Volunteer for The Walking School Bus reading program!
The Walking School Bus volunteers read and record chapters of books in the public domain (books no longer under copyright), and make them readily available through audio recordings.
These recordings are then sent to our partnered schools with the attached PDF's or physical copies. Students in our partnered schools have the opportunity to listen and read simultaneously. This works as a great teaching tool, impresses proper annunciation onto our students, and fosters peer-to-peer community and kindness.
As volunteer readers, we gain the practical skills of reading aloud, ensuring that our classes have read their required readings, and understand that all of this is empowering education!
At present, we record books in English however if you wish to record in an additional language, please let us know.
You do not need any prior experience to volunteer for The Walking School Bus reading program, nor do you need to audition. All you need is your voice, some free software, your computer, and maybe an inexpensive microphone.
How it works!
Most Walking School Bus volunteers have never recorded anything, especially not audiobooks. If you are new to recording, no worries! Here are a few tips:
1) Volunteer for texts that you enjoy or are excited to read.
2) Some readers like to practise the text before recording.
3) Enjoy the process, and read as if speaking to your friend in a conversational style.
4) Try keep a steady pace and tone (as if speaking to a friend across the table from you).
5) Test it first! Read a page or paragraph, then listen to it! Iron out the problems.
Aspects to consider:
- am I too close to the microphone
- is it to loud/quite
- is there background noise?
- is my phone on silent?
6) If you prefer recording in short sessions, that is great. If you prefer reading a chapter at a time, that works as well. Ultimately, you do you!
7) When you make a mistake, pause for a moment, and start at the beginning of the sentence. You can edit out your mistake later on.
8) In case you missed it, we like using a free audio recording program called Audacity (download here). However if you have experience with audio recording and are comfortable with a program that enables you to edit and export easily, then feel free to use your program.
9) Please take this seriously, we check all of the recordings that we receive.
10) To find a comprehensive list of e-books which are in the public domain, please visit: www.gutenberg.org
For more information, or to find out how you can get involved please fill out this form.
Download our teachers guide here: Teachers Guide
Although there are a variety of resources to find books for recording, we like: https://www.gutenberg.org as it ensures that the books are legal and within the public domain.