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Every year, over 150 volunteers support Orange Literacy by providing office support and vital tutoring services to adults throughout Orange County. Without volunteer power, we would need almost twice as much income to reach the number of adults we serve each year. Read about all of our volunteer opportunities below.


Tutors should commit 4-6 hours per week to tutoring and preparation for at least 6 months.



ABE tutors provide one-on-one instruction in reading and writing, math, and GED preparation. Many of our ABE students are non-native English speakers who have graduated from our ESOL program. We require that ABE tutors meet with their student twice a week for about 1.5 hours at a time. ABE tutors should commit 4-6 hours per week to tutoring and preparation for at least 6 months.



We tutor all four subjects of the GED. We also help improve test-taking skills. Students meet with their tutors twice a week. 

We also offer preparation for the HiSET, an alternative high school equivalency exam. Tutors should commit 4-6 hours per week to tutoring and preparation for at least 6 months.


ESOL tutors provide English language instruction to small groups (3-12 students) who are all at a similar level of English proficiency. These students come to us from all over the world and speak many different first (and often second and third) languages. Our classes are therefore full-English immersion, and we do not expect our tutors to be fluent in any language other than English. ESOL classes meet twice a week, typically Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday, for 2 hours at a time. ESOL tutors should commit 4-6 hours per week to tutoring and preparation for at least 6 months.



Digital Literacy tutors teach the basics of using computers, smartphones and the Internet. This includes skills such as Microsoft Office, browsing the web, shopping online and more. Volunteers should expect to commit 2-4 hours per week to working with students. This volunteer opportunity is currently offered online only.

  • How are tutors matched with their student(s)?
    Tutors are matched with students or classes based on their schedule and preferred volunteering location. Factors such as age, gender (if a preference is indicated), personality, and shared interests are also sometimes considered.
  • How soon can I get started?
    Our volunteer needs are always changing, and it is impossible to predict when specific needs will arise. Feel free to contact us at any time to inquire about our current volunteer needs.
  • When do your classes start and stop?
    Most small groups are ongoing. New students join as they enroll and continue throughout the year unless their schedule changes.
  • Why do I have to commit to tutoring for at least six months?
    There is no quick fix for low literacy or English-language skills, and improving them takes time and resolve on the part of our students. We expect volunteers to honor this resolve by serving for a minimum of six months.
  • Where will I tutor?
    Our tutors volunteer throughout Orange County, including in our Carrboro office, churches, libraries, schools, and other public spaces. We do not allow our tutors and students to meet in one another’s homes.
  • When will I tutor?
    We have classes and one-on-one tutoring from morning to evening each weekday. We work with tutors to find a time that fits their schedule.
  • What kind of training is provided to tutors?
    In addition to an initial training in the program of your choice, we provide continued support and feedback to all of our volunteer tutors. We also have frequent in-service trainings on specific teaching subjects and strategies.
  • What resources and materials are available to tutors?
    We make our extensive resource library of textbooks, workbooks, flashcards, electronic resources, games and manipulatives available to all of our tutors for use in our office or offsite. We also have a copier/scanner and computer lab in the office, as well as standard office and school supplies.
  • What do I do if a student asks me for help outside of literacy instruction?
    Tell us. We will put the student in contact with one of the numerous agencies in the region that provide assistance in areas other than literacy instruction.
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