Becoming a volunteer adult literacy tutor

Would you like to help make a powerful, positive difference in another person's life - and in your own? When you become a volunteer tutor in the Oakland Public Library's adult literacy program you can do just that. Since 1984, Second Start volunteers have provided vital tutoring services to adults who want to improve their basic reading and writing skills. The program matches volunteer tutors one-to-one with adult literacy students. Tutors and students meet at libraries all over Oakland at times that are convenient for both the student and the tutor. Tutoring pairs focus on students' learning goals, and in the process, they make a wonderful difference in families, work places, and communities throughout Oakland.

As a volunteer, we will ask you to make at least a six-month commitment to tutoring in Second Start. There can be a learning curve to one-to-one tutoring, and we want you to have the time to experience progress and growth in your tutoring relationship. Of course, we hope you will enjoy tutoring so much that you stay on with us longer than six months!

We will also ask you to complete a 15-hour tutor training workshop, regardless of any teaching experience you might already have. Your participation in the workshop is very important. Not only will you learn tutoring techniques that will help you feel confident as a tutor, you will also meet a wonderful group of peers and become part of a vibrant learning community.

We ask that volunteers be available to tutor once or twice a week, for an hour to two hours each session. The more time slots you have open, the easier it is to match you with someone.

In addition to these commitments, volunteer tutors in Second Start are 18 years of age or older, speak English clearly enough to community with adult learners and program staff, and feel confident about their own reading and writing skills. Flexibility, patience, and sensitivity are critical!

Volunteer Tutor Training

Second Start's free 15-hour training workshop provides volunteers the tools they need to succeed as a tutor. Here's what some recent tutor training graduates had to say:

"I have attended a lot of trainings and workshops and staff development over lots of years. Your training is an A+ and so are you. (I know it's not about the grade!)"

"I had a great experience and learned a lot."

"Your organization of materials, presentation, group and individual work were all top notch!"

"I was a public school teacher for 3 decades and this was a workshop that was as exemplary as they come!"

You, too, can be a proud graduate of Second Start's tutor training workshop. Join us to learn a lot, have vast amounts of fun, and be part of a pretty terrific group of people - volunteer adult literacy tutors!