Contact Info

  • PO Box 2955 Westerly, RI 02891

  • info@openingdoorswesterly.org

  • facebook.com/openingdoorswesterly

Contact Us

We hope that you will consider joining our outstanding group of volunteers. We are forever grateful to them for their commitment to the children of Westerly.

Volunteer

Volunteers are paid in six figures…SMILES! (Gayle LaMaire) This is definitely true for our ODWC alliance of volunteers. Dozens of dedicated women and men give generously of their time to support children’s literacy in our community. They are met with smiles and gratitude from the children, families and school staff, alike.

Our volunteers engage in a variety of activities that benefit the children of low income families who attend the Westerly Schools. They gather to distribute new backpacks, filled with school supplies, necessary for each school year. They participate in Book Parties, guiding children in selecting treasured books for their personal libraries, sharing read-alouds, assisting with craft activities and serving special treats to mark the occasion.

Many volunteers make weekly visits to our local Head Start and elementary schools. They work one-on-one or in small groups; reading to and listening to young readers, and supporting the children in honing their literacy skills.

Vicky Saglio is one of our many wonderful volunteers. She has charming anecdotes to share about her experiences with the children. “I know it sounds corny, but we learn so much from them [the children.] It is so nice for me to be with the children because I miss my own grandchildren. It connects me to the community, too.” 

Becoming a volunteer is an easy process and a rewarding venture. All you need is a love children and a little time to spare. There are two main volunteer opportunities available. The first is reading with children in the Westerly Schools during the school year, usually one hour per week. No special skills or training are required; however, we occasionally offer workshops on how to support developing readers. Mrs. Anita Guarnieri, Reading Specialist at the Springbrook School, has been very generous with her time and expertise. The second is participating in Book Parties. This occurs once at each elementary school; and includes distributing books and backpacks, as possibly reading aloud to a group of children, assisting with a craft project or serving ice cream. Each Book Party requires approximately two hours of your time. You can volunteer for one or more Book Parties. 

All volunteers must go through a simple and cost free process for security clearance. There are three forms to fill out, two of which can be done on line. The third must be brought to the Westerly Police Department. Go to westerly.k12.ri.us, press the Community tab at the top and find volunteers in the drop down. Press volunteers and you will see the three bullets (in blue) for the forms. There is also a complete explanation for the process on this page. 

If you are interested, or have any questions, please fill in the confidential form on this page. It is not a commitment, just an indication of interest. You will be contacted by Volunteer Coordinator, Pam Stewart. You may also contact her directly at pbls1@verizon.net.