Five Steps to Becoming a Tutor

Sign up for tutor training today.

Here’s how to volunteer to be a tutor:

Step 1: Contact the Literacy Council >>

Step 2: Attend orientation >>

Step 3: Attend tutor training >>

Step 4: Be matched with a student >>

Step 5: Begin teaching >>


Step 1:   Contact the Literacy Council.

Call us at 828-254-3442, or drop an e-mail to volunteers@litcouncil.com.

We’ll provide you with information about being a volunteer tutor and the Orientation and Tutor Training Schedule.   If you want to continue, just tell us which Orientation session you want to attend.   We’ll get you signed up and you’re on your way!


Step 2:   Attend orientation.

The hour-and-a-half Orientation Session is a fun way to get introduced to the Literacy Council and our tutoring programs.   It is a highly interactive meeting led by our Recruitment and Awareness Coordinator and attended by those who want to tutor in either the Adult Ed or ESOL program.

At the end of the Orientation Session, you can decide if you want to continue as a volunteer tutor. If so, you will select either the Adult Education or the ESOL tutor track and sign up to attend training.

Attendance at an Orientation Session is a requirement before you can enter the Tutor Training class.   Orientation Sessions fill up quickly, so be sure to contact us and register at least a month in advance.


Step 3:   Attend tutor training.

Depending on your chosen tutor track, you will participate in fifteen hours of either Adult Education or ESOL Tutor Training lead by the Program Director.

Our volunteer training is based on proven methods for teaching reading and language. Our approach is to equip tutors to provide highly individualized instruction that is learner-centered and life-skills based.   While the Adult Ed and ESOL training curricula differ, both programs are highly interactive and incorporate demonstration of teaching techniques, group exercises, and practice sessions.

You will cover the following:

  • Social issues facing non-readers.
  • Unique challenges to adult learners.
  • Principles of reading and language acquisition.
  • Instruction methods and techniques.
  • Lesson planning.
  • Materials and resources available from the Literacy Council.
  • Monitoring and reporting student progress.

The training plan includes:

  • Orientation – 1 session, 1 ½ hours.
  • Classroom Training – 4 sessions, 2 ½ hours each.
  • Student Match Meeting – 1 hour.
  • In-Service Training – 1 ½ hours, two to three months after becoming a tutor.
  • Online Training – 1 ½ hours, optional.
  • Observation of veteran LCBC tutors-two to four hours, optional.


Step 4:   Be matched with a student.

Adult Education Tutors

ESOL Tutors

  • The Adult Ed Coordinator will assign you to a student.   This can take anywhere from one to six weeks.
  • The Adult Ed Coordinator will contact your student and arrange for the first meeting.   You and your student will agree on the time and place.
  • You will work with your student to set goals for his/her personal reading program.
  • The ESOL Coordinator will assign you to either a small group class or an individual student, depending on your preference.   A student match can happen immediately since we have a waiting list of students looking for an ESOL tutor.
  • The ESOL Coordinator will call your student and arrange for the first meeting.   You and your student will agree on the time and place.
  • You will work with your student to set goals for his/her personal ESOL learning program.


Step 5:   Begin teaching.

Now you’re a full-fledged tutor!   You are giving your student the gift of reading – a gift that can change his/her life forever.

You will meet with your student for two hours per week.   You will monitor and report the progress of your student, consult with your Program Director to plan changes to the student’s learning program, and administer an annual test that measures achievement.

We also hope you will share your stories with us.   How did you learn about the Literacy Council?   Why did you decide to become a volunteer tutor?   What has volunteering meant in your life?   In your student’s life?   Your stories reinforce the importance and value of our work with our donors and partners.   They also give potential students the courage they need to take that first step and become a student.   Just by sharing your story – even anonymously – you help others attain the gift of reading.

Congratulations!   You are now a volunteer tutor!


View the Tutor Orientation and Training Schedule>>

Read success stories >>



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Thank you…

…to the over 200 volunteers who donate more than 14,000 hours each year. Without you and the work you do, the Literacy Council could not exist.