A woman in a hijab helps a group of children look at and write about a colorful abstract work of art

Volunteering at 826michigan

Join us in supporting the brilliant minds of young authors in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Detroit!

We believe that with individualized attention from caring adults like you, students improve their academic performance, develop a sense of belonging, and discover the unique value of their voices. (Plus … 826michigan programs are truly fun and engaging—for students and volunteers alike!)

826michigan volunteers feed into the creation of a vibrant and wildly inspired safe place for young people. We build our creative writing and literacy programs to be actively anti-racist and trauma-informed, and we focus on creating humanizing settings for young people to explore the power of their voices. 

In addition to working individually with students, there are lots of other ways to support our work! You can volunteer in our robot shop or tell people in the community about our work at a tabling event.

“I loved my time at 826michigan and gained so much experience with young people. I feel much more qualified to work on my toes and collaborate with teams to achieve a goal.”

From our volunteer feedback survey

Ready to sign up?

If you are a returning volunteer who has already filled out a volunteer application, you do not need to reapply; we still have your application on file.

Volunteer Opportunities

After-school Writing Labs

Students ages 8-14 (in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti) and 11-17 (in Detroit) work in small groups with peers and adult volunteers to brainstorm, write, revise, share, and publish their writing.

In-person / Weekly Commitment / After-school

Field Trips & In-school Roadshows

For elementary-aged classrooms. Action-packed, two-hour creative writing experiences filled with surprises and focused on building students’ confidence in their writing. These take place in schools or in community spaces.

In-person / Flexible commitment / Daytime


For students ages 5-8. In these fun, informal sessions, we read a book aloud together and then play around with writing, from the physical act of actually writing to the creative ideas involved.

In-person / Flexible commitment / Evening

Store Shifts @ Robot Supply Co.

Serve as a store clerk and a community ambassador for 826michigan’s mission/work

In-person / Weekly commitment / Flexible timing

Design Cohort

Group of volunteer artists, illustrators, graphic designers, and others with skills in the visual arts. We call on members periodically asking for help on specific design projects.

Remote / Flexible commitment / Flexible timing

Editorial Cohort

Group of volunteer copyeditors, student-writing typists, and chapbook assemblers. We put out general calls to this group when we have projects in any of these areas.

Remote / Flexible commitment / Flexible timing

Translation Cohort

Group of volunteers with writing, reading, and/or speaking abilities in non-English languages. We call on members periodically asking for help on specific translation projects.

Remote / Flexible commitment / Flexible timing

Tabling and Outreach Cohort

Group of volunteers who can serve as ambassadors for 826michigan by representing the organization as community events, connecting potential students, families, volunteers, and others to our work.

In-person / Flexible commitment / Flexible timing

Understanding the commitment of each volunteer opportunity

We are so honored that you would consider dedicating some of your valuable time to advancing 826michigan’s work. To help you better understand how 826michigan volunteer opportunities might integrate into your schedule, each opportunity above is tagged with the following commitment indicators.


Remote: This activity happens virtually, via video conference

In-person: This activity takes place in a physical location

Hybrid: This activity has both virtual and in-person options available


Weekly Commitment: Volunteers for this activity are asked to commit to a weekly engagement for a minimum number of weeks

Flexible Commitment: Volunteers for this activity commit only to specific engagements and not a weekly schedule


Daytime: This activity takes place on Monday through Friday between the hours of 8am and 4pm

After-school: This activity takes place on Monday through Friday between 4pm and 6pm

Evening + Weekend: This activity takes place on the weekends, or after 6pm on weekdays.

Flexible Timing: This activity has a variety of timing options for engagement.

Ready to apply? We’d love to have you!

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