Becoming a Literacy Volunteer
You Can Help
Volunteer tutors are the foundation of Literacy Volunteers of Greater Augusta (LVA). After completing the tutor training, volunteers tutors work with adults one-to-one, creating a very strong and unique learning partnership.
The LVA tutor training program offers tutor training workshops designed to address the busy schedules of our volunteers. We work to give more options to our volunteers as well as ensure the availability of tutors to match the steady intake of new learners.
All volunteers are required to participate in volunteer orientation. The focus of the orientation is to learn about adult literacy and to introduce our agency and programs. Following this orientation, volunteers may decide what role they would like to take in our organization – tutoring a learner one-on-one, tutoring through a virtual format, participating in a Literacy Lab, fundraising, or office support. There is no fee for the orientation workshop.
Volunteers who wish to become a literacy volunteer tutor, either at one of our Community Literacy Labs or with an individual learner, are required to participate in the following 5-hour tutor training. Training is most often divided into 2-evening sessions (usually 5:30-8pm) and often takes place the week following orientation. Often our winter session is a 6-hour workshop on a Saturday from 9am-3:30pm. There is a $15.00* fee for the manual, Tutor, Eighth Edition, by Ruth Johnson Colvin and published by New Readers Press (the publishing Division of ProLiteracy). This manual incorporates professionally accepted, integrated approaches to teaching adult basic literacy. *Currently through 2020, there is no fee for the training manual due to a generous grant from New Readers Press.
After a volunteer completes the tutor training, the executive director and the volunteer together choose an appropriate learner. Matches are based on needs of the learner, skills of the tutor, general preferences and availability of both tutor and learner. The executive director may facilitate the first tutoring session or the learner and tutor may do that independently. The first session incorporates initial introductions, discussing learner goals, scheduling meeting times and place, and generally getting to know each other. It is always important to remember that the relationship between tutor and learner is a collaborative relationship where each is learning from the other.
Technology Access Program: Through generous support through the United Way of Kennebec Valley Covid-19 Relief Fund and the Maine Humanities Council LVA is making tablets available to learners and tutors so they are able to work remotely. Many individuals with the proper skills and technology were able to continue to work, communicate, and maintain some normalcy in these trying times, yet many individuals with limited literacy skills were left behind. This program hopes to address these concerns, and help learners further expand their capabilities, as they learn the technology skills needed to thrive. Tutors who decide to meet virtually will have an initial training session with the LVA Technology Advisor to get set up with their tablets and will have ongoing access to the advisor to address needs as they arise.
Other volunteer opportunities:
- Participate on a committee, such as fundraising or planning.
- Volunteer to speak at local service organizations about the issue of literacy
- Help staff a Literacy Volunteers booth at area events.
- Search for/write grants to benefit LVA.
- Organize the library
- Participate on the Board of Directors.
For more information about volunteering opportunities at LVA, please contact Virginia Marriner, Executive Director.