Our mentor application for the 2023-24 school year is now closed. Please check back in Spring, 2024 for next year's application.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering as a Read Ahead mentor! We are no longer accepting new applications for the current school year.

If you have already completed your application - thank you! Please reach out to volunteer@readahead.org with questions.

Thank you for your interest in mentoring!

Read Ahead is dedicated to helping New York City youth strengthen the literacy and social-emotional skills they need to thrive in school and beyond. 

Since 1991, Read Ahead has connected public elementary school students with caring mentors from leading corporate and community partners. During weekly sessions, mentors and mentees read together, discuss books and their lives, and engage in fun and educational games and activities. Read Ahead sessions are designed to help children grow their literacy skills, confidence, love of reading, and other skills essential for success.

We are no longer accepting mentor applications for the current school year, but we hope you will consider applying this spring to mentor in 2024-25. We expect to release our next application in June, 2024.

If you have any questions in the meantime, please email our team at the link below.

Contact us

Read Ahead’s 2023-24 virtual program

Combining our 30 years of experience with new technology platforms and an educator-designed curriculum, Read Ahead sessions are designed to help children grow their literacy skills, confidence, love of reading, and other skills essential for success. 

  • Mentors commit to 45 minute virtual sessions via Zoom every week OR every other week during the school year (October – June). We will work with you to find a session day / time that works for you
  • Sessions are hosted by a Read Ahead Program Coordinator
  • Mentor-mentee pairs spend most of the session one-on-one in a breakout room
  • No prior experience is necessary. Read Ahead provides all of the training, logistical support, and resources you need to make a meaningful connection and lasting difference

Visit our FAQ page to learn more

See answers to some of the most common questions from new and returning volunteers by visiting our FAQ page! Topics covered include more details about:

  • How our virtual program works, updated for 2022-23 (2023-24 updates coming soon)
  • Time commitment for volunteers and logistical considerations
  • Our application, onboarding, and matching processes

FAQ Page
Attend a free virtual info session

This fall, we will be hosting a series of live virtual info sessions for prospective volunteers. During each session, a Read Ahead staff member will answer audience questions, and give a brief overview of our program, the volunteer commitment, and the application process. 

Our fall info session calendar has now concluded. We will post additional info session dates as they become available.

Our mentor application will available again in January 2024

All Read Ahead mentors must be 18 years of age or older, pass a criminal background check, and sign a mentor agreement. 

We prioritize volunteers from our corporate & community partners. If you are not affiliated with one of our partners, you may submit an application as an unaffiliated mentor and we will consider your application as space allows. If you are interested in learning more about how your company can become a Read Ahead partner, please contact us – we would love to speak with you!

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