Volunteer Tutor with Adult Student

Become a Volunteer Literacy Tutor


See Also:
Online Volunteer Application
Upcoming Volunteer Tutor Trainings
Information about Becoming a Volunteer Classroom Aide

Volunteers are a vital part of Delaware County Literacy Council’s (DCLC’s) mission. Volunteer tutors work one on one with an adult student, helping him or her to learn basic reading and writing or to speak English as a second language.

Volunteer tutors provide instruction and encouragement that help adult students widen their horizons, exercise more control over their lives, and enhance their workplace skills. The rewards of volunteer tutoring are deep and long lasting. There is no better feeling than seeing an adult student make progress toward his or her goal.

Please read the Qualifications, Steps, and Duties below to learn more about changing someone’s life by becoming a DCLC Volunteer Literacy Tutor.


Volunteer Qualifications

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must have a high school diploma or equivalent; bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Must possess good literacy and communication skills
  • Must exhibit professionalism in adhering to the expectations of DCLC’s tutoring program and in interacting with students and DCLC personnel
  • Must exhibit patience and flexibility in providing instruction and encouragement to adult students

Steps to Becoming a DCLC Volunteer Literacy Tutor

  1. Complete an online DCLC Volunteer Application (or call 610-876-4811 to request a hard-copy application).
  2. Complete an online PA Criminal Background Check and submit a printout of the results to DCLC (or call 610-876-4811 to request a hard-copy form to complete and mail to the Pennsylvania State Police). For tips on completing the online form, click here. Note: The results of the Criminal Background Check are considered part of the DCLC Volunteer Application, and the application is not considered complete until the results are received by DCLC for review.
  3. Complete a 12-hour training in either English as a Second Language (ESL), which involves tutoring an adult from another country in speaking, reading, writing, and understanding English (no knowledge of other languages required) or Adult Basic Education (ABE), which involves tutoring an adult in basic reading and writing.
  4. Training is offered approximately four times per year.
  5. Read and agree to perform the duties listed below.

Volunteer Duties

All DCLC Volunteer Literacy Tutors:

  1. Commit to at least six months of continuous service, with the understanding that measurable student progress often takes longer to achieve.
  2. Follow the guidelines and use the materials provided in DCLC’s Tutor Training.
  3. Honor the confidentiality of all information regarding adult students and their lessons.
  4. Contact the adult student directly to arrange meeting times and locations.
  5. Ensure tutoring occurs at least twice a week for at least 1-1/2 hours per session, with enough time between sessions for the adult student to complete independent work.
  6. Ensure tutoring occurs at a public place, such as a public library or community center. The DCLC building has space and resources for volunteer tutoring weekdays 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., with evening hours until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Checking ahead is recommended.
  7. Travel to the tutoring location separately from the adult student.
  8. Exhibit professionalism by meeting with the adult student on a regular basis with a prepared plan for instruction, by being dependable and punctual, by submitting a semi-monthly record of the student’s progress and attendance hours to the Adult Education Coordinator, and by periodically attending workshops and/or accessing resources to update tutoring knowledge, strategies, and skills.
  9. Maintain good communication with the Adult Education Coordinator and keep him/her informed of student progress, of any obstacles to successful tutoring, and of any changes in the contact information of either the volunteer tutor or adult student.