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! (<- 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 closed for the 2016-2017 School Year. Trainings will resume in August 2017. Complete our online application (link above) and we will contact you once the trainings for the 2017-2018 school year have been scheduled.

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

Version 2The 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!

Volunteers Needed for March 28 & 29 Book Sort!

Help SAYL staff sort and box up books for all our students to receive at the end of the year! We will be going through Book Buddies storage of books in order to pick out the best titles to include in our boxes of books that go out to the schools for the End of Year Book Giveaway. Please come join us in picking books out for your students and others as well! Sign-up for the book sort 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

Opportunities: 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 third 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 32 college aged interns will live in community in San Antonio, and will plan and lead a summer enrichment day camp for 250 underserved children at four 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 12 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 Kaci Boylan, Project Transformation-Rio Texas Program Director, at kboylan@umcswtx.onmicrosoft.com or click here to sign-up for Project Transformation.

Project Transformation Site for Summer 2017:

First UMC, Boerne

Laurel Heights UMC

Northern Hills United Methodist Church Ministry Center

St. Paul United Methodist Church


 Storytime & Event 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 3:30-5:30 p.m.
June – August 3:00-5:00 p.m.


IMG_8315The Storytime Reader at the 2017 King William Fair

Love reading and Fiesta? We’re looking for volunteers to be storytime readers at the King William Fair Saturday, April 29. Volunteers will receive free entry into the event and a free SAYL t-shirt. Volunteers must be 14 years of age or older and feel comfortable reading in front of groups of children and their families. Two hour sifts available from 10am-6pm.

 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.