Get Involved


A group of volunteers at 826's five-year anniversary celebration

A group of volunteers at 8/26 Day 2007, a community festival celebrating our fifth anniversary

Not sure whether we want you? Let’s clear up those doubts right now: We do. Because we work with more teachers, more schools, and more students every year to support our ever-increasing output of books, magazines, and newspapers, we truly need you. We have a variety of unique programs at various times of the weekday (8:00 AM to 6:30 PM) — all of which need tutors — and the good news is that you get to help out with any program that fits your schedule! If you have more time and are looking for an extensive volunteer experience, consider an 826 Valencia internship.

Volunteers are the heart and soul of our programs, and we want to make sure that you get the most from your volunteer experience with us. Before you embark on the journey towards becoming an official 826 volunteer, please take some time to determine whether 826 Valencia would be a good match for your volunteer interests, qualifications, and availability.

Requirements for working with youth

Prospective 826 tutors must be:

  • Available between the hours of 8:00AM and 6:30PM, Monday through Friday
  • Eighteen years of age or older*
  • Able to provide or obtain proof of a negative TB test from within the past four years
  • Willing to submit a LiveScan background check
  • Excited about supporting the development of young learners!

If you answered yes to all of the questions above, it sounds like volunteering your time and skills as an 826 tutor would be a great fit for you!

*High school students between the ages of 16 and 18: If you are interested in working with 826 Valencia as part of an externship or community service program offered by your school, please contact Volunteer and Internship Coordinator Olivia White Lopez at for more information.

Professional services: Please feel free to skip to the bottom of the page for more information about design or photography volunteer opportunities at 826 Valencia.

Corporate Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteering as a group is great — not only because it’s a fun way of getting involved, but also because it provides a great team-building opportunity for coworkers to interact outside their usual environment. If your company offers opportunities for its employees to take a few hours out of their working day to give back to the community, we’d love to host you! Volunteer groups of 5–20 people can assist in 826 Valencia’s programs: Field Trips, After-School Tutoring, and at Buena Vista Horace Mann Annex. Please contact Programs and Volunteer Coordinator Claudia Sanchez at if you’d like to learn more about group volunteering opportunities at 826 Valencia.

Here’s where we need your help:

(Already a registered volunteer? Log in and visit the calendar to sign up for projects.)

Field Trips 

Monday through Thursday
9:30 AM to 12:00 PM

Field trips are always in need of enthusiastic volunteers up-front and behind the scenes to make the storytelling and bookmaking experience come to life. We are always looking for new artists to live-illustrate our field trips, and typists and charismatic leaders to facilitate the writing process. If that’s not your thing, or you’re just more of the shy type, we’d love you to join our diligent behind-the-scenes printing and bookbinding team.

After-School Tutoring

2:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Monday through Thursday
2:30 PM to 5:30 PM

Tutoring takes place in the afternoons here at 826, Sunday through Thursday. Because it is a homework-help program, you will sometimes get to flex your math and science skills, as well as your writing muscles. Tutoring also offers the chance to work at regular times and get to know a bunch of awesome students and volunteers.

Buena Vista Horace Mann Writing Project

Monday through Friday
4:05 PM to 6:30 PM

As an organization dedicated to improving the writing skills of our students, 826 Valencia is excited to be offering focused writing support to fourth and third graders at Buena Vista Horace Mann, a bilingual K-8 school in the Mission District. If you enjoy writing and want to help get kids build essential skills, the BVHM Annex might just be the program for you!

In-School Projects

Monday through Friday
8:00 AM to 3:00 PM

If you’re looking to provide writing help to teachers and students in the classroom, and have a flexible schedule, our in-school projects may be the best place for you to help out. In this program, volunteers work with students on a diverse range of writing projects at schools around the city. We partner with teachers in San Francisco to craft unique writing projects, all of which are designed to teach specific journalistic, expository, or creative writing skills to students, and most result in a publication that we sell in our Pirate Store.


Evenings and Weekends

If you have expertise in a field that involves writing, and some background working with young people, you might be a fit to teach an evening or weekend workshop. The topics range from SAT-prep to jazz poetry to science writing. Whatever your area of interest, our staff will work with you to perfect your lesson plan and execute your workshop.

Design, Illustration, and Photography

The vast majority of our student publications and event materials are designed by volunteers. If you’re a professional graphic designer interested in doing some volunteer design or illustration work for 826, we would love to meet you. We also frequently need professional photographers to offer their skills to document our events and programming, which include everything from student book release parties and portraits to major fundraisers. We’ve been fortunate to have talented help in the past, but we always need more. To volunteer as a designer, illustrator, or photographer, please email with your résumé, skill summary, and a link to your portfolio.

Your exciting new life as an 826 volunteer awaits.

Sign up to get started.

Once you’ve gone through our orientation process and training, you’ll be an official part of our team and can sign up online for whatever projects pique your interest.