It's no secret that volunteering with STAIR-Annapolis is an incredible experience. We're so thankful for our volunteers and are always looking for ways to offer support and encouragement as they work toward building relationships and improving the lives of young readers in our community.
To that end, we're pleased to introduce a new way to manage the processes and paperwork necessary to becoming a STAIR-Annapolis tutor: The Volunteer Dashboard!
The Volunteer Dashboard has been designed as a one-stop spot for everything new and returning volunteers need to stay on track and up-to-speed with our organization.
Let's take a look!
The Volunteer Checklist is the starting point for interacting with the Dashboard. It's a printable document that outlines all the steps required to serve as a STAIR-Annapolis volunteer. The checklist is an easy way for you to stay organized as you move through the Dashboard, and helps STAIR-Annapolis staff ensure each volunteer has completed all the necessary requirements before the first day of tutoring.
It's now easier than ever to access STAIR-Annapolis Volunteer Training whenever it's most convenient for you. We've refreshed our training this year, offering two different on-demand videos, each with a distinctive focus. Part 1 is called "Getting Ready to Volunteer" and Part 2 is called "Working with Your Student." Hosted by our very own Volunteer Coordinator, Malena Ruland, these videos cover everything from a brief history of STAIR-Annapolis to useful tips and tricks to enhance tutoring sessions. Presentation slides are included, too, and these can be downloaded and saved for future reference.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools requires all volunteers to view and verify the AACPS-produced Sexual Harassment and Child Abuse Video every year. This video is now embedded on the STAIR-Annapolis Volunteer Dashboard, where we've also added a convenient verification form. In just a few minutes, you can have this task checked off your list and the results are sent directly to STAIR staff!
All STAIR-Annapolis volunteers must submit a background check in order to work with the children enrolled in our program. These background checks are good for two years, after which a new application has to be submitted. The Volunteer Dashboard includes an entire page dedicated to this essential element of tutoring with STAIR. We've created a helpful how-to video to guide you through the process, a direct link to initiate the background check application, and a verification form that notifies STAIR staff that the application has been completed.
Occasionally, STAIR-Annapolis will offer small group in-person training sessions. When these sessions are scheduled, volunteers will be able to access registration links from the Volunteer Dashboard. Be sure to check our Facebook page and website calendar for announcements regarding in-person training opportunities!
The Tutor Resource section of the Volunteer Dashboard contains links, videos, and other resources to help our volunteers make the most of every tutoring session. We're always seeking out content that will help tutors feel prepared to work with students no matter where they are or what literacy skills they need the most support with. This section will be updated frequently, and we hope it'll offer our valued volunteers a go-to source for tips and tricks to ensure success!
STAIR-Annapolis volunteers are dedicated to asking all the right questions in an effort to bring their very best to every tutoring session. The FAQ section of the Volunteer Dashboard is here to help, with a list of some of the most common questions new and experienced tutors have about joining the STAIR program, working with second graders, and following STAIR-Annapolis policies and procedures. We'll add to this list often, so if you have a question you don't see just let us know!
We're really excited about bringing this new tool to our volunteers. It's our sincere hope that the Volunteer Dashboard helps simplify the administrative tasks that our volunteers must complete before the first day of STAIR so they can focus on getting to know their students and starting the adventure in reading together!