Every year, over 150 volunteers support Orange Literacy by providing office support and vital tutoring services to adults throughout Orange County. Without volunteer power, we would need almost twice as much income to reach the number of adults we serve each year. Read about all of our volunteer opportunities below!
TUTOR – English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
ESOL tutors provide English language instruction to small groups (3-12 students) who are all at a similar level of English proficiency. These students come to us from all over the world and speak many different first (and often second and third) languages. Our classes are therefore full-English immersion, and we do not expect our tutors to be fluent in any language other than English. ESOL classes meet twice a week, typically Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday, for 1.5 hours at a time. ESOL tutors should commit 4-6 hours per week to tutoring, preparation, and travel for at least 6 months.
TUTOR – Adult Basic Education (ABE)
ABE tutors provide one-on-one instruction in reading and writing, math, and GED preparation. Many of our ABE students are non-native English speakers who have graduated from our ESOL program. We require that ABE tutors meet with their student twice a week for about 1.5 hours at a time. ABE tutors should commit 4-6 hours per week to tutoring, preparation, and travel for at least 6 months.
TUTOR – Orange Correctional Center (ABE)
We also provide ABE tutoring services (see above) to inmates at Orange Correctional Center, a minimum-security men’s prison in Hillsborough. An additional background check is required by the NC Department of Corrections for this position.
TUTOR – Citizenship
Citizenship tutors volunteer as teacher’s assistants or provide one-on-one tutoring to students enrolled in our Citizenship classes. Our Citizenship program prepares English Language Learners for the naturalization interview and the US Civics portion of the naturalization test. Citizenship tutors should commit 1.5-3 hours per week for up to 6 months.
VOLUNTEER – Office Support
Office support volunteers assist us in our Carrboro office by answering the phones, registering prospective students, and helping with ongoing office projects. Some experience with computers and phones is preferred. Office support volunteers typically commit to weekly 4-hour shifts (9am-1pm or 1pm-5pm) for as many weeks as they like. This is a great way to complete service hours required by school or court.
VOLUNTEER – Creative Writing Workshops
We have weekly creative writing workshops at the local men’s and women’s shelters. These workshops are fun activities to promote literacy and are volunteer-run. This is our most flexible volunteer opportunity, with volunteers participating as frequently as they would like.
How are tutors matched with their student(s)?
Tutors are matched with students or classes based on their schedule and preferred volunteering location. Factors such as age, gender (if a preference is indicated), personality, and shared interests are also sometimes considered.
How soon can I get started?
Our volunteer needs are always changing, and it is impossible to predict when specific needs will arise. Feel free to contact us at any time to inquire about our current volunteer needs.
Why do I have to commit to tutoring for at least six months?
There is no quick fix for low literacy or English-language skills, and improving them takes time and resolve on the part of our students. We expect volunteers to honor this resolve by serving for a minimum of six months.
Where will I tutor?
Our tutors volunteer throughout Orange County, including in our Carrboro office, churches, libraries, schools, and other public spaces. We do not allow our tutors and students to meet in one another’s homes.
When will I tutor?
We have classes and one-on-one tutoring from morning to evening each weekday. We work with tutors to find a time that fits their schedule.
What kind of training is provided to tutors?
In addition to an initial training in the program of your choice, we provide continued support and feedback to all of our volunteer tutors. We also have frequent in-service trainings on specific teaching subjects and strategies.
What resources and materials are available to tutors?
We make our extensive resource library of textbooks, workbooks, flashcards, electronic resources, games and manipulatives available to all of our tutors for use in our office or offsite. We also have a copier/scanner and computer lab in the office, as well as standard office and school supplies.
What do I do if a student asks me for help outside of literacy instruction?
Tell us. We will put the student in contact with one of the numerous agencies in the region that provide assistance in areas other than literacy instruction.