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Literacy Volunteers of Massachusetts (LVM) believes in the power of literacy to transform lives and communities. Since 1972, LVM has trained volunteer tutors to provide free, confidential and individualized tutoring to adults in basic reading and writing, and English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
As one of our basic literacy students said, "Without the help of Literacy Volunteers I know where I'd be -- sitting on the couch staring at a brick wall. Literacy Volunteers has given me the tools to break through that barrier, and for that I thank them." LVM volunteers help adults acquire the literacy and English language skills that empower them to realize their goals. By improving their basic skills through tutoring, adults are better able to meet life's challenges, be self-sufficient, provide for their families, help their children with homework, read a daily newspaper, enjoy more independence and gain self-confidence. Prospective volunteers attend a volunteer orientation (2 hours) and successfully complete a tutor training (18 hours) in either basic literacy or ESOL prior to being certified and matched to work with a student. Volunteers then work one-to-one with a student for 2 hours per week for a minimum of 9 to 12 months at mutually convenient times and places in the community. Lessons are student-centered and individualized so that an adult is learning skills building on individual strengths in the context of what is relevant, interesting and important to the student. All tutoring services are free and confidential. After being matched, volunteers and students receive ongoing support from LVM's professional staff. Support includes newsletters, inservice trainings and other professional development opportunities, special recognition events, a reference and lending library, and regular personal assistance.