Become A

Make a Difference at Literacy Pittsburgh

Volunteers are the core of our program. They bring optimism and enthusiasm, create positive energy, and provide the opportunity for our students to make profound changes in their lives.   

Last year, more than 770 volunteers gave 75,000 hours to help our students succeed.

Our greatest need is volunteer tutors to meet with adult students one-to-one or in small groups. On average, 200 students are waiting for someone like just like you!  You don't need to have teaching experience and you don't need to speak a foreign language. Your enthusiasm, patience and compassion are far more important!

As a Literacy Pittsburgh tutor, you will

  • Teach an adult reading, writing and math or English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Attend nine hours of free training prior to tutoring
  • Commit to working with your student for at least six months
  • Teach twice a week for two hours each time
  • Have or be working toward a four-year degree*
  • Meet your student at times and in places convenient to both of you
  • Receive full support from a staff member assigned to you
  • Have opportunities for coaching and additional training

Volunteer tutor trainings are offered monthly at a variety of times and locations.


If teaching is not a fit for you, there are many other ways you can help. You can work with a student on completing online job applications, applying for college or understanding workplace expectations. You can also organize a group of friends or co-workers to help English language learners practice their listening and speaking skills through our Classroom Conversation Partners program. Or, share your passion for literacy with friends and family as a fundraising volunteer by organizing a crowdfunding campaign or serving on the One Big Table event committee. Find out more about these and other volunteering opportunities.

Becoming a Literacy Pittsburgh volunteer allows you to meet inspiring people with diverse experiences and grounds you with a sense of purpose. You will have an opportunity for personal and professional growth. You will see firsthand the impact of your actions.

This requirement is mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education effective July 1, 2011. A copy of the degree or transcript will be required before a tutor can be matched with a student(s). 

Volunteer Spotlight: Keerstan
“What has been most meaningful to me as a tutor is how exhilarating and fulfilling it is when you see a student learn. When they want to learn about a topic that directly affects their life and finally they have that lightbulb moment of understanding. It’s an incredible thing to witness. It’s such a happy feeling for you and for them. You know that you helped them and that they are making progress. It’s just fantastic!”
Photo of Volunteer Spotlight: Keerstan