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Work with Adults

Volunteer with adult literacy

Tutor adult immigrants, refugees and native-born Minnesotans as they learn English, study for the GED test, practice computer basics or improve their reading and writing skills. Join this important work by volunteering with Literacy Minnesota. 

We have remote and in-person volunteer opportunities available. Check out the information below to get started.

Questions? Contact Wendy at wroberts@literacymn.org. We can't wait to hear from you!

1.) Complete a Volunteer Interest Form to help us match you with a fun, rewarding volunteer opportunity. Please note that this is not an application to volunteer. Once you have selected a site to volunteer with, you will be directed to the application.

2.) 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 support learners. Find out if literacy volunteering is the right fit for you. (Please note that due to COVID-19, New Volunteer Information Sessions are temporarily suspended through the end of August.)

3.) Attend training. We recommend starting with the Remote Tutoring 101 webinar. This webinar will provide you with best practices for communicating with learners remotely, and it is required at many adult literacy programs. You can find upcoming dates and times and register for the training online.

4.) Choose a volunteer literacy program based on your interests, skills, location and scheduling needs. View current volunteer opportunities. **We can help with this step!** We can send you site recommendations and help you narrow down a site or volunteer role.

5.) Contact the volunteer coordinator to express your interest, ask questions and discuss next steps to getting started. **We can help with this step!** In addition to helping you narrow down a site, we would be happy to put you in touch with the volunteer coordinator. This is the step where you will be directed to the application to volunteer. Each site has their own application and screening process.

6.) Schedule a site orientation. Each site's orientation is different, but they usually include policies and procedures, observing classes, meeting staff and volunteers and learning about the curricula.

7.) Begin volunteering, and please keep in touch with us. Literacy Minnesota provides useful resources to help you in your work, including weekly email tutor tips, free Equity, Culture and Teaching workshops and a monthly tutor e-newsletter.

Do you have questions? Contact Wendy at wroberts@literacymn.org any time!

  • 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.
  • No experience or diploma needed – we’ll provide all necessary training
  • English speakers of all levels are welcome and encouraged to volunteer
  • We will match you with a program in your neighborhood at a time that works for you
  • Must be 18 years old to volunteer
  • We strongly encourage volunteers who are people of color, indigenous, immigrants and refugees, LBGTQ+ and people with disabilities.

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)

Contact Wendy at wroberts@literacymn.org.

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