Skip Nav
Summer Volunteering With Kids

POPSUGAR / paid for by / Target

Summer is the time to refresh and explore, especially through new experiences with your family. That's why we partnered with Target for this post.

Every kid looks forward to Summer — long, hot days; later bedtimes; and lots of fun. It's also a time for exploring different kinds of experiences, from camps to classes. I like to find a couple of exciting things for my daughter to check out and also for us to do together.

Volunteering is probably the last thing you might be thinking about doing during the Summer months, but there are so many interesting places that you can experience and enjoy. Take 826 National. With seven chapters in locations like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Boston, the inventive programs offer creative experiences to under-resourced students ages 6 to 18 that help improve their writing skills. The centers and storefronts are always looking for volunteers.

I connected with Molly Parent, the programs and communications manager at 826 Valencia in San Francisco, and spent an afternoon at a local school during Exploring Words Summer Camp. The day I visited, kids were putting together nature bots alongside an educator from the Exploratorium. I counted around 19 kids per room with an impressive one-to-one volunteer, or peer helper, ratio. Students were moving around work stations utterly focused on figuring out unique ways to transform a basic motor, copper wire, and natural elements like sticks into moving creations. It was hard not to step in and get busy!

826 Valencia is a year-long program that's seeking volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to help keep the program running smoothly. Parents shared that volunteers work shifts, either leading activities in the mornings and then prepping for the next day in the afternoons or vice versa. After a three-hour orientation session, you're all set to get in the classroom and work alongside the program. Each activity also correlates with a writing experience, reinforcing the active learning process.

Although my time with 826 was short, it left such an impact. Every single child was engaged, excited, and exploring. All the volunteers and staff were focused on aiding instead of leading. I walked away ready to sign up for several volunteering sessions and knew my daughter would love checking it out, too.

It doesn't matter what type of background or educational level you have — volunteering is a great way to get involved in your community and give back. And when you do it with your child, it promotes so many positive qualities, from selflessness to confidence. I plan on dedicating at least one week of our Summer to volunteering and highly recommend it.



Target is funding $5 million of kid-proposed projects in schools. Submit your kid's idea now!

Image Source: Flickr user Hipnos
Related Stories paid for by Target
How Deja Riley Is Resetting Her Mind and Body for 2021
18 At Home Live Streaming Workouts
Workout Accessories From Target
3 Abuela-Approved Ways to Budget For Bebé
5 Ways to Help Get Your Fussy Bebé to Sleep
6 Feeding Essentials to Consider as Your Bebé Grows
Abuela-Approved Products to Help Your Bebé Fall Asleep
5 Products That Make Feeding Time a Breeze For New Mamás
How to Channel Your Mamá While Taking Care of Your Baby
How to Keep Your Baby Entertained When Abuela Isn't Around
This Activewear Line From Target Is Perfect For Fall
How Millana Snow Uses Breathwork to Ground and Connect
Multitasking Abuela-Approved Newborn Products
What to Buy From the Target Designer Dress Collection
This Dance Teacher Creates Community While Social Distancing
Family Friendly Easter DIY Projects
What You Need to Celebrate Easter at Home
Family Outfit Ideas For Easter
How to Personalize Easter Baskets For Kids
Valentine's Day Cards For Everyone You Love