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Muskogee Public Library seeks volunteer tutors for literacy program

July 27, 2022

MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma—Muskogee Public Library’s Adult Literacy Program was organized in 1979, and throughout those 43 years, the program has seen many adult learners strengthen their skills and reach their goals. 

“We have shared wonderful occasions with our learners, including when they pass their GED, become citizens, improve their English, and enhance their language arts abilities,” said Penny Chastain, adult literacy coordinator. “Our goal is to continue developing our program so we can provide opportunities for our learners to achieve things that are long-standing and beneficial.  It is essential that we stay informed of the present and future needs of the community and meet those needs the best we can.”

Every year, or as necessary, the library steps back and looks at how it can continue helping learners succeed. In 2020, the program was redesigned and online classes were offered. 

“The response was amazing. Our learners have repeatedly expressed their appreciation for this change. In the past, obstacles including transportation, childcare, employment, family obligations, and other issues have prevented them from attending in-person classes,” Chastain said. “They can now study whenever it is convenient for them and in the comfort of their own homes.”

As the Adult Literacy Department expands and enhances programs, tutors aged 21 and up are needed to work with adult learners in all educational areas of the program, including GED test preparation, English as a Second Language, U.S. Citizenship Test Preparation, and Adult Basic Education.

“Committed students deserve the support, encouragement, and assistance of dedicated tutors in order to achieve their goals,” Chastain said.

What are the requirements to be a volunteer adult literacy tutor?

  • Minimum age of 21  
  • A high school diploma or equivalent 
  • English proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing
  • Have basic computer skills
  • Be dedicated and committed to both your adult learner and the adult literacy program. 
  • Live in the Northeast region of Oklahoma.

After training is completed, tutors will have the option of tutoring online from home, coming to Muskogee Public Library Adult Literacy Department to prepare and teach lessons, or both.

Tutors are not required to

  • Have a teaching certification
  • Have experience with teaching.
  • Speak, read, or write a second language
  • Be proficient in computers   

The adult literacy coordinator will provide computer literacy instruction as required and necessary. Tutors will communicate with the coordinator on a regular basis, and she will be available to offer advice, support, and guidance. 

“This is a wonderful opportunity to volunteer. You can make a difference,” Chastain said. “You can change a life. Just as our adult learners must do, take the first step and see what happens.”

For further information, contact Penny Chastain, adult literacy coordinator at pchastain@eols.org or (918) 682-6657 ext. 112.