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Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions

Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process to become a literacy tutor?

First, you’ll take our training, which will certify you to become an adult literacy tutor. After the training, staff will match you with a student.

How long is the training?

Five weeks. After an introductory session that will help you decide which type of training you prefer, there are 12 hours of instruction over four weeks.

What are the different types of tutor training?

We offer two types of Tutor Certification:

Basic Literacy Tutor Training prepares tutors to help adults improve their reading, writing, and spelling skills.

English Language Learner Training prepares tutors to help adults for whom English is another language. The tutor also helps them understand U.S. customs, culture, and systems.

How often are the trainings offered?

Typically, we offer training in the spring and fall in Bangor, and on occasion in the winter in Ellsworth.

Can I get started as a tutor without the training?

Contact us and we can discuss how this might happen.

Which Tutor Certification is in greater demand?

This fluctuates. We recommend following your interests when making your choice.

Can I be certified as both a Basic Literacy and English Language Tutor?

Absolutely, though it may be challenging to take both classes simultaneously.

How many students will I get?

Usually, a tutor works with one student at a time.

Can I have more than one student?

Yes. It’s very likely that you’ll meet each student at different times.

After training, how much time can I expect to spend?

We ask that you spend 1-2 hours a week with your student. The additional time it takes to plan lessons depends on the individual.

Do tutors and students meet weekly?

This is ideal. However, we understand that life events will occasionally prevent this from happening.

How long do a tutor and student work together?

There is no set time when the pairing will end. Some matches end because the student’s goals are met. Other times, the tutor’s or student’s situation changes.

Where do tutors meet with their students?

Public spaces are usually recommended for the safety and comfort of both parties. Sometimes there are reasons to consider meeting in a home.

How are tutors and students matched?

Many things are considered, including geography, time availability, gender/age preferences, mutual interests, and a perceived likelihood that the pair can learn from each other.

Why do students ask for help?

Students’ goals are as varied as the individual. Some goals include getting a high school diploma or HiSET (formerly GED), obtaining a driver’s license, reading to their children, understanding mail, living more independently, reading the paper, keeping their job, receiving U.S. citizenship, communicating with others, increasing self-confidence, etc.

What skill levels do the adult students have?

It varies. Students range from those whose literacy skills are very basic to those who are fine-tuning their abilities. Most fall in between.

If I don’t want to tutor, are there other volunteer roles at Literacy Volunteers of Bangor?

Most definitely. Please look at our Other Ways to Volunteer section for more information.