What is Literacy Volunteers of the Tarrytowns? ▲
Literacy Volunteers of the Tarrytowns (LVT) is a group of men and women dedicated to helping adults in the Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow community who want to learn how to speak, read, and write English. There are two types of learners:
Those who do not speak English as their native language.
Native speakers who want to improve their English reading and writing skills.
When did LVT start? ▲
Literacy Volunteers of the Tarrytowns was founded in 1974 and incorporated in 1990. It joined Literacy Volunteers of America in 1974 as a provisional affiliate, became a permanent affiliate in 1978, and became an accreditated affiliate in 2002. It is currently accredited by ProLiteracy America.
Who sponsors LVT? ▲
What credentials does LVT have? ▲
LVT is an accredited program of ProLiteracy America, a branch of ProLiteracy Wordwide. Accreditation must be renewed every four years and includes a site visit. LVT is unique in that it is the only remaining all-volunteer literacy afiliates of Literary New York.
How many members does LVT have? ▲
In 2017-2018, we had about 80 volunteers. These include 50 active tutors, 14 board members, plus tutor advisors, newsletter editors, special projects volunteers, and sustaining members. A number of members serve in multiple roles. The membership roster is constantly changing, as new volunteers join and others drop out.
How long is the student waiting list? ▲
There are currently 50 students on the waiting list, but this number fluctuates. The student waiting list has often topped 100 people.
I am interested in becoming a volunteer tutor. What is my first step? ▲
Complete a tutor application form in one of several ways:
Complete our volunteer application form, and submit it online.
Print the online form, fill it out by hand, and return it by mail or in person to the front desk at the Warner Library.
Pick up an application form at the Warner Library.
Do I need any special background or training to become a tutor? ▲
Tutor applicants must be nineteen older and have a good command of the English language. Prior teaching experience or ability to speak another language is helpful to some tutors but not necessary.
How often do the tutor training classes take place? ▲
Tutor training workshops for English as a Second Language (ESL) are offered in the spring and fall of each year. Each workshop consists of six Saturday morning classes (9 to 12 noon, with a refreshment break) plus a follow-up class after tutoring has commenced. Basic Reading (BR) workshops are given less frequently, depending on demand. We have found that in our community, the student applications are overwhelmingly from the immigrant community seeking help with ESL.
What will I learn in the tutor training classes? ▲
You will learn specific techniques to help your student acquire the English language skills, vocabulary, and confidence he or she needs to navigate everyday life in the United States. Topics that LVT tutors cover with their students include shopping, medical and dental appointments, talking on the telephone, applying for a job, meeting your child’s teachers, preparing for U.S. citizenship, and applying to college. You will learn how to tailor your tutoring sessions to the needs and aspirations of your particular student.
All tutoring takes place in the tutoring center, located on the 3rd floor of the Warner Library. The tutoring center has four study carrels. Each carrel is equipped with an audio tape recorder. One carrel has a video player with headphones. There is also a collection of books and print media that tutors and their students can use.
You and your student will decide on a mutually convenient day and time to meet during Warner Library normal operating hours [link to Warner Library hours]
Each tutor is asked to meet with his or her student for 2 hours per week for a minimum of 1 year. Most tutors and students do take a few weeks off for vacations and holidays.
Let us know the days and times you are available to tutor on your application form. Our Director of Tutor-Student Matching will assign you a student who is available during those times. You will receive the name and contact information for your student during the tutor training workshop. There is a particular need for tutors who can volunteer on Monday and Thursday evenings and on weekends.
Your student may know little or no English, may have studied English in school, or may be more advanced. If you have a preference for a beginning or an advanced student, please let us know on your application.
It is possible. Some of our tutors are in Tarrytown Spring through Fall and spend the winter months in warmer places. Once you are matched with a student, you will be able to set up your own tutoring schedule and find times that suit you and your student. If your job requires you to be away for several weeks at a time, you may need to do extra preparation so that your student has lots of review work to do while you are gone.
It is possible to arrange through LVT to tutor in another location in the community that is open to the public during the appropriate hours. If you have such a need, contact your tutor advisor for information on how to proceed.
LVT English as a Second Language students come from many different countries, particularly Latin America. Presently we have students and applicants from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Dominican republic, Ecuador, Japan, Korea, Morocco, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru, and Portugal. In addition, Basic Literacy students are American.
If you prefer to tutor a student from a particular country or a particular language background, please let us know on your tutor application form.
Tutor applicants must be nineteen or older.
Student applicants must be nineteen or older.
Generally, yes. Sometimes two students, such as a husband and wife, will ask to be tutored together. Experienced LVT tutors sometimes form classes for small groups of advanced students.
Yes. Our volunteer tutors share their personal and professional expertise in other areas as well. These areas include newsletter editing, help with mailings and hospitality, publicity, graphic design, and administrative tasks.