Vermont Reading Partners
A Volunteer Literacy Program
Vermont Volunteer Literacy Program

Get Involved—Become A Reading Partner

"Being a part of the Vermont Reading Partners School Program has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had. As a Reading Partner, I helped a child improve his reading and writing skills that also helped to boost his self-confidence as well. And, I made a new friend. But as much as I helped him, knowing and working with him enriched my life as well."

Holly Rapphahn, VRP Tutor
Vermont News Guide
Letter to the Editor
September 3, 2008

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I need to have a background in education to become a tutor?
No! We welcome people from all backgrounds. Please refer to the Standards For Tutors for specific requirements.

What if I can't attend all the Tutor Training sessions?
When you register, let the Program Coordinator know of your conflict. We will schedule a make-up session when it is convenient.

Where and when do I meet with my student?
The Program Coordinator will help you find a public location that is convenient for you and your student. Our tutors and students meet at the public library, a local café, or a local church. She will help you and your student set your own time and days of the week to meet. That way work schedules, babysitting problems, and the like will be accommodated.

What if I am sick or going on vacation and need to cancel a session?
As an Adult Program tutor, contact your student directly as soon as you know. If you are a School Program tutor, contact the school coordinator.

Suppose I want to volunteer in both programs?
If you have the time and interest we'll be happy to have you serve in more than one program. Just let our Program Coordinator know.

How do you pair me with my student?
After a student has contacted our office, our Program Coordinator will conduct an interview to obtain personal information as well as to determine the literacy needs of the new student. Then she will contact a tutor she thinks will be a good match. Interests, location, and schedule preferences will all be considered when choosing a match.

Is there any additional training I can take after I've tutored for a while?
Yes, we have occasional in-service training sessions for active tutors. ProLiteracy offers regular online courses in literacy for tutors. We also encourage tutors to attend outside courses.

Can I receive mentoring?
At your request, we will assign you a senior tutor to shadow. You will observe this experienced tutor during an actual teaching session with their student. The senior tutor will be able to answer questions for you, give you some tips if you hit a rough spot, and suggest various ways of attacking a problem. We want to do everything we can to help you feel prepared before you receive your first student.

Suppose I find that my personal situation changes and I need to stop tutoring for a few months?
First, talk it over with your student. Explain that you'll need to stop tutoring for a while and determine if the student wants to wait for you to return or would prefer to be re-assigned to another tutor. Then let the Program Coordinator know so that she can make appropriate arrangements. When you're ready to resume tutoring, give us a call.

Can I get some help selecting appropriate texts and workbooks for my student?
Yes. Our Program Coordinator and tutor trainers are always available to assist you to determine appropriate reading texts and workbooks. For our School Program, librarians and teachers are more than happy to provide guidance.

I support your program but don't have an interest in tutoring right now. How else can I help?
We have other opportunities to support VRP that do not involve direct tutoring of students. Just call our Program Coordinator at our office at (802) 362-2323 and let her know of your interest.

What if I find that my student and I don't make good partners? We hope this won't happen, of course. If it does, let our Program Coordinator know and she will find a new tutor for your student and work on finding you another student.

Other Volunteer Opportunities
We have other opportunities to support VRP that do not involve direct tutoring of students. Just call our Program Coordinator at our office at (802) 362-2323 and let her know of your interest. Examples of volunteer opportunities include:
  • Organize a Children's Bookshare at a special literacy event.
  • Manage a permanent Children's Bookshare at a country store.
  • Organize the library and bookplate at the VRP office.
  • Assist with fundraising events.
  • Assist with social events.

Contact Information
June Gutbier, Program Coordinator
PO Box 72
Manchester, Vermont 05254