Volunteer Jobs

Below is a partial list of Volunteer Jobs, with descriptions, that are available at Riis Settlement. To apply to be a volunteer, fill out the Volunteer Application. For more information, contact us via e-mail at volunteer@riissettlement.org or by phone at (718) 784-7447 Ext. 133.

1. Grant Proposal Writer (Volunteer)

Full Description: The Director of Development and Communications is seeking a Grant Proposal Writer volunteer who will assist in drafting proposals and grant applications to foundations, individuals, corporations and prospective new funders.

Contribution to Riis Settlement goals:
Through drafting proposals and grant applications, the Grant Proposal Writer will assist Riis Settlement in building support from donors, philanthropies, individuals and other funders. This individual will research prospective organizational partnerships and pursue beneficial funding opportunities.

Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Draft proposals and grant applications
  • Research foundations and potential corporate funders
Required Skills:
  • Excellent written communication and grammar skills
  • Strong computer skills and online research abilities
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Familiarity with non-profit and philanthropic grant writing
  • Ability to develop understanding of the organization and its programs
Volunteer availability:
  • Approximately 5-10 hours/week (working remotely on a daily basis)
  • On-site work/consultation may be required

 2. Communications and Marketing Volunteer

Full Description: The Director of Development and Communications is seeking assistance in promoting Riis Settlement to local clients, organizational partners, and potential donors. This individual will be responsible for gaining a general understanding of Riis Settlement's organizational structure in order to maintain and increase Riis Settlement's web presence, place relevant press releases and media alerts, and regularly promote Riis Settlement to local media and digital media sources.  

  • Experience writing press releases
  • Comfortable working on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc.)
  • Familiarity with online media sources (bloggers, e-news, etc.)
  • Skill in graphic design/Adobe Illustrator preferred
  • Knowledge of local (Long Island City/Queens) media is a plus
  • Interest in community building and the nonprofit sector
  • Strong writing and grammar skills
Volunteer Availability: Approximately 5-10 hours/week (working remotely on a daily basis). On-site work/consultation may be required

3.         Crochet Assistant

Full Description: Volunteers will guide high school students throughout a crochet project in which they will create a large blanket to be donated to a non-profit organization. Yarn, crochet hooks, and photos of stitching patterns will be provided. This project will take place at Information Technology High School (21-16 44th Road, Long Island City, NY). 

  • Knowledge in the art of crochet
  • Some teaching experience preferred
Volunteer Availability: Fridays, 3-6 pm. March - June 20th, 2014

4.         Growing Green Workshop Assistant

Full Description
Volunteers will assist with Growing Green Workshops for middle and/or high school students. Growing Green lessons use garden-based learning techniques to make learning about nature and health fun! Through activities based on applied science, experiments, and problem-solving, youth will learn about food sourcing, caring for animals, chemistry, plant fundamentals, and more!

  • Open and positive attitude
  • Patience
  • Handiness is helpful
  • Some knowledge of plants is a plus
Volunteer Availability: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday of selected weeks, 3-6 pm or 5-8 pm

5.          Middle School Academic Tutor 

Full DescriptionVolunteers will provide homework help for middle school students (grades 6-9) individually and in small groups to contribute to the academic and personal growth of youth. These tutors will support the Jacob Riis philosophy that every student can reach their potential with the appropriate support. 

  • Knowledge of middle school-level academic subjects
  • Must be patient and supportive of student's academic needs by working at their pace
  • Must be energetic and a positive role model by maintaining an encouraging and warm demeanor
Volunteer Availability: Mondays and Thursdays 3:15-4:30 pm

6.         Spanish Workshop Instructor (Senior Services)

Full Description
: Lead senior citizens to learn new skills and expand their interests! Riis Settlement is seeking volunteers to direct Spanish language workshops for senior community members of Western Queens. Workshops will introduce basic conversational Spanish to senior learners on a weekly basis.

  • Fluency or advance proficiency in Spanish
  • Prior experience working with elderly populations welcome
  • Applicants must be patient, outgoing, and have a positive attitude
Volunteer Availability: One weekday morning per week

7.         Volunteer Web Content Manager

Full Description
:  The Web Content Manager is responsible for gaining a general understanding of Riis Settlement’s organizational structure and placing relevant posts, pages and updates on the website (www.riissettlement.org) as necessary. They are also responsible for assisting with basic maintenance of the site (backups/updates) and helping to troubleshoot any issues that may arise, in conjunction with the Director of Development and Communications and the Development Associate. Generally, content will be written in advance and given to the technician for posting. There will be some light writing required as well.

