Published on January 27, 2016
1. Volunteer Literacy Tutoring for the Delaware County Literacy Council An Overview for Prospective Volunteer Tutors
2. DCLC’s Mission The Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) works with adults who wish to read, write, speak and understand English, helping them to increase their communication skills and to participate more fully in society. The Council uses volunteers to ensure that programs are free and accessible to everyone.
3. DCLC’s History The Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC) was formed in 1975 by a coalition of volunteers concerned by the number of people they saw who were frustrated by their inability to read and write. DCLC’s programs are based on Laubach’s model of “each one, teach one,” with student–tutor teams forming the core of instruction. DCLC’s programs are offered free of charge to adults who have low literacy skills. Over 16,000 adults have been served by DCLC since it founding. For these adults, basic literacy is the first step toward exercising more control over their own lives.
4. What is Literacy? The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 defines literacy as “an individual’s ability to read, write, speak in English, compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job, in the family of the individual, and in society.”
5. Some sobering facts from the National Institute for Literacy: • More than 20% of the adult population—approximately 44 million people—read at or below a 5th grade level. • People with less than a high school education will be able to fill only 14% of the jobs of the future; 75% of unemployed adults have reading and/or writing difficulties. • More than 40% of adults at the lowest level of literacy live in poverty, compared to fewer than 5% of those at the highest literacy levels. • Illiteracy costs the U.S. economy $225 billion annually in lost revenues, taxes, and decreased industrial productivity.
6. Your Role As A Volunteer Tutor Each DCLC volunteer tutor works one-on-one with an adult student at a mutually convenient public location. To gain a deeper understanding of your role as a volunteer literacy tutor, we have provided information on • Types of Tutoring • Adult Learners • Tutoring Expectations
7. Types of Tutoring: Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English as a Second Language (ESL) DCLC Volunteer Tutors train in one of two areas. Basic Literacy, also known as Adult Basic Education (ABE), includes basic reading, writing, and math skills. English as a Second Language (ESL) involves teaching an adult immigrant to speak and understand English through reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Volunteers do not need to know a language other than English to be an ESL tutor. In both cases, volunteer literacy tutors also often cover computer skills, job-related skills, and other material generated from the adult student's specific goals.
8. Adult Learners and Their Goals In addition to improving their basic skills, most adult learners come to DCLC with specific goals in mind, such as earning a GED, getting a good job, becoming a U.S. citizen, getting a driver’s license, or moving on to further education or training.
9. Meet Dave, a GED recipient and Renee, an adult learner
10. Characteristics of Adult Learners: Adult Learners: • Are not a captive audience; they can vote with their feet. • Are usually experiencing some sort of life change that leads them to seek help from the Literacy Council. • Are often juggling multiple adult responsibilities (job, family, health, etc.), which can make focusing on learning difficult.
11. Adults learn best when….. • They have input into the selection of the content and even development of the learning experiences • The learning is both received and processed in more than one way • The learning is collegial (mutually respectful) • The learning relates to their day to day lives and/or is directed at solving specific job-related problems
12. Tutoring Expectations: What we expect of you • A sincere and enthusiastic commitment to tutoring an adult student • A minimum of two 1½-hour sessions of tutoring per week in a public place • At least a six-month commitment • Adherence to all guidelines for tutoring provided by DCLC • Regular communication with DCLC, including documenting tutoring hours and student progress • A commitment to updating your tutoring knowledge and skills to best serve your adult student
13. Tutoring Expectations: What you can expect from us • A coordinator who will support you in lesson planning, professional development activities, learner assessment, and locating teaching resources • To be matched with a student whose availability and location preferences align with yours • To be matched with an adult student who has completed a DCLC student orientation and has been informed of the guidelines for student participation in DCLC’s program
14. Tips from Tutors to Tutors • Don’t be discouraged by slow progress; it takes time to get to know your learner and establish a good learning routine—learning takes time! • Your learner is likely to be more nervous that you are. • Relax, have fun, be creative. • Adult learners are different from children; make adult learning different from school.
15. Let Your Student Try, Try Again Help≠ Doing Help = Empowering Help = Providing Tools and Support
16. Final Thoughts We hope you now have a better idea of what it means to be a DCLC Volunteer Literacy Tutor. Tutoring an adult student requires time, patience, and commitment, but the rewards are deep and long-lasting. The specific steps for applying to become a volunteer tutor can be found at www.delcoliteracy.org/volunteer. Also, feel free to visit our offices or to contact the Volunteer Recruiter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-876-4811. 2217 Providence Avenue Chester PA 19013 610-876-4811 www.delcoliteracy.org
17. Thank you for your time and interest. Have a wonderful Holiday Season. We hope you will join us in 2012. We have the privilege of helping adults change their lives!!!!
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