“The broadest, and maybe the most meaningful definition of volunteering: doing more that you have to because you want to, in a cause you consider good” – Ivan Scheier


Literacy Now Cowichan’s cause is Adult Basic Education and you will understand why in this video



o What does it take to become a volunteer tutor?

1. Call our office at 250-597-1776 and book an appointment with Isabelle, the volunteer coordinator. Bring your resume if you have one ready and any references you may have also.

2. During the meeting, Isabelle will explain to you how we work at Literacy Now Cowichan and who our learners are. She will give you a tour of our learning center. You will have the chance to talk about your past experience and your skills.

3. You will leave the meeting with a letter for the RCMP so you can obtain a free criminal record check.

4. If the meeting has been successful, you will start the tutor training a short time later.


o Tutor Training

Our volunteer tutors receive 20 to 25 hours of training. And even after this training period, they are never left on their own. The tutor coordinator provides on-going monitoring and support to ensure a positive experience.

o What do volunteers get in exchange for their work?

• Volunteers have a sense of accomplishment through the joy and success they bring to their learners’ life.
• They become part of a team.
• They can get a letter of reference and have something to add to their resume.
• They learn more by teaching what they know.
• Volunteers are the backbone of our organization. For this reason, we make sure we regularly demonstrate our appreciation by setting aside some fun time for them.


For many years in journalism words were the tools of my trade, and I wanted to be able to use that experience in retirement. Literacy tutoring is a perfect way to do that.

It’s very easy to hibernate when you’re retired. I know many colleagues who did exactly that. Wanting to avoid that, I looked for something useful to do, and tutoring fills that need very well.

Tutoring is very rewarding. It is wonderful to see a learner suddenly grasp a language concept that they should have learned in school, but never did.

A wonderful attitude of the learners. Having an environment where you can respond to that. You and Kathleen are great support for that. Good relax atmosphere and good resources.

It broadens my knowledge of electronics and different electronics. And I meet interesting people.

English learners have told me they were more able to listen to news, talk on the phone, write memos at work,  do job interviews, stand up to fraud, read a  good novel, chat with co-workers, and meet with their kid’s teacher….

When English learners find their lives better, I feel joy for them.