1533 x 105.

 Book Buddies

The SAYL BOOK BUDDIES Initiative is helping to give the gift or reading by holding free book fairs for students Pre-K through 5th grade at the end of the school year at our SAYL Reading Buddy schools. Volunteers are needed to help hold book drives and to help sort books at our Book Buddy Warehouse. Individuals and groups are welcome to help sort books.

To volunteer with our SAYL Book Buddies team or to learn more about holding your own book drive email bookbuddies@sayl.org.

Learn more about SAYL Book Buddies here!

 Summer 2017 Opportunities

SAYL’s Camp Read Aloud

Camp Read Aloud logo

Volunteers will help staff create a fun adventure each week with an exciting read-aloud book and follow-up activities! You will be helping coordinate games, crafts, and writing workshops for Kinder to 3rd grade students! Staff will guide you on how to prepare and stimulate the children in each activity center. Come join the fun and help kids get ready for reading!


Volunteer Requirements:

  • Must be at least 15 years of age
  • Must be comfortable working directly with elementary age students
  • Can volunteer for just one shift or for all 6 weeks



Coming Soon!

Summer Office Volunteers & Interns

IMG_6700Looking to volunteer this summer? SAYL is seeking summer office volunteers and interns to help staff prepare for next year’s Reading Buddy Program. Volunteers would help staff organize and inventory books and activities in the SAYL trunks. In this casual and friendly, summer environment you will be able to make suggestions on how we can improve the quality of the materials for next year. Come join the SAYL team this summer!

Office opportunities are available Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm. To volunteer in the office contact laura.nygaard@sayl.org

Project Transformation Summer Program

Project TransformationThis summer, SAYL is partnering with Project Transformation to Decrease “Summer Slide” Among Youth.

Project Transformation-Rio Texas, a ministry of the Rio Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, is beginning its second summer of programming in the greater San Antonio area, and we need your help! Project Transformation’s mission is to engage young adults in purposeful leadership and ministry, support underserved children and families, and connect churches to communities in need. To accomplish our mission, this summer 26 college aged interns will live in community in San Antonio, and will plan and lead a summer enrichment day camp for 180 underserved children at three site churches in San Antonio and Boerne. Project Transformation interns provide high-quality, structured summer day camp programs that focus on developing the mind, body and spirit of our participants. Interns in turn build leadership skills by serving as positive role models for the participants. For more information, please visit our website at www.projecttransformation.org/riotx

We need volunteers for each week at each of our site churches to read with our elementary-aged participants for two hours each day. Adults or high school students can volunteer Monday-Thursday from June 13 to July 27, from 10 am to 12 pm. Volunteers can commit to one day each week, one whole week, one day out of the summer, or anything in between! Our goal is for each child to read with one adult, every day.

To sign up to read with our kids, please contact Stacey McAtee, Project Transformation-Rio Texas Program Director, at sporter@riotexas.org or click here to sign-up for Project Transformation.

Project Transformation Site for Summer 2016:

First UMC, Boerne

Laurel Heights UMC

St. Paul United Methodist Church


 Storytime Volunteers & Other Opportunities

storytime2Storytime Volunteers

Sign-up to read during Storytime with San Antonio Youth Literacy!

Are you looking to volunteer and read to those who are eager to hear the adventures in books such as Clifford or Junie B. Jones? Then sign up to read to families and young children at the Witte Museum and the Unicorn Center! SAYL will be organizing the books and all other activities, all we need is passionate and enthusiastic volunteers to come out and help each month!
Witte Storytimes take place on the 3rd Tuesday of each month!
November – May from 3:30-5:30 p.m.
June – August from 3:00-5:00 p.m.


 Office Volunteers

Office Volunteers

volunteer ericOffice Volunteers will help support SAYL staff with preparing training materials, creating program activities, and other administrative duties. Office assistants are needed between the hours of 9am-5pm. Volunteers have the opportunity to schedule their own hours during this time frame.

To be a SAYL Office volunteer please contact Laura Nygaard, laura.nygaard@sayl.org or call 210-299-1533 x105.


volunteer stephanieSAYL is seeking an intern who will be responsible for supporting the Program Department and the Director of Volunteers and Community Partnerships in the implementation of the SAYL Reading Buddy program. While this position is un-paid, SAYL will reimburse for job related mileage and other expenses. This position will offer the intern a chance to boost their resume while gaining valuable, hands-on experience in the non-profit sector in program management, volunteer training, and in the field of primary education. Primary duties include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Assist with program implementation and volunteer processing
  • Assist with management of program sites, including maintaining program materials and books
  • Assist with writing of monthly E-newsletters, and quarterly Newsletters
  • Maintain SAYL library inventory
  • Help coordinate special events and projects
  • Some researching of grant opportunities available
  • General support of full-time staff as needed
  • Opportunity to serve as a SAYL Reading Buddy

Interested candidates should contact Laura Nygaard, laura.nygaard@sayl.org or call 210-299-1533 x105 to apply.