Adult Literacy

The Adult Literacy program teaches reading, writing, spelling, and math to adults who read at or below a basic skills level. This program serves approximately 50 students per year. Students come to the Literacy Council because they want to improve job prospects, help their children in school, enroll in a High School Equivalency program, and better navigate the world around them.

Tutoring takes place for one hour twice each week at times and locations that are mutually convenient for students and their tutors. 

Although English is their native language, Adult Literacy students struggle with recognizing individual sounds, written words, and comprehending a sentence or longer passage.  They comprise a diverse group in terms of educational background, socio-economic status, personal goals, and learning styles. Many are challenged by learning differences such as dyslexia. All Adult Literacy students courageously take the step to give reading another chance.

Instructional Tools

The Literacy Council first assesses Adult Literacy students to determine their reading level, learning barriers, and personal goals.  Then, students are matched one-on-one and in small groups with trained volunteer tutors who provide highly individualized instruction to meet students’ unique needs. The Literacy Council trains tutors in the research-based Orton-Gillingham methodology and uses the Wilson Reading System curriculum. Tutors use a multi-sensory approach to reading – using sight, sound, touch – to make learning both fun and relevant to a student’s everyday life.  Tutors often help students practice new reading skills in their day-to-day lives.

Becoming a Volunteer Tutor

Should I be a tutor? What’s involved? Email or call (828) 254-3442 x 204 to learn more and sign up for upcoming orientations. Click here to read more about the tutor training.

Referring a Student

Most Adult Literacy students come to the Literacy Council through referrals. Because it can be intimidating for an adult to disclose reading struggles, the Literacy Council reaches out to the community to identify and recruit Adult Literacy students.  Our sustained success depends on you – family, neighbors, employers, co-workers, educators, clergy, and social services agencies – to help adults get the help they need. Click here to learn more and contact the Literacy Council at or 828-254-3442 x202 to refer an adult in need of literacy assistance.


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