Ways to get involved

What are you passionate about? What skills do you have or want to hone? What kinds of jobs do you do best or wish you could do? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you find a volunteer position that will let you make the most of your strengths, passions, and goals.

Step One:
Know that you have something to give

You don't need to be a rocket scientist, a professional educator or speak three languages to help someone learn to read and write, improve their English, or develop a new skill. Simply reading a book with a child or engaging in a conversation with someone trying to learn English can build confidence, instill a love for learning, and make all the difference in the world. Plus, many organizations will provide free trainings for tutors.

If you're not comfortable working directly with strangers or don't have much time to invest in volunteering, know that giving back can take the form of donating money, goods (food, drink, raffle prizes, clothes, etc.), or an event space. You can also help an organization with communications, fundraising or grant writing, landscaping, or with web development needs. Whatever your skills or interests, there are so many ways you can improve the lives of learners in your community.

Step Two:
Think about your time

Are you on a school break right now? Retired? Working full time with a family at home? Think about how much of a commitment you can make with everything you're juggling. From there, decide upon a realistic schedule and whether you're able to volunteer once, weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, yearly, and so on. Know that some programs may ask for a commitment and some may work on a set schedule (say, with the school year or before big testing deadlines) -- You may have to be flexible or find another way to give back. Above all else, remember that volunteering should be fun and rewarding, not a chore.

Step Three:
Look for need in your own community

Using the Directory, you can search for literacy organizations near you. Know that each organization you find will have it's own personality. Organizations could provide similar services in different ways. To find a good fit for you, visit, call, or email different organizations and introduce yourself. Ask about their programs, opportunities, or needs, and get a better understanding of how you might be able to help serve their organization's mission and purpose.

Remember: The success of literacy and education programs depend on the help of volunteers. To get started on making a positive impact in your community, use the Directory's Volunteer Search to locate volunteer opportunities near you today!