How can teenagers who speak English spread goodwill overseas? By giving English lessons (and picking up phrases in other languages)… a new model for volunteering

Building International Bridges with BIBPenpals

How to get volunteer hours while learning another language

Many students are asked by schools to collect documents that show “I completed 40 hours of service to the community.”

➤ Picking up garbage from the beach

➤ Spending time with older people at a retirement home

➤ Tutoring younger kids

What if there were a way of using computers to build bridges between nations?



Your Need: Volunteer hours


The Community’s Need: “Please help me learn English”


BIBPenpals: the wordpress blog


Paperwork: The Documents

(How to get your volunteer hours documented)


Examples: Davit


The Forms


Start your own BIBPenpals

Attract people with a need

Create an organization with a mission

Set up a document

Keep records


Drive: Building International Bridges

We are transparent


Write to BIB

You can start by looking at some videos


Your Need: Volunteer hours

Go ahead. Look for ways to accumulate “volunteer hours.”

Search: “list of suggestions for volunteer hours for teenagers”

50 Community Service Ideas for Teen Volunteers — TeenLife

Mar 20, 2014 — Volunteer Opportunities for Teens …. i was wondering if helping out in an office without getting paid qualifies as community service hours?

Volunteer Opportunities · ‎Tutoring & Test Prep · ‎Susan G. Komen for the Cure

You visited this page on 9/15/16.

Volunteer Opportunities For Teens | TeenLife

Explore Volunteer Opportunities on TeenLife. … remember helping the neighbor with her groceries or babysitting for the kids down the street a couple hours for .

Community Service Hours for Teens: Samaritan … — VolunteerMatch


Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice offers the opportunity to serve your community through “Community Service Hours for Teens”. This is an ongoing opportunity …

Teen Volunteering Made Easy

… that helps teenage high school students find volunteering opportunities to not only better … but also to fill their high school’s required community service hours.

[PDF]Youth Volunteer Fact Sheet.qxp

Corporation for National and Community Service

the first major federal survey of volunteering by teenagers in more than a decade. The survey … 55 Percent of Youth Volunteer … 1.3 billion hours of community.

Volunteering Ideas for Teenagers — FamilyEducation

Find out how a little bit of volunteer work can lead to a great job.

Community Service and Volunteering by Teens

Identify how many hours you are hoping to volunteer each week and each month. Do not think that you will volunteer in your spare time; set a schedule for your …

Hmmm…. Is there another way?

Is there a way of using your skills on the computer to connect with people who need your skills?


The Community’s Need:

“Please help me learn English”

From: “Ali Abdullah” <>

Date: 25 Aug 2016 4:45 p.m.

Subject: For learning english.become teacher

To: <>

hellow sir i m from pakistan i realy like your way of teaching you are great in the world .i mean you are the best teacher in the world i want to become your student .will you teach me english .and pleas tell me your fee .i m creazy for learning english. please give me answer.

This is a message to U.S. Teenagers (and others who speak English) — you can share your skill and gain access to the knowledge of culture and cities in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. It’s not easy and it’s not free:

1) You need to listen (it takes patience)

2) You must devote some time (and your time is NOT free)

REWARDS: you get to “meet” online with interesting people like:

Learn more by going to this video channel



the wordpress blog

Jair is a teacher in Brazil. His students are teenagers who want to learn English. Please contact him:

His Skype is jayfilho18

I have been a teacher of English since 1996 and I have met 16 students who were as enthusiastic about learning English as this person is. I share this letter with you because I want people who know English to help Lucinda find the fluency that she seeks. == Steve, BIBPenpals


My name is Lucinda, i am very exciting to receive your email! and thanks for your kindly lesson.

here are the answers to those five questions below.

1. What do you do in your free time?

do some reading. or walking around with my boyfriend.

2. What cities do you want to visit someday?

Taiwan!!! i will go there by myself someday. and i hope i can settle down in south Taiwan.

3. Describe a plot for a great movie or story.

well recently i finished a Brazilian movie called <the centre station>. it’s a story about a single woman traveled with a child who was looking for his father. actually the woman wanted to abandon the boy in the midst of the way but finally kept her pledge for the boy. the great plot is the moment the boy bought a new dress for the woman — yes, they became very closed friend or even family member after they went through some unforgettable things with each other.

