Literacy Network
701 Dane St.
Madison, WI 53713
Phone 608-244-3911
Email jeff@litnetwork.org
Sun, Dec 17, 2017
For Volunteers

GED/Academic Tutoring
Basic Literacy Tutoring: SCALE
ESL Tutoring: Community Literacy
Other ideas


"Helping someone learn how to read has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life...This work has helped me be a better human being." - Literacy Network Tutor

Literacy Network is a non-profit organization in Madison, WI, made up of teachers, volunteers, and donors working to improve adult literacy in Dane County. We offer a wide variety of programs to help adults improve their reading, writing and English skills so that they can read to their children or help with homework, fill out a job application, understand a medicine label, or speak with a doctor about a health concern.

Volunteers are essential to our work, whether it's helping with data entry, childcare, or tutoring an adult learner. Each year, hundreds of trained volunteer tutors help more than 1,000 local adults improve their literacy -and you could be one of them!



Page last updated 12/12/2017

Please read through these listings carefully so you understand the position you are applying for. Most positions require a weekly commitment for an entire semester; for one-time or group opportunities, scroll to the bottom of this page.

Our literacy programs serve adults, so we are only able to accept adults (18+) as volunteers. We also require our volunteer tutors to:

  • Be reliable, patient, and kind
  • Speak, read, and write English fluently (all ESL tutoring is done in English.)
  • Have regular access to email and the internet
  • Watch our orientation video and attend training before tutoring
  • Reliably get themselves to their tutoring site *on time* every week
  • Attend their assigned 2-hr tutoring session every week for an entire semester, with no more than two absences (excluding holidays)

Every semester we have over 200 active volunteer tutors who are meeting every week with an adult needing their help. You could be one of them! Our three semesters are:

  • Spring: January-May
  • Summer: May-August
  • Fall: September-December

If you have questions about volunteering or our application process that are not addressed on this page, please contact our Director of Volunteer Services, Ms. Shawn Steen at (608) 244-3911.





GED/Academic Tutoring

Still remember your high school algebra and writing skills? We are looking for kind, patient, academic tutors who can support adult students working on high school completion (GED, HSED, 509) or taking classes at Madison College. Develop your teaching skills while helping a local adult improve their education and chance at a better life! Our GED/Academic tutors provide one-on-one and small group tutoring to GED students during a weekly two-hour class under the direction of the Madison College instructor or Literacy GED Program Manager. Training and support are provided. You have five weekly sessions/locations to choose from:

  • Tuesday mornings, 10:30am-12:30pm at Madison College Downtown Campus (211 N Carroll St.)
  • Wednesday nights, 5:30-7:30pm at Madison College South Campus (2238 S Park St)
  • Friday Mornings, 10:00am-12:00pm at Literacy Network

Spring semester is Jan 23-May 11, and you must be available for the following tutor training date:

  • Thursday, January 18th, 5:30-8:00pm

Bilingual volunteers (Spanish/English) encouraged to apply!

Tutors specializing in math encouraged to apply!

Tutor Requirements:

  • Comfortable helping someone with the following high school level academic topics (materials and support will be provided): algebra & geometry, reading comprehension, essay composition, social studies, science, and civics.
  • Able to share effective study and test-taking strategies.
  • Mature, dependable, patient, and kind.
  • Non-judgmental and interculturally sensitive.

Click here to apply for our GED/Academic Tutoring program.



Basic Literacy Tutoring: SCALE

The Skills in Computers & Literacy for Employment (SCALE) program is a Adult Basic Literacy (ABE) program in which you sign up to tutor in a weekly 2-hour class for one semester, and the classes are focused on teaching basic computer and literacy skills (vocabulary, spelling, using email, filling out online forms, or basic Word/Excel formatting). Each class is made up of 8 tutor/student pairs, and we will try to match you with the same student the entire semester. Lesson plans are given to you at the beginning of class every week by the intern overseeing your class, who knows the learning level and personal goals of each of the students. The intern is also there to help you and your student if you have questions or get stuck! You don't need tutoring or teaching experience -just comfortable knowledge of basic computer practices, patience, kindness, and the ability to attend your class every week.

You can apply for any semester listed below; if a semester is full, you will be added to the wait list:

SPRING 2018 (Jan 22-May 12)
Training: 6-8pm Tue Jan 16

SUMMER 2018 (June 4-Aug 25)
Training: 6-8pm Tue May 29

FALL 2018
(Sep 17-Dec15)
Training: 6-8pm Tue Sept 11

Tutor Requirements

  • You must attend the scheduled Training session at Literacy Network before the semester begins; if you are unable to attend, please understand we give preference to applicants who are able to attend the scheduled training.
  • Reliable transportation is required of all tutors. (If you are planning to take a bus to/from your tutoring sessions, please research your route ahead of time to be sure you understand the commute you are committing to.)
  • You must attend EVERY WEEK during the semester; no more than two absences is permitted.

