Literacy Volunteers: Help Students Become Published Authors at Open Books!


Cause Areas


It's flexible! We'll work with your schedule.


various locationsChicago, IL 60610
RTW Group


Read ThenWrite is an immersive reading, writing, and publishing experience for teenage authors. Our amazing volunteer coaches work with small groups of students to guide them through the entire program. Students read high-quality literature meant to engage their minds, provoke discussion, and broaden their horizons. Open Books chooses texts that echo the lives and experiences of the students in the program and complement our partner schools' existing curricula. Titles we've used include Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes, Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri, and Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman. Students write a short memoir/personal narrative. Emphasizing non-fiction writing allows students the opportunity to reflect on their lives and choices they have made - both a therapeutic and empowering experience. Students work on their pieces for many weeks, with constant oversight and caring feedback from their volunteer writing coaches. Open Books publishes the students' polished stories into a group anthology and celebrates the newly minted writers at a gala author launch in our award-winning bookstore. Students finish the program with two monumental things: a published book, and a new sense of self-confidence.

Next Steps: This is an in-school program, so locations and schedules vary by site. Read all of the details on the program and find the schedule and locations here. Then, sign up for an orientation here.


  • General Education
  • Literacy / Reading
  • Reading / Writing

Good Match For

People 55+ Group

Requirements & Commitment

  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • 2-3 hours per week for duration of session

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