Learn more about how to become a literacy volunteer tutor and fill out a volunteer application.


Becoming A Tutor

Our volunteers share our belief that everyone in Erie and Niagara Counties deserves to be literate!

The LNYBN volunteer program is very different than other volunteer programs. It takes commitment, dedication, communication, and consistency. It is an ongoing commitment that takes time and intention.

Prior to applying to become a Literacy Volunteer Tutor please review the requirements of becoming a tutor to ensure you are truly able to make the full commitment.

Why Volunteer?

  • Make a positive impact in our community
  • Improve someone’s life with the ability to read or speak English
  • Open your world to learn about different cultures and lifestyles
  • Help someone work towards their goals
  • Improve the future of our community
  • Challenge yourself and have fun
  • Expand your network and meet new people
  • Discover hidden potential and develop new talents
  • Grow as a person, a professional, and a global citizen
  • And many more!
Volunteer Tutor Requirements
  • You are willing and able to commit to providing weekly tutoring for two hours a week, for at least one year.
  • You can participate in all of the initial training workshops to start (about 14 hours total), plus ongoing training throughout the program.
  • You are at least 21 years old with a high school diploma or high school equivalency diploma.
  • You are proficient in reading, writing, listening, and speaking English.
  • You are open to learning, no experience is required!
  • You agree to adhere to all program requirements.
How It Works
  • Applications will be reviewed for consideration.
  • Applicants will hear from program staff with more information about our programs, training dates, and to answer any questions you may have.
  • Applicants accepted to become volunteers will be invited to attend the initial training workshop series.
  • Upon completion of training, staff will begin the process of assigning a student to you.

Additional Notes

  • All tutoring must take place in a public location.
  • Tutors will receive ongoing support from staff, including an individualized learning plan, materials, coaching, and additional monthly training.
What We Need From You
  • Submit a full application
  • Full attendance at the initial 14 hour training workshop series
  • $30 fee towards training and instructional materials for use when meeting with your students (if you are unable to make this payment, you will not be prevented from being a volunteer tutor with our agency)

Tutor Training Workshops

Our face-to-face tutor training consists of four separate workshops, 3.5 hours each, for a total of 14 hours of initial training. Training takes place year-round, except for June, July, and August. All workshops are typically held on Saturday mornings at the Central Library in downtown Buffalo. Training is also held in Niagara County based on demand.

Training workshops consist of the following:

  1. Orientation

    Learn about LNYBN, how tutoring works and how you will be involved.

  2. Basic Literacy 1 & 2 or  English Language Learning 1 & 2

    During these two workshops, you will learn background information about working with adult learners and strategies to build their individual skills in reading, writing or English.

  3. Successful Tutoring

    In this final session, you will learn about goal setting, lesson planning, available resources, and reporting requirements.

Tutor Resources

  • Literacy New York State Agency  Click here
  • ProLiteracy Worldwide  Click here
  • Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center  Click here
  • Coalition for Adult Basic Education  Click here
  • Learning Disabilities Association  Click here
  • National Center for Learning Disabilities  Click here
  • National Center for the Study of Adult Learning & Literacy  Click here
  • International Dyslexia Association  Click here
  • Literacy Information & Communication Center  Click here
  • Project Read Utah  Click here
  • Training courses, tutoring materials, and activity ideas  Click here
  • Information for tutoring adults, tips for first-time volunteers, activity ideas, and
  • suggested reading lists  Click here
  • Understanding What Reading is All About – PDF  Click here
  • Applying Research in Reading Instructions for Adults – PDF  Click here
  • Teaching Adults to Read – PDF  Click here

Tutor Report Form

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