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Make a Difference: Volunteer with RISE, WMHT's Radio Reading Service

RISE would not be possible without the dedication of our volunteers from all age groups and walks of life. Though our volunteers have a diversity of backgrounds and interests, they all share a common desire: to help provide quality programming for the print disabled.

While most RISE volunteers are newspaper readers, we also produce pre-taped programs from the abundance of magazines and best-selling books available. Assignments are determined primarily by audience needs and preferences, but each volunteer's abilities and interests also play a role.

All recording for RISE programs is conducted at WMHT's studios in Troy, N.Y.

Interested in joining the team? See our volunteer description below. If, after reading it, you're ready to make a difference in the lives of the print disabled, print out this volunteer application form and send it to us at: WMHT-RISE, 4 Global View, Troy, NY 12180.

You can also call (518) 880-3400 or e-mail us for more information. Or, if you'd like to support RISE but cannot commit to a volunteer position, become a member.

Are You a Potential RISE Volunteer?

Becoming a RISE Volunteer

RISE, WMHT’s Radio Information Service for the print-disabled, broadcasts printed material and special information 24 hours a day 365 days a year. At WMHT we broadcast our own programming from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday-Friday and on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. All RISE programming is done by volunteers.

Programs originate in the RISE studios located in the WMHT Broadcast Center in Troy, N.Y. RISE is heard by means of a pre-tuned radio receiver loaned to those certified as unable to read or hold regular material, i.e. visually or physically impaired.

The success of RISE is in large part due to the hard work, talent, and dedication of our volunteers from all age groups and occupations. They have a diversity of backgrounds and interest but all share a common desire to help provide quality programming for the print disabled.

Would you like to become a RISE announcer? Before you answer, please consider the following:

Do You Have Time?

Please think very carefully about how much time you have to give. The more availability you have to offer, the easier it is to be added onto the On-Air schedule. Often newer volunteers will be on a waiting list and called for last-minute cancellations. Announcers are usually scheduled twice a month for an air shift which requires a total of three hours-one for preparation and two for actual “on-air” time. There are also opportunities to produce taped programs, a good option for those with tight schedules.

Available newspaper shifts are: Monday through Sunday 8-11 a.m. | Monday through Friday 1-4 p.m.

Most people are assigned to two reading shifts per month, according to the preferences you have marked on your volunteer application. You can read more than that if you like, or only be contacted as a substitute. Assignment to a shift is considered a commitment on the part of the volunteer. Arrangements can be made for emergency and vacation coverage: Prior notice is essential.

Do You Have the Ability?

In order to qualify, we require an oral reading audition to evaluate your reading characteristics. The audition is given, by appointment, in the RISE studios at WMHT. It will include a forty-word vocabulary test (for pronunciation purposes) and excerpts from RISE reading sources.

Desirable Reading Characteristics

1. Your dictation must be clear, distinct and readily understandable.

2. Your reading should be free from objectionable disturbances such as coughs and frequent hesitations.

3. Your reading should be appropriate to the material being presented. It should be sympathetic, not exaggerated; restrained, not stilted. You should be attentive to the sense of the material and skillful in securing proper emphasis.

4. Your reading should demonstrate an awareness of the manner in which words fit together for good verbal expression in reading aloud, especially with regard to meaning.

5. Your reading should communicate accurately the thought and ideas set forth in the printed matter.

6. Your reading should bring the material to life. It should make the listener want to hear more. The reader should have a sense of timing and an ability to express shades of emphasis.

7. Your reading should have a quality which draws the listener to your voice. Your presentation should be one which contains firmness and self-confidence, without a patronizing delivery.

8. Your reading shouldn’t be patterned or monotonous.

What About Assignments?

Newspaper readers are the primary need of RISE. Volunteer also produce special pre-taped programs from the abundance of magazines and best sellers available. Assignments will be determined by the volunteer’s availability and interest, but always with the audience preferences and the need of RISE in mind. We do not record any reading material out-of-studio (WMHT).

How Do You Apply?

We need people who want to follow the standards which have been developed to insure the quality and consistency of the RISE program. The success of the program and its contributions to the independence of the print-disabled depends on your efforts.

If you’d like to help, please fill out the volunteer application form and mail it to: WMHT/RISE, 4 Global View, Troy, N.Y. 12180

If You Decide Not to Apply

If you'd like to support RISE but cannot commit to a volunteer position, please consider becoming a member.