Become a Volunteer
Make a Donation
The need for literacy and English language instruction continues to grow. One out of every five American adults is functionally illiterate, with reading skills below the eighth grade level. In Northern Virginia alone 130,000 adults function at the lowest literacy level. Many of these individuals cannot read well enough to fill out a job application, read to their children, or understand the label on a medicine bottle. One in every seven area adults is foreign-born and 60 percent of this population is not proficient in English.
At any given time we have 100-150 students on our waiting list for tutors. You can help by serving as a tutor or in one of the other volunteer capacities listed below. By becoming a volunteer, you can open a new world for an adult learner.
- Basic Literacy Tutors work one-to-one with adults who are learning to read and write English. English as a Second Language Tutors work one-to-one with adults who are learning to read, speak and understand English and want to develop basic survival skills. Following a training workshop, tutors in both programs are matched with a student. They meet in the community for a couple of hours each week. The schedule is flexible. No teaching or foreign language experience is required. Ongoing support and training are provided. Click here to see the upcoming Basic Literacy and ESL Tutor workshop schedule.
- ESL Computer Lab Aides provide assistance to students working with software that teaches English. Training is provided. No teaching or foreign language experience is required. The schedule is flexible, but a minimum commitment of a two-hour time slot is requested. ESL Computer Labs are located in Alexandria and Falls Church. Click here to view current computer lab hours.
- ESL Class Aides work with small groups of adult students under the supervision of an experienced instructor to help them develop basic English skills. Training and materials are provided. No teaching or foreign language experience is required. Classes are located in Alexandria, Arlington, Culmore, Falls Church, and Springfield. Click here to view class locations and times.
- Family Learning Program Volunteers work as an adult ESL class aides, adult literacy tutors, children's homework helpers, preschool instructional volunteers, or computer instructional aides. Volunteers are needed at our locations in Herndon, Falls Church, Bailey's Crossroads, Springfield and Fairfax.
- By becoming a Special/One Time Projects Volunteer, you or a group (civic associations, corporate groups, church groups) can help by providing extra volunteer assistance for fundraisers, fairs, book sales, and other activities. We are currently looking for volunteers to help with our gift wrapping fundraiser at Borders in Pentagon City (Nov. 29 - Dec. 24) and Barnes and Noble in Seven Corners (Dec. 13 - 15)
-The Council is always looking for Office Volunteers to help with a variety of tasks including: filing, sorting, data entry, and telephone calling. The schedule is flexible and no computer experience is necessary.
Still not sure which volunteer opportunity is right for you. We invite you to attend an optional volunteer orientation to help with your decision. Click here to view the schedule of upcoming orientations.
Why should I tutor?
Who am I going to be tutoring?
What is required to be a tutor?
How many hours should I tutor each week?
How long am I expected to tutor?
Do I need previous teaching experience?
What training is involved?
Is there a cost for the training?
Where does the tutoring take place?
If I take the training, must I tutor?
Do I need to know a foreign language to tutor?
What if I need to travel or miss some tutoring sessions?
What resources are available to assist with my tutoring?
How do I track my student's progress?
How do you match tutors and students?
Do I need to take a training workshop to bean ESL class aide?
How do students find out about the Literacy Council?
Please contact us for more information on our volunteer opportunities. Please email or call us with your mailing address so we can send you an information packet. In addition to your address please let us know how you heard about the Literacy Council. This will allow us to track the success of our various outreach efforts.
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: (703) 575-7900
Mail: Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
Make a Donation
The demand for literacy and ESL instruction continues to grow. We need your assistance now more than ever. By making a tax deductible donation, you can help the Literacy Council reach more students or provide educational materials for those already enrolled. An investment in the Literacy Council is a good one: last year only 6 percent of funds went toward administrative and fundraising costs, the remainder went toward program expenses. We estimate that every dollar contributed to the Literacy Council is tripled in value by volunteer services.
Online contributions can be made at helping.org.
You can also mail your donation directly to the Council at:
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
Gifts of securities such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are advantageous if you hold a security such as a stock that has increased in value since you acquired it. By making a gift of stock held longer than one year, you avoid paying capital gains tax. In addition, you can receive an income tax deduction for the current market value of the gift.
Please contact the Council's Executive Director, Patricia Donnelly at (703)575-7900, ext. 102 for more information on how to donate stocks, bonds or mutual funds to the Council.
There are many advantages to estate and gift planning for the future. By providing a planned gift to a designated charity you can provide your self with an income tax deduction. Depending on your circumstances, you can arrange for increased income for your family, capital gains tax avoidance, tax free income, estate tax savings, and a hedge against inflation.
Charitable gift annuities: pay guaranteed income for life
Bequests with double tax savings
Charitable lead trusts: provide savings in gift and estate taxes
Deferred charitable bequests may actually increase income for your survivors.
Please contact Patricia Donnelly at the Literacy Council (703) 237-0866, ext. 102 for more information.
United Way/CFC Campaigns
You can support the Council by contributing to the following charitable campaigns: United Way, Combined Federal Campaign, or the Fairfax County Combined Charitable Campaign. The Council's designation number is #8356.