Become a Volunteer
Who is a volunteer?
Under Act 15 of 2015 (the Act), which amends the provisions of the Child Protective Services Law, volunteers who are responsible for the child’s welfare or who have “direct volunteer contact” with children at a school— meaning the care, supervision, guidance, or control of children and routine interaction with children will be required to have background checks. The Act clarifies that “routine interaction” means “regular and repeated contact that is integral to a person’s employment or volunteer responsibilities.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Education's view is that mere visitors are not normally required to obtain background checks to the extent that such visitors are not responsible for a child’s welfare or are visiting the school irregularly and not providing for the care, supervision, guidance, or control of children. Some examples of situations where such visitors normally would not be required to have background checks would include but are not limited to: Back-to-School nights, parent/teacher conferences, school assemblies, school concerts, assisting with school birthday parties, parent guest readers, chaperones for field trips and dances (so long as not routine or responsible for the child’s welfare), Halloween parades, collecting tickets to sporting events, working concession stands, participating in “Career Day,” Etc. In this capacity, school visitors do not need clearances. By contrast, persons who are responsible for the child’s welfare or who wish to visit the school regularly to serve as volunteers and to provide for the care, supervision, guidance, or control of children would be required to have background checks. Some examples of persons needing background checks would include but not be limited to regular classroom volunteer assistants, recess and library volunteers, and volunteer coaches/club advisors.
Who can help?
If you have you any questions about volunteering in the Reading SchoolDistrict or you need assistance with the Reading School District Volunteer Application and/or obtaining your checks and clearances, please call the Reading School District Office of Human Resources at 484-258-7010 or stop by the Administration Building at 800 Washington Street.
How can I become a Reading School District volunteer?
- Step 1:
Download and complete the Reading School District Volunteer Application.
- Step 2:
Complete the Pennsylvania Criminal History Background Check
Select "“New Record Check” - Volunteers Only
- Step 3:
Complete the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance
Log in to Child Welfare Portal and access your clearance or create a new account and apply for a clearance
- Step 4:
a. Complete the FBI Criminal History Record (fingerprinting) if you have not lived in Pennsylvania continuously for more than 10 years. Note, FBI Criminal History certifications obtained through the Department of Human Services will also be accepted by the District.
Access Identogo and begin application using service code
b. Or complete the Volunteer Disclosure Statement if you have lived in Pennsylvania continuously for more than ten years
Link: Volunteer Disclosure Statment
- Step 5:
Submit your completed volunteer application, Pennsylvania Criminal History Background Check, Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance and FBI Criminal History Record or Volunteer Disclosure Statement to the main office of the school where you plan to volunteer or to the Reading School District Human Resources Department, located at 800 Washington Street, Reading.
- Step 6:
Volunteer FBI Background Check (COST $$)
All school volunteers must now obtain a volunteer Service Code from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS). This change is in response to a bulletin issued by DHS that indicates all individuals governed by the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) must obtain clearances through DHS. This change includes all public, private, and nonpublic school volunteers. To obtain a volunteer Service Code, individuals must contact DHS directly at 1-877-371-5422 or RA-PWCPSLQUESTIONS@pa.gov.
- Step 1:
The district has established a Knight's Closet at each of our school buildings to help students in need, particularly those who are homeless or at-risk. Our goal in creating the Knight Closet is to meet students basic needs with items such as food, clothing, hygiene products and school supplies. We are hopeful by fulfilling these needs students will be able to focus on their education. If you would like to donate to Knight's Closet, please contact social worker/RHS homeless liaison Leanne Eckenrode at 610-371-5705 Ext. 81401. Monetary donations are accepted and can be made payable to RHS Knight Closet.
Donors Choose Projects
Support a teacher's special classroom project through DonorsChoose.org, an online crowdfunding tool. Funded RSD projects have included bean bag chairs for flexible seating, chair pockets to organize classroom materials and acoustic guitars for an innovative guitar lab. Click here to visit DonorsChoose and see a full list of approved projects.
For questions about donating:
For questions about volunteering:
Human Resource Generalist
We always appreciate the kindness and generosity of our community. If you, your organization or your business would like to donate school supplies, please note our most requested supplies are listed below. In addition, you can work directly with our RSD schools to "adopt" a specific building, classroom or grade level.
- Hand sanitizer
- No. 2 pencils
- Crayola crayons and markers
- Two-pocket folders
- Copy paper
- School uniforms, including solid-color polo shirts and khaki pants