Frederick County Literacy Council Seeks New Volunteers for Tutoring and Curriculum-Based ESL Programs | Education



Frederick County’s Literacy Council, a nonprofit that has been helping adults learn to speak and read English for almost 60 years, is looking for new volunteers to help with its tutoring and English language programs. second.

The Literacy Council currently has more than 100 active tutors, said executive director Laurie Fisher. He hopes to expand his tutoring team in the coming months to better meet the demand for literacy in the community and provide new classes for students, according to Fisher.

On average, the board supports about 250 adults per year through individual and small group tutoring sessions and other courses, including conversation, writing, and civics workshops in the United States. There are about 50 adults on the organization’s waiting list, Fisher said, and the board receives new requests for help from adults every week.

When the Literacy Council was founded in 1963, its original purpose was to provide literacy training to migrant workers in the county who were native English speakers but struggled to read and write in the language. Today, although Fisher said the association still works with English speakers, she estimated that over 90% of its students are English learners who are either new to Frederick County or living in the region for many years and have not yet done so. learned English at a functional level.

She added that the council works with adults who are at the lowest literacy levels; for those who are more advanced, the nonprofit refers them to Frederick Community College or other programs in the community.

After receiving the council’s support, people were able to better access the essential services they need, help their children with schoolwork and get new or better job opportunities, according to Fisher.

“We talk about how literacy improves lives and it does it in so many ways,” she said. “It makes a huge difference that volunteers can help provide that one-on-one support to the adults they work with. And it absolutely changes people’s lives.

Volunteers interested in training as tutors do not need to have previous teaching experience or experience working with English language learners, Fisher said. After attending a volunteer briefing, those who wish to work with the board receive training from experienced tutors and use a curriculum with lesson plans and workbooks prepared while working with students, as well. as other teaching and learning materials from the association’s lending library.

The board is also looking for volunteers who have teaching experience or experience working with English language learners, Fisher said. These people will help lead program-based ESL classes for the nonprofit organization that will meet weekly for 60 to 90 minutes for eight to 12 weeks.

The Literacy Council will organize eight information sessions for volunteers between November and January and three rounds of training sessions during the same period. Interested volunteers should attend an information session before attending a training workshop.

Fisher said the council’s goal is to train about 50 new volunteers over the next three workshops.

Volunteers interested in becoming tutors should have basic digital literacy skills – familiarity with using smartphones, computers and other online platforms – and all should be over 18 and living or working in Frederick County.

Follow Angela Roberts on Twitter: @ 24_angier


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