Volunteers tutor during the following classes; if a class for the semester you're applying is full, you will be added to the waiting list.

  • Tuesday nights, 6:00-8:00pm at Hawthorne Library (2707 E. Washington Ave.)
  • Tuesday nights, 6:00-8:00pm at Seven Oaks (1108 Moorland Rd)
  • Wednesday mornings, 10:30am-12:30pm at Goodman South Library (2222 S. Park St.)
  • Thursday nights, 6:00-8:00pm at Literacy Network (701 Dane Street)
  • Thursday nights, 6:00-8:00pm at Meadowridge Library (5726 Raymond Rd)

Click here to apply to tutor in our Basic Literacy tutoring program.



ESL Tutoring: Community Literacy

Community Literacy is our ESL Tutoring program, in which you sign up to tutor in a weekly 2-hour class for one semester. Each class is made up of 8 tutor/student pairs, most of whom will be working together the entire semester. Lesson plans are given to you at the beginning of class every week by the intern overseeing your class, who knows the levels and personal goals of each of the students. (You can read more about our students here.) The intern is also there to help you and your student if you have questions or get stuck! You don't need tutoring or teaching experience -just patience, kindness, and the ability to attend your class every week. You also don't need to know any other languages, since all tutoring is done in English.

Apply early, as spots fill up fast! You can apply for any semester listed below; if it ends up that all tutor spots are full, you will be added to the wait list.

SPRING 2018
(Jan 22-May 12)
Training: (choose one)
5:30-8:00pm Tue 1/16
or 5:30-8:00pm Thu 1/18
or9:00-11:30am Sat 1/20

SUMMER 2018
(June 4-Aug 25)
Training: (choose one)
5:30-8:00pm Tue 5/29
or 5:30-8:00pm Thu 5/31
or 9:00-11:30am Sat 6/2

FALL 2018
(Sep 17-Dec15)
Training: (choose one)
5:30-8:00pm Tue 9/11
or 5:30-8:00pm Thu 9/13
or 9:00-11:30am Sat 9/15

Tutor Requirements

  • You must attend one scheduled Training session at Literacy Network before the semester begins; we do not offer alternative Training dates or one-on one Training.
  • Reliable transportation is required of all tutors. (If you are planning to take a bus to/from your tutoring sessions, please research your route ahead of time to be sure you understand the commute you are committing to.)
  • You must attend EVERY WEEK during the semester; no more than two absences is permitted. (Let your intern know any anticipated absences at the beginning of the semester.)

Volunteers tutor during the following group tutoring classes; if a class for the semester you're applying is full, you will be added to the waiting list.

  • Monday nights, 6-8pm at Literacy Network (701 Dane Street)
  • Tuesday mornings 10am-12noon at Literacy Network (Focus on basic computer literacy: how to use Microsoft Office, email, internet)
  • Tuesday nights, 6-8pm at Literacy Network (701 Dane Street)
  • Tuesday nights, 6-8pm at Reach Dane (2096 Red Arrow Trail, Fitchburg)
  • Wednesday mornings, 9-11am at Literacy Network (701 Dane Street)
  • Wednesday nights, 6-8pm at Literacy Network (701 Dane Street)
  • Thursday nights 6-8pm at Literacy Network (701 Dane Street)(Focus on Workplace English; tutor must have bachelor's degree and experience in the workforce)
  • Saturday mornings, 9-11am at Literacy Network (701 Dane Street)

Click here to apply for our ESL Tutoring program.







Group and Event-Based Volunteer Opportunities



Other ideas

We always welcome your group to organize a stand-alone event to support Literacy Network adult learners, and we'd be happy to help develop promotional materials and meet with your group to talk about our work. Here are some event ideas:

  • CHILDREN'S BOOK DRIVE: Organize a children's book drive for our Family Literacy program. By collecting and donating new (or gently used) children's books, you plant the seeds of literacy for low-income families!

  • BOOK DRIVE: We accept gently used books of fiction/non-fiction for our lending library, or to sell for our programs. Please click here for guidelines about the books we accept.

  • DRIVE FOR DRIVES: Adult learners save their resumes and other documents they've created in classes on USB drives. We need about 50-100 every semester.

  • FUNDRAISER: Host a company-wide bake sale or scrabble tournament - something fun to raise money for our programs and spread awareness of adult literacy.
If your group is interested in organizing a stand-alone event or activities, please contact our Director of Volunteer Services, Ms. Shawn Steen at (608) 244-3911 if you have any questions.




We occasionally have other opportunities for groups to assist with events and special projects. If you have a group looking for a project, it must be planned well in advance of your project date(s). If your group is looking for a volunteer opportunity or you would like to be emailed when one pops up, contact Shawn at (608) 244-3911 ext 55 or via shawn@litnetwork.org