Frequently Asked Questions about volunteering
What is the volunteer commitment?
Tutoring: We ask for you to commit to working with a student for at least six months. This allows you to really get to know your learner and develop a good working relationship, which greatly benefits a student’s capacity to learn and will be a more valuable experience for you as a volunteer.
Want to tutor but unable to make a year-long commitment? We also have short-term tutoring positions available.
Co-instructors: We ask for a commitment of 2 terms (approximately 6 months). Teaching any new class has an introductory period and it will take at least a term or two to feel confident with your curriculum. Check the calendar for current term dates.
Program support: We ask for a commitment of 2 terms (approximately 6 months).
Are there volunteer opportunities that require less of a commitment?
We do! These volunteer positions include library help, doing citizenship interviews, proctoring student tests, and helping at events. Please check our current volunteer needs.
How long are Literacy Source terms?
Our terms are about 12 weeks long. We divide terms (except the short summer term) into two units with a one week break in between when we register new students. Check the calendar for current term dates.
I have never taught before, what training do you offer?
Literacy Source provides in-person and online training to all volunteers. Depending on which position you are interested in we ask you to attend between 8-12 hours of required training before starting. We encourage you to participate in many other training opportunities throughout your volunteer service with Literacy Source. All trainings are free and are open to all current Literacy Source volunteers. Check Volunteer Trainings for upcoming trainings and online training resources, and look for ongoing opportunities announced in our monthly newsletter for volunteers.
What is the process for getting matched with a student?
After your orientation, interview, and pre-service training, you will receive an email with information about a prospective student match. Students are selected based on shared availability, the interests and preferences you indicated during your volunteer interview, and student priority/need. The student’s advisor will schedule a pre-match meeting with you to go over the student’s interview, goals, level, and instructional materials that would be helpful in working with that student. The student’s advisor will then schedule a match meeting during which you and the student will get acquainted, set a schedule, sign a tutoring contract, and begin discussing what you would like to work on together.
How big are the classes at Literacy Source?
Literacy Source limits its on-site classes to 10 – 20 students per class, based on the size of the classroom. Our terms are divided into two units with a week break in between. During the break we have a New Student Orientation so you can expect new students for the second unit.
How much support will I receive as a tutor?
When you are matched with a student you will meet with their advisor who will provide you with materials and be your main resource and support. At your first meeting the advisor will provide you with information about your student, their goals, test scores, and skill levels. You will then continue to meet with the advisor and student in regular trio meetings as you progress. In addition to our regular trainings we also offer quarterly cohort meetings which provide an opportunity to meet with class instructors and fellow tutors to discuss ideas and receive support. Literacy Source advisors are always available as a resource for help with lesson planning, library materials, and online resources.
Can I observe classes before I start volunteering?
Yes! We encourage you to observe any class you are interested in.
What happens if I want to go on vacation or need to take a day off?
If you are tutoring you will manage your schedule with your student giving as much notice as you can about upcoming breaks. If you are co-instructing we ask that you try to arrange your vacations to align with our term breaks but realize this is not always possible. For this reason we have two instructors in the class to cover days off and vacations.
Where can I park?
There is a large free parking lot behind our Lake City center at 3200 NE 125th St. Please do not park in the yellow retail spaces. There are plenty of spaces to the east of our building.