Volunteer of the Month

Care to meet the elite team of supervolunteers whom we’ve honored over the years?

MondayMay 2015


emma and ricky

Emma & Ricky!

There is the League of Superheroes and there is Dumbledore’s Army and there is the Dead Poet’s Society and then, above them all, is the special triumvirate of Liberty Street Tutoring Interns, Katie, Ricky, and Emma. Every day Monday through Thursday these three important people make our program run, caring for all the details (the daily writing table prompt, the all-important snack, the sign-in sheets, the all-too-often searches for laptop cords and lined paper and the occasional perfectly-sized cardboard box for a diorama) that make after-school tutoring the warm, invaluable space that students come to day after day.

Emma Perpich arrives early every day and coordinates tutor trainings, gets our lab ready for students, and processes all of our tutoring intake paperwork with an unparalleled level of genuine enthusiasm. Emma makes our lab such a welcome place for EVERYONE — tutors, students, parents, and staff, and remains utterly unphased by even the rowdiest days at 826. She takes time to talk to every person who walks in the lab, knows and greets everyone by name and handles all situations with her characteristic poise and sense of humor. She also has an extra-special place in our hearts for transitioning from being an 826michigan student (way back when we were on State Street) to an irreplaceable volunteer.

Ricky Wiesner has been our Creative Writing Intern at Liberty Street tutoring since September, and over the past nine months, he has created a treasure trove of writing exercises for our students, helping them to explore voice, suspense, and character with a new writing project each day. Ricky helped to shape our writing table (which started as an actual table in our basement and shifted to more inclusive activity for all students upstairs in our lab). He encouraged new students to write every month by conferencing with them one-on-one and truly listening to and responding to their interests as writers. For the first time, thanks to Ricky and the writing table, we published three tutoring zines on Liberty Street!

katie with student


Katie Lampen started as our Creative Writing Curriculum Intern in January and jumped right into helping with our writing table program and to assisting at tutoring wherever (front desk? One on one with students? Behind the scenes with lesson planning?) she is needed. Her writing exercises are just as detailed and funny, creative and inspiring as we hope our students’ experiences will be here at tutoring. Katie is an organizational powerhouse, an all-star tutor, AND a certified teacher, making her an incredible asset to our students every day at tutoring. Katie is taking over the writing table for the rest of this semester and overseeing the completion of our final ‘zine!
Three is the magic number we are so lucky to have had here at Liberty Street Tutoring this spring semester. Katie, Ricky, and Emma have made our program 300% better everyday with their passion, perseverance, and fantastic smiles. Three thousand cheers for our team, and three thousand thanks to each of them!

WednesdayApril 2015

If you’ve been to Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair, you have likely encountered—perhaps even interacted with—the art of Elaine Reed, April’s Volunteer of the Month. RightBot, our human-sized robot not only displays faces of our students and recites the digits of Pi every five minutes*, it also provides endless…

WednesdayMarch 2015

“I’ll be cold for you.” These five words effectively sum up the amount of dedication and eagerness to help that our Volunteer of the Month, Cat Batsios, offers to the Detroit team. When it was uncertain if there would be enough support during a volunteer orientation session on a treacherously…

WednesdayFebruary 2015

  While a lot of 826 volunteers participate in many different programs, it seems that most have a favorite program, that is near and dear to their hearts. I think it is safe to say that Abby Ruehlmann, February 2015′s Volunteer of the Month, has found her favorite program at…

WednesdayJanuary 2015

One of the magical things about Lucy Huber (and trust us, there are MANY) is that she first came to 826michigan by way of another incredible 826er, Katie Jones, who left Michigan to pursue her graduate degree in writing in North Carolina. We had no idea how we would carry…

FridayDecember 2014

All sources agree: Pat Gold is PURE GOLD. True to her name, she really does seem to have the Midas Touch (in the good sense); everything she touches turns to sparkles and magic. For the past two school years, Pat has been a fixture at our Creative Writing Club at…

WednesdayOctober 2014

Since October 2013, Barb has been a model Robotier in our store on weekday mornings. She brings the words reliable, friendly, and helpful to new heights. Sometimes staff pause what we are doing on the other side of the curtain to listen to Barb greet customers and families, because it…

ThursdayOctober 2014

Sarah is a rock star student in the School of Education at the University of Michigan. Last spring, she held a store shift and served students in the Adams Creative Writing Club as a volunteer. This summer, she took her commitment to 826michigan to the next level, as an intern. This…

MondaySeptember 2014

Christopher Ankney is a phenomenal part of the 826michigan volunteer team. For nearly two years, he has served in our robot shop as a robotier, treating the store as if it were his very own–during his TWO separate store shifts. He is so dedicated in fact, that he spent his…

MondayAugust 2014

A Force of Goodness: August’s Volunteer of the Month is Megan Gilson! We have so much to say about Megan Gilson. When Megan began her undergraduate journey at the University of Michigan, she planned to study neuroscience. Very quickly, however,  she realized that the way she most wanted to help…

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Ann Arbor, MI 48104
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