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Get Involved

Volunteers are the heart and soul of our organization. Nearly 150 community members give their time every year, serving as tutors, joining our board and committees, and offering their skills in a variety of other ways.

Our main need is for tutors. We pair tutors with students, based on their needs and areas of interest. Then a tutor works one-on-one, helping a student reach his/her goals. 

Besides tutoring, there are other ways to volunteer, including marketing, fundraising, finance, governance, and office support. Please visit our Other Ways to Volunteer section to learn more.

Become a Tutor

All interested volunteer tutors complete the application below and take roughly 15 hours of training before we pair you with a student whose needs align your abilities and interests. We do our best to create learning pairs that will thrive.

Tutoring requires about 1-2 hours a week. You will meet with your student one-on-one, remotely or in-person, and help them work towards their goals. Examples of goals might be receiving a high school diploma, obtaining a driver’s license, securing a better job, voting for the first time, reading to children, or becoming a U.S citizen.

Many people think that tutoring requires teaching experience or the ability to speak another language. But it requires neither. All you need is the desire to help someone.

For more information about the training, please see our Training Schedule.

Apply Today

To become a tutor, please fill out the application form below. We will use the information to notify you of our next scheduled training. 

Once you have submitted your application, we will be in touch within 1-2 weeks.

To get started as a volunteer, you may do one of the following:

Print out the form, complete it, and hand deliver or mail it to:
Literacy Volunteers of Bangor
354 Hogan Road
Bangor, Maine 04401

Tutor Trainings

All tutors receive orientation and training, which are typically offered twice annually. Volunteers can choose one of two tracks:  Basic Literacy or English Language Learning. 

Basic Literacy Tutor Training

Helping an adult improve his or her reading does not require an education degree. It does require patience, flexibility, and the desire to help transform an adult’s life through literacy. The training certification provides teaching strategies, adult learning models, information on learning disabilities, and lesson planning.

English Language Learning Tutor Training

Teaching a person to speak and read English doesn’t require that you know their language. You just need the patience and desire to teach language, reading skills and cultural differences. This training certification covers second language acquisition, working with cultural differences, and teaching methods.

Training Schedules

The next tutor training is planned for fall 2022.

Basic Literacy Tutor Training:
The written word bombards us daily. We’re expected to read information constantly. For about 25% of our population, reading proficiently is difficult and sometimes impossible. Teaching an adult to read does not require an education degree. It does require patience and desire to transform and adult’s life through literacy. The 14-hour training certification provides teaching strategies, adult learning models, information on learning disabilities and lesson planning.

9/15/22Introduction to Literacy Mary Marin TaylorBrewer Community Center6-8pm
9/22/22Session I / Who Will You Be Working WithMary Marin TaylorBrewer Community Center5:30-8:30pm
9/29/22Session II / How to BeginSusan Bennett-Armistead & Dee NicholsBrewer Community Center5:30–8:30pm
10/6/22Session III / How to AdaptDanielle GabrielliBrewer Community Center5:30-8:30pm
10/13/22Session IV / How to Go DeeperWendy C. KastenBrewer Community Center5:30-8:30pm
TBAFollow-UpTutor Training & SupportEMCC TBD6:00-7:30pm
Course fee of $35 defrays cost of textbook and training

English Language Tutor Training:

Imagine living in a community where you do not understand the language and cannot read the written word. Now, imagine yourself as part of someone’s solution. Teaching a person to speak and read English doesn’t require that you know the other’s language. It means you have the patience and desire to teach language, life skills and cultural differences. This 14-hour training certification introduces English language acquisition, culture, teaching strategies, approaches and drills.

9/15/22Introduction to Literacy Mary Marin TaylorBrewer Community Center6-8pm
9/22/22Session I / Getting StartedNancy ConnorBrewer Community Center5:30-8:30pm
9/29/22Session II / Welcome to Teaching EL StudentsMarwa HassanienBrewer Community Center5:30–8:30pm
10/6/22Session III / Techniques, Tools, & ProcessNancy Connor
Brewer Community Center5:30-8:30pm
10/13/22Session IV / How to AdaptDanielle GabrielliBrewer Community Center5:30-8:30pm
TBAFollow-UpTutor Training & SupportEMCC TBD6:00-7:30pm
Course fee of $35 defrays cost of textbook and training

Fall 2022 Tutor Training Sign Up

Completing this form registers you for Literacy Volunteers of Bangor’s new tutor training. Within a few days of registering, you will receive a confirmation email. To register, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Other Ways To Volunteer

Many ways exist to help Literacy Volunteers grow and thrive. Our volunteer committees are vital, as they do much of the organization’s planning and work. Please read below to learn more about each committee, as well as a few specific volunteer roles we are trying to fill.

If you have experience or expertise in any of the following areas, please contact our office at (207) 947-8451, or email

Area Of OpportunityQualifications
Communications CommitteeThis committee meets monthly and oversees the branded efforts related to marketing, advertising, public and media relations. It generates coordinated TV, radio, print, social media, direct mail, and email communications. Activities include:
– Advertising & marketing
– Event planning
– Graphic design
– Media relations
– Recruitment/outreach
– Social media management and content generation
– Writing and editing
– Website maintenance
Finance CommitteeThis committee meets quarterly and reviews the overall financial health of the organization. Activities include:
– Analyzing financial data, processes, and controls
– Budgeting
– Financial planning
– General accounting
Governance CommitteeThis committee meets monthly and oversees the internal workings of the organization, with a focus on areas like human resources, internal communications, the development and maintenance of official documents, and long-term planning. Related activities include:
– Information systems
– Insurance/risk management
– Law/legal affairs
– Personnel management
– Review of organizational documents
– Strategic planning
Resource Development CommitteeThis committee meets monthly and is charged with networking to raise public support through a number of fundraising efforts. Related activities include:
– Corporate sponsorships
– Grant writing
– Major giving/planned giving
– Networking for private support
– Special event coordination
Tutor Training & SupportThis committee meets monthly and includes a core group of experienced tutors. Additional members who can provide professional training on literacy-related topics are also welcome. Related activities include:
– Administering satisfaction surveys
– Coordinating book or writing clubs
– Conference planning
– Evaluating training
– Maintaining ongoing communication with tutors
– Providing content-related training on literacy, language, – culture or related topics
– Supporting/mentoring new and existing tutors
Office SupportWhen we undertake large projects, like mailings or preparing for trainings, our volunteers are there to help. If you are interested in helping  with occasional projects or one of our ongoing efforts, we’d love to have you. Projects include tasks like:
– Copying/collating projects
– Customer relations (out-bound calls)
– Data entry
– Filing and maintaining records
– Mailings
– Other project-based work

Volunteer Stories

Our volunteers say the rewards of volunteering are far greater than the effort. Read the stories to see how getting involved with Literacy Volunteers could impact your life.

Jon Ferreira, Tutor

Jon Ferreira is an actor and director with national experience. He sees the connection between theater and volunteer work. “Acting is about you–the applause, the instant gratification,” he says. “Directing is about them. How can I make other people look good?” That understanding made tutoring a natural choice.

“Jon has a unique set of skills,” says Mary Marin Lyon, Executive Director. “But like other tutors, he loves to help people.” Background doesn’t matter. The desire to help is what counts.

Fran Day, Tutor

Fran Day was expecting a lot of hard work on grammar and writing when she began tutoring Lee Chapman, Mostly, though, they just talked.

Lee, originally from South Korea, continues to work on her English skills. The two chatted weekly and did some work on writing skills. Sometimes they attend events together.

“I like to give back,” Fran says. She’s found out more about a distant country and another woman’s life experiences. “It’s important to me to contribute, and this is a great organization.”

Kristen Wallace, Tutor

When Kristen Wallace first began working with Elodie, who is from Cameroon, they were instantly compatible. Still, their conversation in English was strained due to Elodie’s limited English skills.

They started simply, naming and labeling the items in Elodie’s apartment. They examined sales flyers, made grocery lists, went shopping, and moved on to filling out paperwork. One day, Kristen realized that the conversation was flowing naturally.

Kristen learned a lot, too. “My perspective on so many things has changed..Volunteering in any capacity feels great. But when it’s one-on-one? Wow! It brings tears to my eyes to see her appreciation for everything.”

Janet Speranza-Moran, Communication Committee Member

Manage a project? Orchestrate a special event? Develop TV ads? Janet Speranza-Moran has done this and much more.

While Janet has served on the Board of Directors and as a tutor, she now serves on the Communication Committee and is one of the many quiet, behind-the-scenes volunteers who get things done.

Sally McManus, Tutor

Sally knows that when a person’s ability to read is limited, his or her future is limited as well. That’s why she became a tutor.What she didn’t count on was how enriching tutoring would be. Her first student was a middle-aged man whose goal was to read the Bangor Daily News. Sally arranged for a tour of the BDN for her student. This helped motivate him, and Sally celebrated with him when he reached his goal.

Her next student was a woman in her twenties who needed help to get through a training program at Job Corps. Once again, Sally was able to help her achieve her goal.

“I cared for both of them very much,” recalls Sally. “You don’t just teach them to read. You get involved with their lives.”