Volunteer With Our ‘Avi Program’


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The Rhode Island Historical Society runs a robust elementary school walking tour called the “Avi Program” every spring and fall. This tour is based on Avi’s book Something Upstairsset in the Fox Point area. While relying on literary tropes like time travel and ghosts, this book’s plot centers on slavery in Rhode Island in the 1790s. Since its publication in 1988, it has become a favorite read for schools throughout the state as children and adults find several topics with which they can engage.

As this program grows annually, RIHS is looking for guides to fill our walking tour guide roster. If you’re interested in teaching early Rhode Island history through the context of a local literary favorite, we want you! All guides must be able to traverse a couple of miles comfortably, enjoy working with 9- to 11-year-old children, and pass an interview process and background check. Some teaching experience is preferred.

This four-week training – Thursdays, March 9, 16, 23, and 31, from 10am to noon – will include conversations about the book, historical background of Providence, and how to lead a walking tour for students. Volunteers will be provided all necessary materials, as well as mentorship by experienced staff and guides.

If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Jennifer Wilson, Assistant Director of Education, at jwilson@rihs.org or (401) 331-8575, ext. 360.