4. Take photos of your city and describe something in the photo.

here is an old residential compound which located in XihuRoad, Yuexiu district, has a very long history for about 200 years(i am not sure!) do you believe that — i have been living in here for 13 years!! but i am going to move cuz of the preserving of this old courtyard.

it’s beautiful right? (actually i cant find a proper word to describe it.) it’s a school for people very long ago.

yes, this building and i are old friends, we meet each other every every every day!! it was a kindergarten before, and i am sorry to say my old friend was “hurt” by people at that time…however it’s nice now! many people come and take photoes every day.

last photo! this is the path to my home. it’s little dark and damp, but i love it.

i hope you will like my courtyard and welcome! by the way, it called “ancestral hall of He”(chinese is何家祠) in Liushuijing(chineses is 流水井)

5. tell me about 5 interesting websites and 5 interesting videos that you have seen on or whatever you watch. What are the best sites?

well i am sorry to tell that i seldom use internet through pc…so…the answer to this question is not satisfying…but i can tell you my favorate video is a japanese carton..<my family>..well..i am ashamed for that…

the best sites for finding videos is i think. actually it makes no diffrence between, but i will find videos on tudou instead of youku.

looking forward to hearing you soon!

Lucinda’s email is 郭潞


Then I asked Lucinda if it is okay to post these photos… and she replied like this:


It’s my pleasure to share! no need to hide my name, that’s not something secret.

i am happy that you commend my english. but i have to say my english is not very outstanding among the people at my age.(i am 23 years old and have finished my collage few months ago) because of the lake of practice, i am not very fluent in oral english.(like many chinese english learners)

If you ask me how to learn, i will tell “reading loudly”. yes, just reading can help me so much — pick a piece of english article, under line all the words i dont know, make sure i can understand the words the sentances.( maybe pick one with chinese translation.) and, read them loudly!! make myself heard at least by myself. till ican read it very fluently without anything i dont understand. then pick another piece, go on!(actually, after four or five times of reading, i can read it very fluently.)

this method magically helps me remember all the new words in the article however i never do anything with the words — i just read them, over and over. and the grammar. yes, i learned how to express thanks to the article. sometimes i can recite some sentances when i am walking or watching tv. and i know i put these sentances into my mind.

Yours, Lucinda



The Steps

(How to get your volunteer hours documented)

Here are the procedures for high school students to get volunteer hours

Go to

Watch the video.

1. Find people to write to in other countries

You can find people on

Look for Steve’s “friends” (former students of English) at on Facebook.

I’ll “accept” you as friends and then you can see my friends and write to them….

2. Keep records of your email messages and chats. If you chat on Skype, send a text message at the beginning and end of the chat to show your time involved.

3. Send records to


Here is a collection of photos from Armenia…

Go ahead: Look up “wiki armenia history” and find out some of the difficulties that teenagers in Armenia live with.

Teachers: You can become a BIBPenpal and then invite your students to interact through you.

You can print an email message from the BIBPenpal and your students can correct the English grammar. Then some students might have questions, so that becomes the next email reply to the BIBPenpal.

Put all of the wording into a blog or copy the email messages in a document on Google Drive. That’s all evidence of “work done” for BIBPenpals and those efforts are equal to “volunteer hours.”


The Forms

I’m not a “form” kind of guy. However, it might help to have the following items in every sheet that is submitted:

Your name

Date of contact

Amount of time spent in the email or Skype conversation

Subject of your talk and an example from the messages. I want to check your level of grammar instruction.

You can improve your English while learning phrases from other languages.

Here is the original brochure (which you can copy, improve, use to start your own Penpal organization):


You have Internet skills: Facebook, email, how to use Youtube to place a video of your school in easy reach of millions of people…

Why not get some community service hours using those skills to improve the lives of other people?

I am a teacher of English as a second language. Teenagers from Europe, South America, Africa and Asia come to Florida to improve their accents every summer. They return to their countries and ask me to find local U.S. teenagers so they can continue to improve their English.

You have what billions of people want: the U.S. accent. My students know British English, but they want to speak like you — you will help with “accent reduction.”

If you choose to participate in this helpful mission, there are some rules:

a) Ask your parents to sit with you during the first contact by Skype.

b) If you feel uncomfortable, stop the contact and talks with your parents. ALSO: report the incident to You should feel respected at every moment of the Skype call and there should be polite discussions in email and text chat.

c) Send me a copy of all email messages and Skype chat messages. I will use those records to calculate the hours of volunteer time.

d) Please request a letter for “confirmation of volunteer hours” once a month.

Message to Parents

For this project to work successfully, your help is needed. Since you are a savvy worldly wise person, you can size up a person who wants to learn English: Is the person polite?

The people listed on this web page are students that I have taught. I have additional lists of people who have asked for free English lessons but I have not taught them face-to-face. They appear to be sincere people and they are desperate to improve their English.

➤ Encourage contact between people

➤ Encourage teenagers to donate time and skills

➤ Identify skills that teenagers have (so the teens can help someone and become “industrious,” as Erik Erikson suggests is a need for young people).


Write to BIB

Someday the person who currently holds the password to the gmail account and the Wordpress account for BIB Penpals will be gone.

Who will continue the work of the project?

You? You are reading this page. You have the power in you to ask to become a manager of a part of this large enterprise. Or perhaps you know a young person who could become the next manager of BIB Penpals.

Yes, you.

Volunteers are needed. Contact Steve at (954) 646 8246

Or send an email message to