Learn about our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Resources Programming Changes

Work with Adults

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, adult and children's literacy programs are currently unable to start new volunteers. You are welcome to fill out an interest form, but please note that it is uncertain when new volunteers will be needed.*


Why we need you

Without literacy, it’s almost impossible to succeed in school, support your family and contribute to your community. Literacy programs across Minnesota rely on thousands of volunteers like you to help adults learn English, earn their GED and gain the skills they need to achieve their goals.


When adults reach their educational goals, families and communities grow stronger. Help make life-changing learning a reality for everyone by becoming a literacy volunteer now. 

  • Assist in a classroom: Provide individualized attention to students during class time and help with large or small group activities. Volunteers are paired with a teacher who plans lessons and leads the class.
  • Teach or co-teach: Lead a small class of adult learners. Teaching resources and support from staff are provided. Volunteers plan lessons based on the class curriculum. Completion of a Pre-Service Tutor Training is required. 
  • Tutor one-to-one: Work individually with students to assist them in their learning goals.
  • Assist with administrative support and learner intake: Help literacy programs with administrative tasks to ensure that the program runs smoothly. Assist new students as they register and take a placement test.
  • Substitute teach: Substitute teaching is an option for those looking for a leadership opportunity with a flexible schedule.

What does it take to volunteer?

  • Dependability, promptness, patience, flexibility, and friendliness
  • Attend required training sessions
  • Ability to relate to people from many backgrounds
  • A willingness to provide respectful, relevant instructional content
  • A willingness to work together with and take direction from program staff
  • Be 18 years of age or older (at most locations)

Fostering relationships with students and providing continuity of learning is an important way that volunteers build their teaching skills and improve learning outcomes. 

  • About 2-3 hours per week (depending on the position)
  • A minimum of 3 or 4 months (depending on the location)

If you're considering becoming a volunteer, we invite you to attend a New Volunteer Information Session. You'll learn about the many opportunities to get involved and how you can use your unique talents and skills to improve the lives of learners. Find out if literacy volunteering is the right fit for you. 

Sign up for a new Volunteer information session

Looking for full-time service opportunities? 

Our AmeriCorps VISTA programs offer extended service opportunities to build and support literacy initiatives in low-income communities.

Learn about AmeriCorps Vista