Guest blog by Cecilia Stone, Learning Ally volunteer
My 15-year-old is pretty strongly dyslexic. She is now in a high school, and so we were a little anxious about how it was all going to go for her. We knew that text books might be an issue. So, I would step in and do some reading. While this is nice and bonding, I don’t want to do high school all over again! Ha! I was looking for an audio book for my child that did not exist through [mass-market audiobook companies,] when I came across Learning Ally. What a relief to find this organization! I am especially grateful that you guys have the text book for her history class as that was going to be a lot of reading for me. I want all my kids to be lifelong independent and self-motivated learners and Learning Ally really helps in that regard. I love to read myself, and often will read psychology/education related material, as well as nutrition and well-being books in addition to fiction and other non-fiction. Volunteering with Learning Ally is an easy way for me to feel like I make a difference despite a very hectic and crazy life.
It is something I can do at 5am when I can’t sleep and before the kids are awake and bustling in the house. My kids and I listen to audiobooks so much and so I know how important it is to have these books available to others in this format.
I volunteer virtually from home. Even though I have never met any of these people face-to-face, I feel connected in our common mission of helping get more books out there available to all those for whom reading is a challenge so that everyone can have access to all the knowledge and information and joy that is to be found in books! I feel honored to be a part of this community! My best advice to other volunteers (or those who would like to volunteer) is this: Remember the listener on the other end and how it will feel for them to hear your work. This is important for both readers and checkers. Sometimes when you just want to get a certain amount of work done, it is easy to not want to stop and make corrections, but every stutter/sound/misread left in an audio affects the listener’s ability to truly hear the material. I would highly recommend [volunteering virtually] for anyone who feels like they don’t have time to volunteer because you definitely can with the virtual studios setup. It feels really good—especially since I don’t really have a lot of time to do anything more grand.
I love that little by little I can make a big difference over time.
It was the perfect way for me to volunteer, given my life as it is right now with 4 kids. Learning Ally is a flexible volunteer opportunity that is perfect for an introvert like me.
If you would like to volunteer or donate to Learning Ally, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit, please find information here. For those with a certified print disability, we also over a library of over 80,000 human narrated audiobooks, voiced by volunteers just like Kristi. Discover membership options here.