Volunteering with the Adult Literacy Project

What does a volunteer tutor do?
A volunteer tutor helps adults learn to speak, read and/or write English, or improve math skills. A tutor works either in a classroom or one-to-one with a student. Working in an English as a Second Language (ESL) or Adult Basic Education (ABE) classroom involves assisting the teacher with small group exercises and helping students who are falling behind. Tutors who work one-to-one with a student tailor sessions to meet the needs of the student. Students learning English have a variety of goals, but typically working on their conversation skills is the priority. Adult Basic Education (ABE) students generally want to learn how to read.

What kind of training do volunteer tutors receive?
Tutor training incorporates 15 hours of combined classroom observation and training held throughout the year. The training also includes self-paced online readings, information and skill building to prepare the volunteer to work with adults and to be effective as a one-to-one tutor and in the classroom setting. Materials and ongoing support are provided.

Does a tutor have to speak another language?
Absolutely not! All tutoring sessions and classes are taught in English. The students usually represent more than 30 countries from around the world.

How many hours a week does a volunteer work?
Typically a volunteer in the classroom spends one day a week for 1-1/2 hours in the class. Classes meet in the morning, afternoon and evening. Volunteers who work one-to-one with a student usually meet one day a week for 1-1/2 hours. The time and day are determined by the tutor and student's schedule. Additional time is spent in preparation and lesson planning.

Where do volunteers work?
Most volunteers work at the Waubonsee Community College Aurora Downtown Campus at 18 S. River Street. There are also volunteer opportunities at our off-site locations. These include schools, libraries and churches throughout the Waubonsee Community College district.

What kind of paperwork is involved?

There are four quarterly reports that need to be completed. This is important and enables the program to comply with grant funding. The volunteer keeps track of tutoring hours, travel time and preparation time.

How long is a tutor's commitment?
Volunteers are asked to make a commitment of six months. The program has volunteers who have been giving their time for more than 20 years!

What characteristics are necessary for tutor success?
Volunteer tutors are required to have a high school diploma and to speak English. Other qualifications for success include patience, appreciation of cultural diversity, commitment to literacy, and an ability and willingness to communicate with a wide range of personalities, cultures and age groups.

How does a volunteer enroll?
Complete the volunteer application. The Volunteer Tutor Coordinator will call to welcome you and answer any further questions. Please call the coordinator at (630) 801-7900, ext. 4221 if you have further questions or would like to have a packet mailed to you.


Volunteer Tutor Coordinator
Aurora Downtown Campus Rm 460
(630) 801-7900, ext. 4661