Literacy Source is committed to your success as a volunteer by providing training throughout your volunteer service. 

New volunteers who do not have prior training should participate in 10 hours of training in their first year. Returning or already trained volunteers should make a training plan with staff, and are invited to attend all trainings. If you are a current volunteer you are welcome to attend any of our trainings. 

Our trainings are free to all Literacy Source volunteers, however we do ask for a donation for book fees for some of our trainings. Please check your confirmation email for information when you sign up.

In-Person Trainings

Our trainings are open and free to all current Literacy Source volunteers, and pre-registration is required. Please see a list of upcoming trainings on our events page.


Online Trainings

Orientation to Volunteering in Literacy

Principles of Adult Learning – (1.5 hours or less) – Required for all volunteers

In this online training you’ll learn about:

  • How life experiences and challenges affect adults’ learning processes

  • How students’ challenges can result in other strengths and skills

  • Some of the issues that adult literacy students face

The Danger of a Single Story (TED Talk) - (18 minutes)

Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice - and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

Lesson Planning for Adult Students - (approx. 2 hours) – Recommended for all instructors and tutors

This course will walk you through the lesson planning process and gives you a chance to practice. Like any new skill, the more you practice writing and teaching lessons the better you will become at creating them.

Topics include: Five Step Approach for Lesson Planning, Well Written Objectives, Selecting Vocab. and Activities, I Do It – We Do It – You Do It, and Review.

Free log-in required.

Making Math Manageable – (1 hour) – Required for math tutors and teachers
Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Ease student fears of learning math

  • Use two activities with students designed to help students develop confidence and connect math to their own experiences

  • Use five activities with students that make math interactive and fun, and adapt these activities for different math subject matter

  • Assist students in using graphic organizers for solving math problems

ELL-U: Teaching Emergent Readers (2.5 hours) – Recommended for ESOL 1-3 classroom teachers

This course provides introductory, research-based information about teaching adult English language learners (ELLs) who are just beginning to acquire print literacy largely due to lack of access to formal schooling. This course will clarify how and why this particular ELL population is unique, offer processes for identifying emergent readers, and explore a range of teaching/assessment strategies that build initial literacy in adult ELLs. Finally, course participants will have the opportunity to consider how the information presented in the course applies to classroom language learning practices in a range of settings. Free log-in required.

USCIS Naturalization Interview & Test Video - (16 minutes) – Required for Citizenship volunteers
This video covers the requirements for naturalization, the interview process and components, and shows part of a naturalization interview.  DVDs of this can also be checked out from the Literacy Source library.

Understanding the Reading Process – (1 hour)
Participating in this course will provide you with an overview of the research behind the components of reading instruction (alphabetics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension) and show you how to support the improvement of literacy students’ reading proficiency by making students more aware of the reading process and how good readers approach reading.

An Overview of the Writing Process – (1 hour)
Participants will be provided with an overview of the components of the writing process: planning, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. Writing tools will be shared with participants that will assist and scaffold students as they engage in the writing process.

Multi-Level ESOL Training – (5+ hours)
Series of seven -10 minute podcasts, plus pre-and post- activities.  Topics covered include objectives and leveling, multi-level lesson plans, group work and activities, adapting materials, and multi-level testing strategies. Free log-in required.

Adult Persistence – (1 hour each)
3 self-study modules where volunteers read research, reflect on it, and are encouraged to relate it to their teaching practice.  Topics include helping adults persist, supports and barriers to persistence, goals and self-efficacy in persistence.

Literacy Source Google Drive Tutorial
A short 10 minute video demonstrating how to access and navigate the Literacy Google Drive to access class lesson plans, tutor, teaching and training resources.