Learn more about how to become an adult literacy 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 LBN 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 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 begin tutoring, 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 have a level of comfort with using a computer and email for training and communication with program staff.
  • 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 you to an adult student or adult education classroom.

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 and participation for initial training workshops.
  • $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 initial volunteer tutor training is a combination of in-person and online workshops. Training takes place year-round, except for July, August, and December. All in-person 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 steps:

  1. Attend Orientation

    Learn about LBN, how tutoring works and how you will be involved

  2. Complete Intake to Outcomes Reading Basics or Language Basics Online Course

    After Orientation, volunteers will be given access to our online tutor training, Intake to Outcomes.  You will be assigned training in Reading Basics (teaching reading and writing skills) or Language Basics (teaching English to non-native speakers), to be completed within in a 3 week time frame from home.  It usually takes 4-6  hours to complete the online courses.

  3.  Attend Getting Started

    In this final session, you will learn about LBN’s tutoring policies, goal setting, lesson planning, available resources, reporting requirements and next steps.

Tutor Resources

  • BBC Skillswise – Tips, Factsheets, and Worksheets for tutoring adults  Click here
  • ESL Gold – Leveled Speaking, Listening, Vocabulary, Grammar, and Reading Resources  Click here
  • Daily ESL – Listening Activities  Click here
  • Pronuncian – Pronunciation Lessons and Digital Activities  Click here
  • Busy Teacher – Free, printable worksheets  Click here
  • ESL Flow – Leveled activities focusing on real life skills  Click here
  • EL Civics – ESL Lessons with a focus on American culture and citizenship  Click here
  • Breaking News English – Leveled news articles, lesson plans, and activities  Click here
  • Reading Skills for Today’s Adults – Leveled reading passages and comprehension questions for adults  Click here
  • We Speak NYC – Videos and lesson plans for teaching English  Click here
  • Understanding What Reading Is All About – Teaching Materials and Lessons for Adult Basic Education Learners  Click here

Tutor Report Form

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