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Since 1985, the DLC has trained more than 2,500 volunteer tutors who have, in turn, helped empower more than 18,500 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

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. Attend a 1-hour information session - dates for new volunteer Information Sessions will be announced soon. More info here:

  3. Email the Director of Educational Programs if you cannot attend the Info Session. Make sure to provide your contact information so we can get back to you. 

  4. If you're interested in providing administrative support or working on special projects (not tutoring), contact our Executive Director, Lizzie Ellis-Furlong, at


All tutoring volunteers must attend training sessions prior to service. Our staff 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 information sessions 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. 


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