Volunteer with Reach Out and Read

Clinical Volunteer Leaders

Clinic Volunteer Readers provide a positive reading experience for children in waiting rooms, as well as modeling reading aloud for parents. Volunteer readers show parents just how much fun reading with children can be, and provide helpful tips for getting children excited about books.

Clinic Volunteer Reader Commitment

We ask that anyone interested in becoming a clinic volunteer for Reach Out and Read can commit to the following:

  • What do I need to do to become Clinic Volunteer Reader?
    • Complete Reach Out and Read Clinic Volunteer Application online
    • Provide two references
    • Background check (provided by Nationwide Children's Hospital for applicant over 18)
    • TB screening and Flu shot* (*seasonal)
    • Attend Reach Out and Read Volunteer Orientation
    • Complete onsite training for assigned clinic
  • How long does it take to complete the application process?
    • Typically applications are processed in 4 to 6  weeks
  • Why do I have to go through the screening process?
    • Volunteers are considered staff and part of our team. As such you will need to go through several steps before you are actually able to start volunteering. The entire process from time of interview to receiving one’s badge should take no more than 4-6 six weeks to complete. The successful completion of this process will help to ensure that you are fully prepared to volunteer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in a safe and effective manner.
  • Where do Readers volunteer?
    • Reach Out and Read operate currently within twelve Nationwide Children’s Hospital sites across the Columbus area.  View a more detailed map of our Primary Care Centers.
  • How long is a volunteer shift?
    • Our readers usually volunteer for 1-2 hours on a weekly basis.
  • Can I choose which clinic I want to volunteer in?
    • We do our best to help you choose the best clinic for you to volunteer in.  We do ask that you to pick 2-3 clinics that you would be interested in. 
  • Are there weekend and evenings available?
    • There are a few clinics that offer weekend and evening hours.  Availability is based on the need of the program and clinic hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a clinic volunteer reader?

As a Reach Out and Read Clinic Volunteer, you will help to make the waiting time more comfortable for children and families.

Our volunteers provide exposure to literature while reinforcing developing language skills. Volunteers transform the waiting area into a literacy enriched environment.

Who is best suited for clinic volunteering?
  • You love reading!
  • You are outgoing and engaging with others especially children.

  • You enjoy being around and working with children of all ages.

  • You are a former educator, a teacher, an early education major in college or just someone who wants to share their enjoyment of books with children

What are the duties of a clinic volunteer reader?
  • Engage children in literacy related activities.
  • Read books to children while they are waiting to see their doctor.
  • Incorporate books to create a fun interactive learning environment.
  • Initiate interactive activities: coloring, puzzles, etc.
  • Make reference information readily available for families such as library membership applications, local music resources, newsletters, and adult literacy information.
Can teens volunteer for Reach Out & Read?

A teen may volunteer for the Reach Out and Read program.  Teens follow the same job description as volunteer readers and music volunteers.

We accept teens into the Reach Out and Read® Program twice a year.

  • Complete a teen application, including two references and a parent letter
  • Attend a screening session

  • Attend 3 hour hospital orientation

  • Attend on-site Reach Out and Read® training   

Volunteen Application Process: Apply Now!

What are the minimum commitments for a volunteer reader?
  • Must volunteer a for a minimum of 6 months

  • A minimum of 60 hours

  • Annual compliance with TB testing, flu vaccine*, and training

    • *Flu vaccine is seasonal

Nationwide Children's Hospital is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. (EIN: 31-1036370).