Volunteer

Volunteer Opportunities

An organization is only as good as its volutneers! To join our volunteer team, fill out our Volunteer Application. To submit applications or to request more information, contact Tara Spada, tara@steinbeck.org

Please see a list of available volunteer opportunities below:


Docent

A museum docent is a creative, imaginative, enthusiastic individual who provides interpretative services to National Steinbeck Center visitors through guided tours and workshops, as well as special events such as family programs, exhibit openings, adult activities, and museum outreach programs. Must have a working knowledge of the life and work of John Steinbeck in order to provide correct answers to questions commonly asked by guests, or willing to learn that material. A docent should be able to speak in public and present information to groups of all ages in an organized and enjoyable manner. Spanish translation and speaking ability is a plus! Approximate obligation: eight hours per month. Anticipated tasks:

  • Attend informative and fun docent-training classes
  • Study selected readings and resources
  • Accompany other docents on guided tours to gain knowledge and skills in leading groups
  • Attend curatorial walk-through programs given by Curator of Exhibitions and Collections and/or attend cultural openings.
  • Assist staff in development of educational material that will be available to visitors at the front kiosk
  • Greet visitors and ask them to sign the guest book
  • Give brief orientation to Center guests
  • Stay available to answer questions and alert to activity in the Exhibition Hall
  • Enforce the rules of the galleries regarding food, drinks, noise levels, touching of exhibits, etc.
  • Alert staff if issues arise
  • Offer evaluation forms and membership forms to all guests as they leave museum
  • Reference contribution box
  • Have fun!

Writing Coach 

We always need Volunteer Writing Coaches for the Steinbeck Young Authors Program. To learn more about Volunteer Writing Coach position, please read visit the Young Author’s page and review the Coach Resources. To volunteer, please complete Coach Participation Form and email it to programs@steinbeck.org. To sign up online, click this link and fill out the form. Approximate obligation: 1 day March 4th, from 10:00-1:30.  Anticipated tasks: 

  • Be sociable and encouraging to middle school student writers
  • Read their essays thoroughly, making notes about structure, grammar, punctuation, syntax and format
  • Provide constructive but empowering critiques of their work which will encourage them to improve their writing
  • Help provide feedback for their second drafts
  • Engage them and explain how honing your own writing skills have benefited you throughout your life
  • Have lunch with the student and the rest of your fellow coaches

Skills or Credentials Needed To Be A Coach:

  • At least a High school degree or higher
  • Some writing experience, i.e., school reports, research projects, blogging, programming, website design, newspaper articles, published book, academic papers, technical writings, or simply avidly writing emails or letters to others. (You do not have to be a English Professor or published author)
  • No records or history that would impede your involvement working with children
  • A day off to join us on the Day of Writing
  • Patience and kindness when critiquing a young person’s writing