Volunteer Literacy Tutor



Start Date


Time Commitment

A few hours per week


Short-Term (few weeks/months)


740 York Ave
East Side Learning Center, 740 York Ave
Saint Paul
United States


The East Side Learning Center (ESLC) provides free one-on-one reading tutoring for St. Paul students in grades K-3 who read below grade level and are unable to get help elsewhere. These children receive personalized lesson plans and are tutored four times a week during 30 - 50-minute sessions at five sites with volunteer and professional tutors.

Title: Volunteer Literacy Tutor

Purpose: To help all children discover the pride and joy of reading at grade level by third grade. ESLC believes in unlocking each child’s potential through the foundation of reading.

Supervisor: Site Coordinator

Tasks and Responsibilities:


  • Participate in tutor orientation.
  • Get to know each student’s interests and abilities.
  • Keep notes on each student’s progress and particular needs and interests.
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes before tutoring session begins to allow time to read through the day’s lesson plan, familiarize yourself with the materials, and ask questions as needed.


  • Follow a lesson plan tailored to the student’s individual needs which is prepared for you to use by ESLC staff.
  • Keep student engaged in reading—maximize time on task.
  • Model fluent reading and a positive attitude about learning.
  • Ask higher level questions, encouraging students to do most of the talking:
  • What do you think about…? Why do you think…? How would you feel if…? Can you tell why…?
  • Guide the students through activities designed to teach phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.
  • Encourage and praise students for efforts and accomplishments.
  • Motivate and encourage students with easy reading material for home practice.
  • Help a child develop an “I Can” attitude by encouraging him/her to see evidence of progress.

Communication and collaboration with ESLC staff

  • Record information about daily work and student progress, concerns, etc. in each student’s binder.
  • Confer with Site Coordinator regarding any student concerns regarding academic progress, behavior, or other issues. Site Coordinators will confer with classroom teachers, parents or others as appropriate.
  • Notify the Site Coordinator if additional supplies or materials are needed.
  • Read information posted on bulletin boards, in print, or shared via email.
  • Be flexible. Student assignments may change, or assigned students may be absent and tutors may be paired with a different student with little to no advance notice.  
  • Notify the Site Coordinator as soon as possible regarding schedule changes, absences or late arrival.


  • Ability to speak and read English
  • Must be able to follow the lesson plan provided by the Site Coordinator
  • Ability to work as a member of a team
  • Show interest in and enjoy working with young children
  • Treat the students with care and respect, volunteer tutors needs to bring ample patience and compassion.
  • Must be comfortable interacting with individuals from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds
  • Pass a criminal background check and Age 16+

Preferred Skills (not required):

  • Teaching or tutoring experience
  • Work or volunteer experience working with children ages 4-10 years’ old 
  • Bilingual in Spanish, Hmong, Somali, or Karen
  • Experience working with English language learners
  • Knowledge about literacy skills acquisition 

Time Commitment:

  • Must be able to complete at least one one-hour shift per week for a minimum of one school semester or summer session.
  • Summer session: Monday through Friday 8:45 am to 11:40 am.
  • School Year session: Monday through Thursday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Time vary by site.
  • Volunteers must be reliable. Children build relationships with tutors and we all depend on our volunteers to keep their commitment. If volunteers are chronically absent, children will not have a reliable routine to help them grow their reading skills.
  • Be prepared. Arrive at least 10-15 minutes before your tutoring session begins so you can read over your lesson plan and ask questions.

Location: There are several East Side Learning Center locations in East St. Paul. Your assignment based upon your availability and site need.

Benefits of Volunteering: Gain early and elementary childhood education experience, training and support from ESLC staff, and professional networking. Knowledge that you are helping children thrive!


  • Training Provided


  • Groups
  • International Volunteers

How To Apply


Please complete the online volunteer application and someone will be in touch to set up a volunteer intake.