Tutors needn’t have teaching experience – ours come from a variety of careers – but should be committed to working with and enhancing the academic skills of young people. Tutors must be at least 18 years of age. We generally discourage college students, who we’ve found have difficulty honoring the time commitment (45 minutes to two hours each week throughout the school year), but consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
Regardless of the program (see options at right), all volunteers go through a rigorous one-day training covering the fundamentals of teaching phonics, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and/or math. Refresher and special topics workshops are offered regularly. Our reading and math specialists provide ongoing support and are always available to answer questions via discussion, notes, or email.
This is a unique opportunity to roll up your sleeves and get personally involved in closing the achievement gap in Washtenaw County by sharing your love of learning with one disadvantaged young person and playing a positive, caring role in their life. We hope you will join us in this noble and rewarding effort.
WRITING TUTORS: Writing sessions either precede or follow the student’s Reading sessions, above. Therefore, Writing Tutors also volunteer Tuesday-Thursday. They spend either one or two hours per week (same times slots as Reading Tutors) working with small groups of students and/or an individual student (under the direction of the FLI writing teacher), helping them to learn organizational skills, use of new vocabulary, and how to elaborate with description and details.
MATH TUTORS: Math is taught on Mondays. Each Math Tutor spends one hour per week, 4:30-5:30, 6:00-7:00, or 7:00-8:00 p.m., working 1x1 with a student in a private tutoring room. Basic math fundamentals are taught and practiced.
SUBSTITUTE TUTORS: Substitutes are exactly like other tutors and undergo the same training, but are unable to commit to a fixed schedule or for a complete school year. Subs determine when they are available and are “on call” in case a tutor cancels.
OTHER OPPORTUNITIES: As a community-based organization, FLI encourages Washtenaw County residents who believe in our mission to contribute their time and skills. Volunteers have contributed clerical work, office management, bookkeeping, information technology, website design and maintenance, office cleaning, public relations, and other services up to and including joining our board of directors. If you want to forward our mission, don’t hesitate to contact us. Many of our board and staff started out the same way!