VOLUNTEERING AT GaRRS
Each month, GaRRS needs at least 200 volunteers to record our various programs. We would not be able to serve our listeners without our dedicated volunteers. There are a variety of reading opportunities including books, magazines, newspapers, shopping ads, and service programs targeted to the visually-impaired. Our volunteers control their own schedules and some of our readers volunteer once a month whereas others come in a few times a week. And each recording session for a one-hour program lasts approximately two hours. Because our studio is open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, volunteers are able to record at their convenience. Volunteers can also read from home or sign up with our Columbus partner, the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries, and record in their booth.
In addition to our volunteer reading opportunities, GaRRS has needs in other areas including administrative tasks, technical assistance, promotion or publicity. If you wish to be a GaRRS volunteer, please complete the online Volunteer Application or print and send us the completed application by email at email@example.com, by fax at 404-685-2821, or by USPS to GaRRS, 260 14th Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30318. Once we receive your completed application, we will respond to your inquiry within three business days. If you have any questions, please contact us toll free at 1-800-672-6173.
Each volunteer controls his or her own schedule, but most readers read or contribute at least once a month.
In addition to the application and interview with the Volunteer Manager, readers must successfully complete an audio reading audition which takes about 20 minutes. The audition includes a 100-word pronunciation test, a short newspaper article, and a short fictional excerpt. The audition is a recorded exercise and takes place at our studios.
The audition is a "cold" reading, so good sight reading and pronunciation skills are important. Consider the following list of characteristics by which your audition will be evaluated:
- Words must be pronounced correctly, and diction should be clear, distinct, and understandable. Here are a few samples that are similar to words found in the audition: inveterate - derisive - facade - semitic - hierarchy - arduous - tenuous – choreography - perpetrated - promiscuity - La Jolla, California;
- Exhibit a pace which is easy to follow and appropriate to the material being read;
- Bring the material to life; make the listener want to hear more; convince the listener that you are interested in what you are reading;
- Your reading should:
- Flow smoothly without frequent hesitations;
- Be appropriate to the type of material being presented (i.e. expressive, not exaggerated, relaxed, not stilted).
The audition will be evaluated shortly after completion; applicants will be notified regarding the results of the audition as soon as possible. Applicants may be asked to re-take the audition at a later date or may be asked to take on another volunteer task at GaRRS.
Assignment of program and reading material (book, newspaper, magazine, service program, etc.) is determined by the volunteer and the Volunteer Manager. Assignments are based on the volunteer's interests, reading skills and schedule, and by the needs of the program. Although most reading material is furnished by GaRRS, volunteers may be asked to gather reading materials for their programs. Volunteers are not required to read anything that is personally offensive to them.
We schedule two hours of recording booth time for each 58-minute finished product. New readers may take the full two hours to complete the reading, but as readers record longer, the recording time is usually around one and a half hours for a 58-minute program.
"They say that radio is the theater of the mind and GaRRS has very energetic, committed, and dedicated readers."