Frequently Asked Questions

[For Tutors] - Do you need more tutors?

We can always use more tutors operating out of Three Rivers, and we have a critical need for tutors in the Sturgis area.  We are also looking for tutors in other parts of the county.

[For Tutors] - Are there any educational requirements to being a tutor?

While we do have many retired teachers who volunteer to be tutors, all you need is your ability to read and your willingness to work with a student one-on-one.

[For Tutors] - Is there any training that volunteers go through before becoming a tutor?

The Literacy Council sends our tutors to a one-day training class on how to teach reading using the Laubach method. The training is done in Kalamazoo and put on by the Kalamazoo Literacy Council. Laubach training is used cross the country and was developed specifically to help adults with limited or no reading skills to become confident readers. Laubach training deals with teaching reading in a phonics-based approach for adults with four levels of proficiency, from Level One when an adult can't read at all, to Level Four when an adult can read to a third- to a fifth-grade level. At that level, a person can read a newspaper or a book, and understand enough written words to get by in today's society.

[For Tutors] - What would be the demand on my time?

After the day-long training session when you first volunteer, the time you devote to tutoring is between you and your tutor. Typically, tutors spend one hour a week with their students, often at a library or someplace quiet where you can work uninterrupted.

[For Tutors] - Is the tutoring always done one-on-one with the student?

Tutoring one-on-one is usually the case, but we do occasionally have classes with three or four students. These are often for students for whom English is a second language.

[For Adult Students] - What are the age requirements to receive tutoring from the Literacy Council?

Anyone 18 or above can come to us to request tutoring to improve reading skills.

[For Adult Students] - Do you have to be a U.S. citizen? Or a legal resident?

No. Many of our students are from migrant worker families or recent immigrants who use English as a second language.

[For Adult Students] - How much of a time commitment must a person make to receive tutoring?

We leave that up mostly between the student and the tutor. Typically they spend one hour a week.

[For Adult Students] - How many weeks will the tutoring last?

That depends on the student's schedule and the level of reading capability the student wants to reach. We have students who are only in the county for a short time, then leave and pick up tutoring elsewhere if it's available.

[For Adult Students] - Where do students meet with tutors?

Usually in a library, though the student and tutor can make other arrangements if they choose.

[For Adult Students] - How much does a student pay to be tutored for reading?

Nothing. Funding for the St. Joseph County Literacy Council is covered through grants and donations.

[For Adult Students] - If I know someone who has trouble reading, how can that person request a tutor?

You can have the person call the Literacy Council at (269) 816-2057 or email us at sjclc@yahoo.com. We also set up booths at the county fair and other community events where people can talk to us directly about being tutored.