Help Create Audiobooks to Support Student Literacy During COVID-19
Contribute to a digital audio library for students struggling with reading and remote learning during the pandemic.
2 - 4 hours
Online
10 to 25
English
Princeton, Massachusetts, United States
Best to book 5 weeks in advance

What you’ll do

During the COVID-19 pandemic, remote learning is an unprecedented challenge for countless students. This challenge can be even more daunting for students working through a reading deficit. You and your team can help these students learn from home by making sure they have the audio resources they need. The goal of this experience is to positively impact not only students’ academic success, but also their socio-emotional wellbeing, school attendance, and, ultimately, their employment outcomes. 

In this activity, you and your team will support the creation of digital audiobooks for the organization’s library of more than 80,000 human-read audiobooks. The library is a multi-sensory reading accommodation that levels the playing field for students who struggle to read due to a learning disability, providing them the opportunity to achieve in school and in life. Gaining access to the popular fiction, classics, and textbooks that students want to read in an easy-to-absorb format can be a game-changer. 

Volunteers will first participate in a simulation on how it feels to be a dyslexic student, followed by a Quality Assurance (QA) session. 

1. Dyslexia Simulation: Through the simulation, you will understand what it is like to struggle to decode a text, becoming aware of why writing and spelling is so difficult through an engaging and interactive exercise. Afterwards, volunteers will be able to relate to and empathize with students’ struggles.

2. QA Volunteer Session: Quality Assurance (QA) is the final step in the process of creating an audiobook. Volunteers will contribute by listening to the organization’s books just like their students will and checking for anything that interferes with an enjoyable reading experience. You will receive QA training and be assigned a specific book or a section of a book for QA. Some of the things you will test for include ease of navigation, audio synchronization with text on a screen, typographical errors, and narrator performance. 

Here is a sample agenda for the experience (times are flexible):

  • 15 minutes — Volunteer Welcome
  • 20 minutes — Nonprofit Introduction and Orientation
  • 20 minutes — Dyslexia Simulation
  • 2.5 hours — Project Assignment, Set Up, and Quality Assurance Volunteer Session
  • 30 minutes — Wrap Up

What else you should know

  • Volunteers will be asked to complete an online QA training in advance of the experience.
  • This experience is available in 2-hour, 3-hour, or 4-hour formats. For information on customization, please email impact@visit.org.
  • This experience will be conducted over Zoom. Before the event you will receive a link for the call. Participants will be encouraged to have their cameras on during the experience.

How you’ll make an impact

Education
Disability Inclusion
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
As schools close and education goes virtual, this organization is providing its human-read audiobooks and educator tools free of charge to schools and students in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your contribution will help achieve their goal of providing essential resources to an additional 500,000 students who are blind, visually impaired, or have a reading disability so they don’t fall through the cracks in this distance learning environment.

This nonprofit strives to unlock student potential through improved literacy. 65% of fourth graders read below proficiency and are 400% more likely to drop-out of high school. For low-income students, students of color, English Language Learners, and students with learning disabilities, the problem is even more acute.This organization seeks to break this cycle. With early student assessment, intervention, and accommodations, they identify and help prevent learning issues and work with schools and educators to support new and struggling readers. Thus, the organization builds a strong foundation for independent, engaged learners who are empowered to achieve socially, emotionally, and academically, regardless of background or learning difference.

Interested in this experience?

Talk to our team to join the new world of online engagement

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