About Volunteering at NCRS

Volunteers are the foundation of our organization. Last year over 130 volunteers contributed over 9,000 hours to NCRS as readers and recorders, technical support, fundraising, community outreach, and administrative support.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, we ask that you complete a volunteer application which includes areas of interest, education, experience, and references. Once we receive your volunteer application, we will contact you to schedule a tour of NCRS, a brief audition, and interview with our Executive Director. If accepted, you will go through formal training, including observations with current readers and learning to use the equipment. For more information about becoming a volunteer, please email reading@ncreadingservice.org.

If you are bilingual and fluent in Spanish, we have volunteer opportunities to read the Que Pasa newspapers on Saturdays.  Que Pasa is a live broadcast entirely in Spanish from our Raleigh studio from 12-1:00 PM every Saturday.  For more information, please call us at 919-832-5138, or email reading@ncreadingservice.org.

Check Us Out On Social

Volunteer working on his laptop at North Carolina Reading Service
Two volunteers recording in sound studio at North Carolina Reading Service
Volunteer reader recording in sound studio at North Carolina Reading Service
Soundboard at North Carolina Reading Service

Volunteer FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to become a volunteer reader? Prospective volunteers must complete a volunteer application which includes areas of interest, education, experience, and references. You can email your application to reading@ncreadingservice.org, fax to (919) 833-5220, or mail to NCRS, 211 East Six Forks Road, Suite 103, Raleigh, North Carolina 27609. After the application is reviewed, you may be invited to visit NCRS for a tour, interview, and an audition, usually within two weeks of receiving the application. Please plan on approximately 45 minutes to one hour for this initial visit.

Is there an age requirement to become a volunteer reader? Yes, the minimum age to volunteer at NCRS is 18.

What is the training process to become a reader? If accepted, you will go through a series of steps prior to reading on air, which includes observing with our regular live readers, attending a volunteer orientation class, and learning how to operate the equipment. In addition to our three live broadcasts, we have many pre-recorded programs that broadcast at specific times during the week. A complete list of what we broadcast can be found on our website. We also pre-record various community newsletters that are available as podcasts. All new volunteers start by substituting for our regular “live” readers as needed. Our live broadcasts include the News and Observer, from 9:30-11:30 a.m., local newspapers such as The Smithfield Herald and the Cary News from noon-1:30 p.m., and USA Today from 7:00-8:30 p.m. All readers are asked to be here at least 45 minutes to an hour before their shift to cut articles out of the newspapers to be read.

Is there a minimum time requirement for readers? We ask for a one-year commitment. Typically, a new volunteer reader will read about one to two shifts per month.

Are there other opportunities to volunteer besides reading? Yes, we have opportunities in marketing and public relations, on our signature New Visions Gala Committee, office assistance, and help with annual mailings.

Do you use volunteers who need community service hours? No – due to the training process and time commitment required we do not use volunteers for court-ordered or school required community service.

Can I record from my home if I have professional audio equipment? NCRS uses specific broadcasting software that might not be compatible with your own equipment, so we require that you come into our studios to record.

What do I do if I am scheduled for a shift and unable to make it? Reliability is key to your success as an NCRS volunteer! However, we realize things do come up such as illness, work and, of course, vacation. We do ask you to call us and give us as much notice as possible when you are unable to read your scheduled shift. After two no-shows you will be taken off the volunteer list.

Volunteer Application