Become A

Become a Volunteer at Literacy Pittsburgh

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.   

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!

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As a Literacy Pittsburgh tutor, you will

  • Teach an adult reading, writing and math or English language skills
  • Attend a two-part free virtual training prior to tutoring
  • Commit to working with your student for at least six months
  • Teach twice a week for one to 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

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.

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.

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). Classroom aides do not require a four-year degree.

**Most tutoring is completed virtually due to COVID-19. Tutors and students may meet in person if agreeable to both and if proper CDC and county protocols are followed.

Volunteer Spotlight: Milton
“As a tutor, I’ve realized how much the personal and academic are intertwined for students. You can’t give your full attention to a word problem if you are worried about rent money, and you can’t meet the criteria for a new job if you can’t respond to an emailed question without making mistakes in writing. It’s an especially important reminder to me because I went straight through my school, got a teaching job and stayed there for 37 years. How “boring” that is compared to the journeys of many of my students!”
Photo of Volunteer Spotlight: Milton