Classes available for potential adult tutors

Jodi
Jodi Schellenberg
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Tutor Learning Connections is looking for people interested in tutoring other adults.

The organization is planning a tutor training course for Feb. 28 and March 1, to help train those interested in helping others improve their English skills.

“We offer free volunteer tutor training and these tutors take time from their own lives and give an hour a week to someone who does not know how to read and write or really struggles in that area,” said LaVera Schiele, co-ordinator for Tutor Learning Connections.

The classes are available to anyone who wants to become a tutor, Schiele said.

“If you enjoy reading and writing or just are able to read and write well and are able to offer help to those who cannot, you are allowed to apply to become a tutor,” she said. “Anyone can apply to become a tutor.”

The 12-hour training session is free and will help out potential tutors.

“That prepares them and gives them skills and tools to work with so they are able to work one-to-one with a learner,” Schiele said. “We prepare them and we assess the learner to give the tutor an idea of where to start.”

They offer tutoring to whoever needs it over the age of 18, Schiele said, from English as a second language to those who just don’t feel they have strong reading and writing skills.

“If it is English as a second language or an additional language, then the people probably have a very difficult time conversing with others so they can be understood -- they may focus on that,” Schiele said. “It is not just newcomers to Canada, but for everyone. All adults are invited to come to our office and apply for a tutor.”

The only people they can not offer tutoring to are those with learning disabilities because they “are relying on our volunteers and they don’t have that expertise or background.

“They are interested in helping people learn to read and write and just to be more functional in every day society,” Schiele said.  

The tutoring is able to work around working people’s schedules, instead of pulling them out of work for English classes.

“The beauty of this program is we have adults who have other jobs, so they can’t take time away from their jobs to attend a literacy program at SIAST, stay on a waiting list and put their job on hold,” Schiele said. “It is almost impossible to do that and attend upgrading classes there.

“This is a win-win situation where you have adults who are productive in our community and have jobs and are supporting their families and yet they are able to take an hour a week to focus on improving their literacy level,” Schiele said.

So far, the program has been very successful.

“Every day, I have someone ether calling to have a tutor or become a tutor,” Schiele said. “It seems to be word of mouth at this point.”

She is glad they are able to fill a gap in services for the community, as there are basic literacy classes that teach basic English skills and other classes that prepare them for the workforce in the community, but nothing in between.

“Many of them, their English skills are really so low that they can attend SIAST and literacy program but they are going to waste a lot of their allotted time,” Schiele explained. “They are able to attend there but you are only allowed a certain length of time unless you pay your own way to go there. We are able to fill in the gap that exists currently.”

The program is free thanks to the Prince Albert Literacy Network, Schiele said.

“Because we saw a gap in the services for adult learners, this is why the P.A. Literacy Network has searched for funding to be able to offer this service to the adults in the community,” Schiele said.

For more information, to register for the tutoring classes or to get a tutor, Schiele said people can either call her at (306) 922-6852 or email at tlc.paln@sasktel.net.  

Organizations: Prince Albert Literacy Network, P.A. Literacy Network

Geographic location: Canada

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