Volunteer to Help Support Literacy and Decision-making Programs
Vita Education Services has a long history of delivering free instruction to adults through well-trained, volunteer tutors. Tutors can choose from three programs: Decisions For Living, Basic Literacy, or English as a Second Language.
Decisions For Living (DFL) tutors work with inmates in the Bucks County Correctional Facilities, teaching a process that emphasizes self-awareness, personal responsibility, critical thinking, and goal setting. DFL provides inmates with tools to help them reintegrate more effectively into the community upon release.
- Training: A fifteen-hour training includes a tour of the Bucks County Correctional Facility. The training provides tutors with an overview of the DFL course, the process that will help you become an effective tutor, and the responsibilities you have as a Vita volunteer. After training, tutors are individually interviewed. The tutor’s availability and personal interests are used to place a tutor with a client.
- Requirements: Bucks County Corrections regulations require that tutors have a Criminal Background Check demonstrating no criminal justice system involvement with the last two years. You will need to apply for the Criminal Background check before beginning the training to allow you to participate in the tour. Click Here to do this on-line. Vita asks that our tutors commit to a minimum of two hours of tutoring per week for a six to eight week period of time.
- Support: The Decisions For Living Facilitator’s Manual is provided in the training to guide you in teaching the course. Tutor-client matches are supervised and supported by Vita’s Criminal Justice Coordinator.
Learn about the experiences Vita’s volunteer tutors have had working with clients.
Basic Literacy (ABE) tutors work with adults who want to improve their basic education: reading, writing and math skills. Individual and small group tutoring supports English speakers who are assessed at Beginning Literacy, Beginning ABE and Low Intermediate ABE levels. Tutors can choose to work with adults in the community or in the Bucks County Correctional Facility.
English as a Second Language (ESL) tutors work with adults for whom English is not their first language and who wish to improve their English proficiency. It is not necessary to speak another language. The ESL tutoring program is focused on small group instruction from beginning to advanced levels.
- Training: A twelve-hour training in either literacy or ESL provides tutors with an understanding of the adult learner, the techniques that will help you become an effective tutor, and the responsibilities you have as a Vita volunteer. After training, tutors are individually interviewed and given a choice of tutoring opportunities. Availability, location in the community, and the tutor’s personal interests are used to determine placement.
- Requirements: Pennsylvania Adult Basic Literacy Education regulations require that Basic Literacy and ESL tutors have a college degree. Vita asks that our tutors commit to a minimum of two hours of tutoring per week for an eight to ten week period of time.
- Support: Curriculum materials are provided that focus on the accomplishment of a specific skill sets in reading, writing, math, or language improvement. Ongoing support is provided by Vita’s program coordinators.