Volunteer

The heart and soul of Blue Ridge Literacy is the dedicated cadre of volunteers who give up their time, energy, and expertise to help adults and families throughout the region to develop English literacy skills. BRL is very fortunate to have the quality and commitment of our hundreds of volunteers, and we continue to offer opportunities for service that really make a difference to others and throughout our community.

Literacy Tutors

Literacy Tutors work one-to-one with an adult learner in a public place of your choice. BRL will train you to work effectively with your learner for at least six months. Meeting location and times are determined by you as the tutor.

Classroom Teachers

Classroom Teachers work in small- and large- groups with adult English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) learners. BRL will train you to work effectively with your group for at least 10 weeks either at BRL or another class location. Class times are determined by BRL.

Tutor Requirements

Qualifications​

  • Must be at least 18 years old

  • Must commit to 6 months of service as tutor; 10 weeks of service as teacher

  • Must have a high school diploma or GED

  • Have no record of conviction for sex offense, theft, larceny, crimes of violence or other offenses that could pose a threat to the safety and/or well-being or a learner

  • Must have a desire to help someone improve their reading, writing, speaking, and/or listening skills 

  • Must be patient, compassionate, and committed

Responsibilities 

  • Must complete Tutor Training

  • Will commit to at least two hours per week of instructional time 

  • Agree to meet in a public tutoring location

  • Will notify the learner in advance of planned absences or expectations of delay

  • Will notify Program Director  if learner is not attending regularly or if problems arise

  • Send monthly reports to Program Director every month

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get involved?

If you are interested in volunteering at BRL, reach out to Program Director Sara Geres for more information. She can be reached at sgeres@brlit.org.

What does it cost to become a tutor?

There is a one-time $30 materials fee. This covers access to BRL's literacy library, unlimited copies, and tutoring materials for you and your learner(s). 

Will BRL provide training for me?

Yes! BRL offers group and solo trainings several times throughout the year. Check out the most recent dates here.

What will I do as a volunteer at BRL?

You will work with an adult literacy learner in either a one-to-one or group setting as a tutor or teacher. You will help your learner improve their literacy skills and achieve their goals.

What is the time commitment?

Volunteer tutors must commit for at least six months and teachers must commit for at least 10 weeks.

Where is BRL located? 

BRL is located inside the Main Library in Downtown Roanoke. Our address is 706 S Jefferson St. BRL's entrance across from the social security building and down the Elmwood Art Walk.

What qualifications do I need?

All literacy volunteers must be at least 18 years old, have a High School Diploma, and possess an interest in helping someone improve their literacy skills.

Where will I volunteer?

BRL tutors will meet in any public space, such as the BRL offices or a public library. Teachers will meet in the BRL offices.

What is the best part about volunteering?

Over 100 literacy volunteers will tell you that the best part of being a literacy volunteer is meeting the motivated learners (students) and developing what is often a life-long friendship.

More Opportunities

Party in Elmwood

5-9pm at Elmwood Park

Thursday June 13 
Thursday July 11 

Thursday August 22

Wednesday September 23

First Fridays

4:30-10pm on Franklin Road

Friday June 21 

Friday August 2 

 Salsa Noke's Rooftop Party

7:30pm-12am Center In The Square

Friday July 19 

Volunteers are needed to sell admission and drink tickets, as well as serving and pouring beverages. Your participation ensures BRL has the resources it needs! Email info@brlit.org or sign up below:

Meet our Literacy Volunteers

Clare, Tutor

Why do you volunteer at
Blue Ridge Literacy?

Alicha, Teacher

Why do you volunteer at 
Blue Ridge Literacy?

I would like to get involved!

Address

706 S Jefferson St, Roanoke, VA 24016, USA

Contact

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(540) 265-9339

At Blue Ridge Literacy, we are committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and volunteers without regard to sex, race, color, nationality, religion, political belief, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or veteran status.  Blue Ridge Literacy believes that diversity and inclusion is critical to our success as a local nonprofit, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool.