Fri, Feb 23, 2018
"Helping someone learn how to read has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life...This work has helped me be a better human being." - Literacy Network Tutor
Literacy Network is a non-profit organization in Madison, WI, made up of teachers, volunteers, and donors working to improve adult literacy in Dane County. We offer a wide variety of programs to help adults improve their reading, writing and English skills so that they can read to their children or help with homework, fill out a job application, understand a medicine label, or speak with a doctor about a health concern.
Volunteers are essential to our work, whether it's helping with data entry, childcare, or tutoring an adult learner. Each year, hundreds of trained volunteer tutors help more than 1,000 local adults improve their literacy -and you could be one of them!
Page last updated 2/23/2018
Please read through these listings carefully so you understand the position you are applying for. Most positions require a weekly commitment for an entire semester; for one-time or group opportunities, scroll to the bottom of this page.
Our literacy programs serve adults, so we are only able to accept adults (18+) as volunteers. We also require our volunteer tutors to:
Every semester we have over 200 active volunteer tutors who are meeting every week with an adult needing their help. You could be one of them! Our three semesters are:
If you have questions about volunteering or our application process that are not addressed on this page, please contact our Director of Volunteer Services, Ms. Shawn Steen at (608) 244-3911.
Community Literacy is our ESL Tutoring program, in which you sign up to tutor in a weekly 2-hour class for one semester. Each class is made up of 8 tutor/student pairs, most of whom will be working together the entire semester. Lesson plans are given to you at the beginning of class every week by the intern overseeing your class, who knows the levels and personal goals of each of the students. (You can read more about our students here.) The intern is also there to help you and your student if you have questions or get stuck! You don't need tutoring or teaching experience -just patience, kindness, and the ability to attend your class every week. You also don't need to know any other languages, since all tutoring is done in English.
Apply early, as spots fill up fast! You can apply for any semester listed below; if it ends up that all tutor spots are full, you will be added to the wait list.
Volunteers tutor during the following group tutoring classes; if a class for the semester you're applying is full, you will be added to the waiting list.
The Skills in Computers & Literacy for Employment (SCALE) program is a Adult Basic Literacy (ABE) program in which you sign up to tutor in a weekly 2-hour class for one semester, and the classes are focused on teaching basic computer and literacy skills (vocabulary, spelling, using email, filling out online forms, or basic Word/Excel formatting). Each class is made up of 8 tutor/student pairs, and we will try to match you with the same student the entire semester. Lesson plans are given to you at the beginning of class every week by the intern overseeing your class, who knows the learning level and personal goals of each of the students. The intern is also there to help you and your student if you have questions or get stuck! You don't need tutoring or teaching experience -just comfortable knowledge of basic computer practices, patience, kindness, and the ability to attend your class every week.
You can apply for any semester listed below; if a semester is full, you will be added to the wait list:
Volunteers tutor during the following classes; if a class for the semester you're applying is full, you will be added to the waiting list.
Summer and Fall Semester Internships!
Helping refugee parents learn to read food and medicine labels in English. Teaching a low-income mother basic computer skills so she can apply for a better job. Encouraging a young man struggling with difficult pronunciation as he strives to read above a 5th-grade level. Helping an immigrant feel more comfortable speaking the language of her new home.
Being a Literacy Network teaching intern is a great way to sharpen your instructive, managerial, or communication skills while helping local adults in need. All Literacy Network interns enjoy a positive, supportive environment in which staff, volunteers, adult students, and other interns all work together to make literacy programs effective and enjoyable for all.
All applications for summer semester internships are due by midnight Sunday, April 15.
Click here for more info and online application instructions.
Group and Event-Based Volunteer Opportunities
Book Sale Volunteers March 9-10
Are you friendly, outgoing, and able to stand for 2-3 hours? We need your help! We are looking for volunteers with great retail/customer service skills to help at the Literacy Network Used Book Sale, which is a fundraiser to help keep our adult literacy programs free for our students. The Book Sale will be held Fri-Sat, March 9-10.
Volunteer duties include: sorting books, greeting guests, and supporting the check-out process. Volunteers are asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to their shift for a short training and must stay for the duration of the shift they sign up for. To apply to help out with our Book Sale, please complete our online application.
Is your group highly organized, great at event-planning, and well-connected in the community? We are looking a group of 5-10 adults able to spend 3-5hrs/month now through September helping to make this year's Run for Literacy a success. The planning team will need to attend monthly meetings, coordinate event logistics, oversee marketing, recruit/manage volunteers, and increase community engagement.
If your group is interested in joining our Planning Team, please contact Elliott Valentine at email@example.com. In your email, please outline your group's experience planning events and anyone's area of expertise (marketing, event logistics, etc). We're excited to have your group join our team!
We always welcome your group to organize a stand-alone event to support Literacy Network adult learners, and we'd be happy to help develop promotional materials and meet with your group to talk about our work. Here are some event ideas:
We occasionally have other opportunities for groups to assist with events and special projects. If you have a group looking for a project, it must be planned well in advance of your project date(s). If your group is looking for a volunteer opportunity or you would like to be emailed when one pops up, contact Shawn at (608) 244-3911 ext 55 or via firstname.lastname@example.org