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Alameda County Library

Adult Literacy: Tutors/Volunteers

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Program Mission:

By creating a supportive and vibrant adult learning community, we provide a safe environment for reading and writing practice where individuals take risks and grow towards leadership to make positive changes in their lives and communities.


WHO: Volunteer Tutors Qualifications

  • At least 18 years old
  • No degrees or diplomas needed
  • Proficient in reading and writing English
  • Patient, empathetic, and willing to learn
  • Able to commit to at least six months of service
  • Can complete timely monthly reports and evaluations
  • Participate in tutor training, seminars and roundtables


WHAT: Volunteer Tutor Service Areas

Basic Literacy learners are adults with no more than a high school education, who speak English fluently, and who want to improve their reading and writing. Basic learners come from both the U.S. and other countries, and usually enter the program reading at about a 4th grade level. Most learners are enrolled in small groups led by professional literacy instructors, but some learners come to us with short term goals which they would like to achieve with the help of an individual tutor. We are looking for volunteers to:

  • Offer individual tutoring to help learners with short term goals. Tutors may be matched with a learner according to the tutor’s skills, interests and availability. (minimum 11 hours training needed)​

English Forward learners are beginning English speakers and may or may not have had formal education in their home country.  Beginning English learners are invited to sign up for small group tutoring to build their confidence in using everyday English, such as introducing themselves, purchasing items, and using directions.  These learners need support to build their confidence to potentially pursue adult school and/or prepare for a career.  We are looking for volunteers to:

  • Facilitate and instruct small groups of beginning English language learners with basic English communication and life skills.  (minimum of 16 hours training needed)

Reading Club members are individuals improving their conversation skills through reading books in informal small groups. Second language learners enter this program reading at least at a 6th grade level.  They may have been college educated in their home country and are no longer beginning English learners, but want to work on their reading and discussion skills in order to more fully participate in American life. We are looking for volunteers to:

  • Facilitate Reading Clubs (second language) held at the library to help learners improve reading comprehension in an informal environment and enhance the joy of reading, and discussing books and sharing ideas with others.  (minimum 8 hours training needed)

Experienced volunteers can also:

  • Work individually with students who have special needs in reading and writing
  • Become volunteer assessment specialists
  • Assist in tutor training seminars
  • Provide instruction and mentoring to other volunteers
  • Coordinate literacy events and publicity
  • Be an invaluable community liaison for our program
  • Assist staff with office duties

Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer tutor.

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