Since 1985, the DLC has trained more than 2,500 volunteer tutors who have, in turn, helped empower more than 18,000 Durham residents through literacy. Many others have filled vital support roles on our board, at our reception desk, and on various fundraising projects. These generous individuals have transformed many lives through literacy. We hope you will join them!

Volunteer Opportunities


All Durham Literacy programs are operating online during the COVID-19 pandemic. All volunteer tutors must have internet access and a computer with a camera and microphone to be able to teach in the online environment. 

Our programs are accepting new volunteers on an as-needed basis:


  • ESOL: Our ESOL program is seeking tutors who have experience teaching ESOL. If you are interested in tutoring a class remotely at least one night a week, please contact joan@durhamliteracy.org.

  • Adult Literacy: Our Adult Literacy program is not recruiting new tutors at this time. On a case by case basis, we may be able to match former Adult Literacy tutors who completed one or more of our past trainings and who are interested in working remotely with a student (using Zoom, Google Meet, or another platform). If you are a former tutor who is interested in tutoring remotely, please contact gardy@durhamliteracy.org

  • YAP: Our YAP program is seeking volunteers who have experience with remote/online learning for our students who need one-on-one focus with reading, writing, and math skills at the intermediate academic level. Click here to learn more about volunteering with YAP

Training in our curriculum and how to use online learning tools will be provided remotely to new volunteers. Thank you for your interest!


We offer the following types of volunteer opportunities:


  • Direct instruction as one-on-one tutor, a small group instructor, or a substitute tutor/instructor with one of our core programs (Adult Literacy, ESOL, Youth Achievement Program)


  • Instructional support provider (e.g., prepare instructional materials, assist students in the computer lab as they complete homework assignments and/or apply for jobs) 


  • Administrative support provider (e.g., cover a shift at our front reception desk or assist with direct mailings, data entry, prep for fundraising events)


  • Board sub-committee member (lend a hand and learn more about the organization)


The Volunteer Opportunities Grid provides summary information -- including typical time commitments -- for these various options.


​​Becoming a DLC Volunteer

Follow these steps to become a DLC volunteer:

Current Volunteer Resources
Adult Literacy Tutors

Submit data (then clear cache!)

      >>  Volunteer Hours

      >>  Assessment data

      >>  Progress report

      >>  Online instructional resources

ESOL Instructors

Online instructional resources

>  ESOL Class Syllabi

>  ESOL Tutor Calendar

Youth Achievement Program Tutors

>  YAP Website

  1. Review the Volunteer Opportunities Grid to learn more about our programs' volunteer needs. Not sure which program is right for you? Contact us

  2. Once you have selected a program that you'd like to volunteer with, email the Program Coordinator. Make sure to provide your contact information so we can get back to you. 

  3. If you're interested in providing administrative support or working on special projects (not tutoring), contact our Director of Development, Amy Bogie, at amycbogie@durhamliteracy.org

  4. All tutoring volunteers must attend training sessions prior to service. Program Coordinators will inform you of any upcoming trainings or additional requirements. 

Click on photos to learn more about our tutors:

Click here for more information about volunteer orientation and tutor training.



​Volunteer Requirements and Responsibilities​ 


​While specific requirements and responsibilities vary by volunteer role, we expect all volunteers to meet the following requirements:

> Be at least 18 years old, unless special arrangements have been made beforehand.

> Be able to transport themselves to and from the DLC site.

> Be able and willing to participate in any training required for the volunteer role chosen.

> Be able to communicate with DLC staff by phone or email as needed.

> Be patient, compassionate, and dedicated to the DLC community. 

Finally, we require that all tutors (and staff) be respectful of students' right to privacy. All information shared by students - even the simple fact that they participate in our programs - is strictly confidential unless a student has consented in writing on an official DLC consent form to sharing information with others.