The Library's Adult Literacy Service offers one-on-one tutoring to adults and young adults (16+) who wish to improve their reading and writing skills.
Current Need: Adult Basic Literacy Tutors and ESL Literacy Tutors
Beginning Basic Literacy: Beginning basic literacy students may struggle to read a simple children’s story, understand medicine labels, or fill out a job application. These learners typically need help with beginning phonics, frequently used words, and comprehension skills.
Advanced Basic Literacy: An advanced basic literacy student may read at a 4th - 6th grade level, but struggle to break down longer words and understand longer texts. Spelling and writing are often challenges for these learners as well. Vocabulary development, guided writing, and more complex comprehension strategies are generally the areas of focus for these students. These learners may be working toward obtaining their GED or enrolling in vocational or college courses.
English as a Second Language: These students have either immigrated to this area or are here temporarily before returning to their native countries. They want to speak and understand English with greater confidence and ease. Tutors often focus on conversation for meaning, pronunciation, vocabulary development and writing with ESL learners.
Our tutors come from all walks of life. We see retired teachers, recent college graduates, stay-at-home parents, students, full-time employees, and more. The one thing they have in common is the desire to help someone improve their reading and/or English skills.
Feeling intimidated? Don't! We frequently have potential tutors ask if we can use people who have never taught before, or people who don't speak Spanish, and the answer is always of course we can! What we need from our tutors is patience, and a willingness to learn alongside your student. In addition to that, we do ask that our tutors fulfill these more specific requirements:
- Satisfactorily complete our free 10-hour tutor training. Tutors are required to complete a core 10-hour training to become certified. This training will help you understand how best to work with your student, and will show you the resources we have available for you and your student to use. See the current workshop schedule for more details.
- Commit to tutor for a minimum of one year. We don't expect you to meet once a week without fail for 52 weeks--life happens, and everybody has things come up. However, working one-on-one takes trust and understanding, which take time to develop. For someone learning to read, having to switch tutors often can be discouraging, even overwhelming. Adult learners need a partner who is willing to stick with them.
- Devote 1 or more hours per week to tutoring. We will match you with a student who can meet at the same general time and place as you, and then allow the two of you to work out the details. Pairs usually meet at a library, but other public places are always an option. Our goal is for you and your student to be comfortable.
- Be 18 years or older and a high school graduate or GED recipient.
- Read and write at an 8th grade level.
- Pass a criminal history background check.