  • Thorough understanding of Wordpress
  • Familiarity with dynamic widgets, plugins, and working with themes and child themes
  •  Some coding ability
  • Ability to conduct database upgrades, share social media through the website, analyze Google analytics reports, and utilize search engine optimization tools
  • Strong writing skills
  • Interest in community building and the nonprofit sector
Volunteer Availability: Approximately 4 hours/week (work remotely)

Duration of Opportunity
: Ongoing

8.         SAT and College Preparation Tutor (Information Technology High School)

SAT Prep Component: Volunteers will be responsible for tutoring students for the SAT exam, which may entail explaining major concepts to students as well as practicing test-taking strategies. Volunteers are expected to break down and explain concepts to high school students.
College Prep Component: Volunteers will guide high school seniors through the college application process and help them prepare successful admission applications. This may include providing assistance in: narrowing down college choices, completing applications, securing letters of recommendation, and successfully transitioning into college life. Volunteers will also be available to help students brainstorm, draft, and polish college essays and to help them fill out FAFSA paperwork to receive Financial Aid.

Mastery of material on SAT Exam
Strong skills in college application process
Upbeat, engaging, and supportive attitude

Volunteer Availability: Monday-Thursday 3:00-5:30 pm; at least 1 day per week commitment required
(This opportunity is located at Information Technology High School: 21-16 44th Road, Long Island City)

9.         Homework Help Tutor (Information Technology High School)

Full Description:   Tutors will provide one-on-one or small-group academic support to high school students (grades 9-12) by assisting with homework and standardized test preparation. General subject tutoring may include (but is not limited to) Math, Literature, Sciences, and History. 

Mastery of math, literature, sciences, and history at a high school level or greater.
Upbeat, engaging, and supportive attitude

Volunteer Availability: Monday-Wednesday 3:00-5:30 pm; at least 1 day per week commitment required. (This opportunity is located at Information Technology High School: 21-16 44th Road, Long Island City)

10.        Reading and Math Tutor (Elementary Level)

Full Description: Help elementary students (grades K-5) improve academic performance in reading and math! The position will take place at P.S. 166 (located at 33-09 35th Avenue in Long Island City), one of the Riis Academy partner schools of  Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House.

-Strong reading and math skills; some knowledge sciences and humanities helpful
-Enthusiasm for working with children.
-Spanish proficiency a plus. 

Volunteer Availability: At least 1 day a week (Mon-Thurs) from 3:00-4:15 p.m.

11.       Literacy Coach (Elementary Level)

Full description: 
Help elementary students to improve their literacy as a Riis Academy volunteer! Volunteers will work in small groups of students in grades K-5 after school at P.S. 166 (33-09 35th Avenue).

-Excellent reading and writing abilities
-Strong interpersonal skills
-Enthusiasm for working with young children
-Spanish language proficiency is a plus

Volunteer Availability: at least 1 day a week (Mon-Thurs) from 3:00-4:15pm

12.      Conversation Partners: Engage Students in Practicing English

Full Description: The volunteer will be involved in improving the English skills of ESOL students, and assist the class instructor in executing class activities. The position will take place at IS 126, located at 31-51 21st Street in Astoria.

-Ability to communicate orally in English.
-Basic proficiency in a second language including (but not limited to) Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, Urdu, and Farsi is a plus, but not required.
-Prior experience and comfort working with immigrant populations is preferred.

Time Availability
: Tuesdays, 7:15-8:30 pm

13.     Citizenship Class Tutor

Full DescriptionWhen immigrants to the United States officially become citizens, countless doors open for them. The volunteer tutors will help students practice the material they have learned from the Citizenship course’s curriculum, thereby preparing them for the Citizenship Exam. 

-A patient and culturally-sensitive attitude
-Basic knowledge of U.S. Government, history, and the citizenship process to complement the course instructor's curriculum
-English proficiency and effective oral communication skills

Time Availability: Every Friday 5:00-6:00 pm

14.      Individual English Language Tutor

Full Description: Matched with an individual ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)  student based on mutual time availability, volunteers will be able to provide direct assistance to adult students hoping to achieve English fluency.

-Patient and culturally-sensitive attitude
-English fluency
-Some prior experience and comfort working with immigrant populations
-Spanish proficiency is a plus, but not required

Time Availability: Arranged by tutor and student

Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House