The mission of Memorial Assistance Ministries (MAM) is to ensure that families have the means to meet their basic needs. The Literacy Advance program at MAM works alongside adults to improve their English language and literacy skills so that they can... Read more
The mission of Memorial Assistance Ministries (MAM) is to ensure that families have the means to meet their basic needs. The Literacy Advance program at MAM works alongside adults to improve their English language and literacy skills so that they can achieve their goals of becoming engaged members of our Houston community.
Volunteers work with small groups of adults who are learning English (speaking and listening focus). Our approach empowers and equips volunteers to lead small groups in learning together around a table, rather than a "lecture-from-the-front" method, encouraging students to speak as much as possible.
Adults in English classes are placed according to their ability level, in groups of around 5 - 8 learners. Volunteers do not need to speak another language to lead a class, as we strongly encourage all classes to be conducted in English. This program is known as ESL (English as a Second Language). We provide training, resources, and plenty of support.
Volunteers have flexibility when selecting a schedule from a variety of options, across three semesters every year. Core classes are held twice a week (Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday for 2 hours each lesson) or once a week (Friday or Saturday, for 3 hours each lesson). Each core class meets for a total of 48 hours of class time - classes that meet twice a week are scheduled for 12 weeks, and classes that meet once a week are scheduled for 16 weeks.
There are other, shorter, options for supplemental classes; these vary so get in touch to learn more!
Literacy Advance of Houston is a great place to volunteer. They are highly organized and appreciative. It really feels good to be part of this organization - working (and having fun) with the staff, students and other volunteers.
Volunteering as an ESL tutor with Literacy Advance is extremely rewarding because it offers the chance to directly improve lives. My students have benefitted from my instruction, and I have benefitted from their courage and positive outlook as well as learning about different cultures. The training and support are exemplary, and working with these adult students has been FUN!
The emotional payoff you get from helpng someone do something you do so simply and naturally, speaking English and reading and writing, is fantastic! Literacy Advance of Houston makes it easy, comfortable, and convenient to volunteer, and the learners will inspire you at every interaction. Being involved with this incredible group of people has enriched my life in so many ways, and every other volunteer I've encountered here expresses the same opinion.
I have volunteered with many different organizations and Literacy Advance is by far the best! For the past three years, I have been tutoring ESL classes and leading trainings for new tutors. Literacy Advance classes are free to students. Because of this, they are so appreciative and grateful to the tutors. It is an incredibly rewarding experience to see them improve as they learn new vocabulary and gain confidence in English. What makes Literacy Advance exceptionally, though, is the support the volunteers receive from the staff. From the fantastic training session to the everyday communications and announcements, the staff ensures that volunteers are equipped to be great tutors, even if it is their first time in a tutoring role. I highly recommend Literacy Advance. Volunteering with them is a wonderful experience. Seeing a student get a new job or get their driver's license because of the English skills they have gained in your class is unforgettable!
I have been involved with Literacy Advance of Houston for 12 years and it gets better every year. With marvelous & enthusiastic staff and volunteers, lives are being changed. New English speakers and new readers learn to venture into our community and improve their lives and the lives of their families - in the process the improve Houston as well. I have been a tutor which is so much fun and so interesting. I have also trained new tutors so that more people can be helped. I would wholeheartedly encourage anyone with an interest to contact Literacy Advance and get involved.