Library--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.--Youth Services

Virtual Volunteering - Teen Speech & Debate Instructor (Virtual)

Speech & Debate: Global Citizenship educates 3rd-5th graders about controversial, underrepresented issues. In addition to teaching public speaking, argumentative, and rhetorical skills, this series also includes elements of Social-Emotional Learning. The course is run with the support of high school volunteers under the guidance of a Youth Services Librarian.

Until further notice, this is a virtual opportunity conducted through Zoom.

How You Will Make a Difference

As a high school student and Speech and Debate instructor, you will be working with an age group oft-neglected in cultural literacy and advocacy efforts to learn what our current education system may not teach. You will be helping elementary schoolers develop a level of awareness and understanding often not attained until later in their teenage years.


  • Encourages important discussions amongst community youth
  • Connect you with your community and provides a desired service
  • Share or gain experience with program management skills
  • Develop mentoring skills


Willingness to teach the entire 6 weeks  (every Thursday, Oct. 21th - Dec. 9th, with the exception of Nov. 11th and Nov. 25th) from 4-6pm. Attend a 30-60 minute weekly briefing on Tuesdays at 4pm (every Tuesday from Oct. 19th - Dec. 7th, with the exception of Nov. 9th and Nov. 23rd) to prepare for Thursday's class.  Attend a 2-3 hour training on Zoom the week of Oct. 4th-8th. Teens who are new to volunteering at San Jose Public Library will also need to complete the Volunteer online tutorial and submit an Online Volunteer Signature Form signed by your legal guardian.

Prospective volunteers should:

  • Be in High School and aged 14-17
  • Be willing, interested and comfortable engaging with youth
  • Be creative and possess a willingness to learn and increase students’ public speaking skills and confidence
  • Have an SJPL library card

Special Skills

  • Speech and debate experience is highly desired, but not required
  • Knowledge of library databases is highly desired, but not required

Technology Requirements

Virtual volunteers require access to either a:

  • Desktop computer
  • Laptop
  • Tablet
  • Or device that can connect to the internet and has a microphone and camera

Qualifications Required

  • Age Must be at least 13+
  • Oral and written communication skills in English Must be at least High