We’re always looking for volunteers to join the team for our free writing programs. We work with students in groups and one-on-one to develop their creative and expository writing skills. Austin Bat Cave works with volunteers with a range of classroom experience. Our students benefit from our volunteers’ passionate mentorship and individual feedback.
COVID-19 Update: Due to ongoing concerns surrounding the Coronavirus, all ABC programs are currently taking place online! Our volunteer community—no longer bound to place—is expanding to include writers and educators from around the country, and they are already brainstorming new ways to support and inspire student writers. Creative writing, and its ability to help us process, transfigure, and transcend the world around us, is more essential now than ever. We can’t wait to keep writing and sharing the stories that help us connect and thrive, even when we’re far apart. To get involved in virtual volunteering, check out the opportunities below and let us know if you have any questions. Then, sign up to volunteer!
Online Writing Lab (OWL) Projects
Daily Writing Prompts & Lesson Plans
Dates & times flexible; Google Docs
Work with ABC staff to develop daily writing prompts and creative writing lesson plans to be shared on ABC’s online writing lab and with our community partners at Title 1 schools in Austin ISD, Del Valle ISD, and Manor ISD.
DIY Video Lessons
Dates & times flexible; YouTube or Vimeo
Record a video creative writing or crafting lesson for kids (e.g. how to write a haiku, how to write dialogue, how to make a bookmark, etc.). These videos will be shared on the OWL and with our partners at Title 1 schools!
Dispatches from the Bat Mobile
Dates & times flexible; YouTube or Vimeo
Read or perform a piece of student writing on ABC’s Bat Mobile to be broadcast on Instagram Live! All broadcasting will be done in a safe and socially distant manner (you’ll enter using a lockbox, etc.).
Fall 2020 Opportunities
Dreaming a Community in Del Valle—Weekly After-School Writing Clubs at Smith Elementary, Hillcrest Elementary, and Hornsby-Dunlap Elementary (campus choice based on volunteer preference)
Dates: October 13th–December 11th, 3:00pm–4:30pm
In this weekly writing club, you will work with Del Valle ISD students in 3rd-5th grade who want to write about travel, adventure and their communities. Young writers will imagine themselves as global citizens and leaders and will write imaginative stories inspired by Austin Bat Cave’s magical mobile classroom and library, the “Bat Mobile.” As global citizens, they will explore how communities help one another by exploring the history of mobile libraries and by creating and writing about their own community and ways that they can be leaders who share their stories and their opinions to create change.
3-4 volunteers needed (bilingual volunteers encouraged for this program)
Weekly After-School Writing Club with Ortega Elementary
Dates: November 11–Dec 16th, Wednesdays from 4pm–5pm
This after-school writing club will serve students in 3rd–5th grade and has the option of taking place once or twice a week depending on volunteer availability. Explore different forms for creative writing with your students, from comic book writing to poetry to expressive journaling! Support your students as they work toward a final project to be published in the ABC anthology.
1-2 volunteers needed
College Essay Writing: Mentor a Student
Dates: Weekday afternoons, schedule TBD based on student/volunteer preferences
Support high school juniors and seniors as they write first drafts of their college admissions essays! Get to know your student, brainstorm essay ideas via Zoom, and read essay drafts / leave comments via Google Docs.
4-5 volunteers needed
Dates: November 16th-20th, 5pm–6:30pm each day
This workshop is for writers who want to write apocalyptic, dystopian, or futuristic fiction (Think Hunger Games. Think Divergent. Think Uglies). Students will re-imagine their city and neighborhoods in post-apocalyptic terms and bring these worlds to life on the page. Over the course of the workshop, students will complete one short story and do a public reading.
2-3 volunteers needed