Information Adult Literacy Volunteers Need to Know

"One student wrote to me and thanked me for taking time with her and going at a slow pace because she felt she was a slow learner and she's tired after her job. It was so sweet, I almost cried. This whole tutoring business is very humbling and I will certainly take all the time that she needs."

Volunteer Assignments

  • English as a Second Language (ESL) volunteers help adult learners from other countries learn to understand, speak and read English and assimilate to the culture of the United States.
  • Adult Basic Education (ABE) reading and math volunteers help people learn to read or become better readers or improve basic math education in order to complete their High School Equivalency certification (HSE, formerly GED®).

Tutor Training

Volunteer tutor training is a blend of online lessons and face-to-face sessions. Volunteer trainees complete lessons online and then meet with the program coordinator in group sessions for discussion, questions, and further information.

Working with Students

When you've completed your training, you will be assigned to work one-to-one with an adult learner. Sometimes you may work with a small group of two to five students. You'll be matched with students according to your time and location preferences. 

We collaborate with the 11 libraries in McHenry County. Libraries offer private rooms and/or space for your tutoring sessions. You may choose to meet your students in any public place, restaurants, parks, etc. You may also meet with your students at MCC, we offer a variety of spaces for tutoring. We provide materials and resources.

We focus on tutoring for students who need extra help or those who cannot attend classes due to childcare issues, transportation problems, work schedules, etc.

Professional Development

Throughout the academic year, we offer a variety professional development opportunities.  These in-service workshops are designed to help you develop additional skills and knowledge that go beyond basic training. Professional development also offers you an opportunity to meet and interact with other volunteers to discuss techniques, share ideas, and gather new materials.