Over the years, Literacy NOW has searched for online resources for volunteer literacy programs, volunteers, tutors, and students. Below are a few of our favorite resources with descriptions.
Tutor/Instructor Online Training Sites
Minnesota Literacy Council – This site provides online tutor training. While the refugee numbers and information are geared for Minnesota, the overall training is still very valuable.
El Civics Online – Online citizenship and civics volunteer training program and resources.
Capitol Region Educational Council – On this website you will find a vast array of online resources for ABE and ESL instruction and online sites for students independent practice. Most are free and very easy to access and use. Wonderful collection.
NALD (National Adult Literacy Database) – A website from Canada, has a rich collection of resources for teachers and students, including teaching manuals and easy-to-read books.
Hopelink Eastside Literacy – This tutor support site has links to many other resources for both tutors and students.
ProProfs.com – Proprofs is an extensive network for teachers who want to share information and materials. There are materials including places to post and share tests and quizzes, online tutorials. There are also blogs for teachers to read about the experiences of other teachers and share their own.
Free Printables for Teachers – This site is a great resource for teachers looking to change or update activities in their classrooms. It is easy to access a number of printable crosswords, word puzzles, board games on different topics. You can also create your own activities using templates.
Minnesota Adult Basic Education Disabilities – This guide is designed to equip ABE managers, teachers, volunteers and tutors to empower, educate and improve the lives of their students with disabilities.
LD Online – LD online is the leading website on learning disabilities, learning disorders and differences. While this set up for parents and teachers of learning disabled children, it contains lots of information about learning challenges that can be applied to adults. The descriptions of disabilities and challenges along with many useful strategies and success stories fill this website.
Tutor/Instructor Sources for Reading Materials
Awesome Stories – This site has stories on every topic imaginable, from the Black Plague to Susan B. Anthony’s biography. Each topics is broken up into a series of chapters and each chapter has links to other articles, pictures and asides.
The Change Agent: An Adult Education Newsletter for Social Justice – An inexpensive monthly publication created for ESOL students. Includes material at four different skill levels. (Include ordering and contact info)
Easy English Times – Go to site and scroll down to the Easy English Times. You can access articles without subscribing.
Adult Learning Activities – Find readable articles for you students. Click on the topic button at the top of the page. Each story has a “Basic Story” or “Full Story” function to save a lot of time shortening and simplifying.
Tutor/Instructor Sources for Pictures
Time Magazine Online – This site is good for finding pictures for current events, news stories, and much more.
The Internet Picture Dictionary – On this site, you can find single images categorized by theme.
Google Images – Have you noticed the “images” buttons above the Google search? Type in a word you are interested in finding an image for, you will find numerous color pictures to use.
The Library of Congress – This site is of special interest to citizenship teachers.
Online Resources about Refugee and Culture
Cultural Orientation – Download, view, or order articles and other materials regarding refugees and resettlement.
International Rescue Committee – Browse article about IRC’s activities overseas, general reports, program info, news, and country specific websites.
United States Committee for Refugees – Current info about refugee issues in the form of articles, photo galleries, short videos, and statistical reports.
Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning – Information, materials, and technical assistance to ESL teachers and tutors of refugees or immigrants.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) – Current news and history about the world’s refugees.
Ask ME 3 – A communication tool developed to improve the way patients and doctors discuss symptoms, diagnose, and treatments.
Group Health Readability Toolkit – Developed for doctors by doctors to help simplify healthcare information. This kit can be followed to develop an understanding of usable language in the medical field.
Practical Money Skills for Life – This site includes articles, games, calculators, and budgeting tips designed to increase financial literacy for all individuals.
MyMoney.gov – Created by the Financial Literacy and Education Commission, this site includes articles, guides, and information about a variety of financial literacy topics.
Adult Literacy Advocacy and Statistics
Proliteracy – Proliteracy is a nationally recognized advocate for adult literacy. This site includes advocacy information, resources, and some volunteer trainings.
Verizon Literacy Network – Verizon Literacy Network and its newest merged invention, Verizon Thinkfinity are generous supporters of adult basic education in many ways, offering information and connections on their websites. Check out other gems in this newly improved website including on-line courses for literacy program volunteers and managers.
Volunteer Program Management
Non-Profit Risk Management Center – This website – from the organization with the definitive words on this subject – presents two areas with free advice. Among many articles, the Advice section contains Components of a Screening Process. The Tutorial section contains dandy free self paced online courses, including Risk Management, the cover job descriptions, interview questions, orientation, and volunteer supervision.
Thinkfinity – Again, the Verizon Literacy Network contains self-paced free online courses not only for volunteers, but also for literacy program managers. Download or browse the Verizon Literacy Network Free Online Course Catalog for complete descriptions of all the offerings. While none of the teaching-related courses is intended to substitute for the actual experience of a group preservice training, some courses could be used as screening and orientation material to help prospective volunteers get a clearer picture of tutoring before making a commitment to your organization. Other courses could easily be adapted to use in a group inservice workshop or recommended to active tutors for self-study.
State Board for Community and Technical Colleges / Adult Basic Education / Professional Development Services – The new Teachers’ Resources section contains a selection of materials form the Professional Development Services’ lending library that are now available download for free.
More Volunteers – This website doe seem to present an offer that’s difficult to refuse, but you must subscribe to the site to get the constant stream of ideas by email. There are, however, plenty of free ideas for the gleaning without any obligation.
Energize, Inc. – The Energize website “empowers and inspires leaders of volunteers worldwide. Our specialty is creating and selecting the most relevant, innovative resources in volunteer management.” The Volunteer Management Resource library provides free access to volunteer management articles, e-books, links to research, and websites – organized by subject. The “Volunteer Management Skill Area” contains book excerpts, articles, and web resources on common topics such as volunteer recruitment, retention, interviewing, screening, and support, in addition to issues like fundraising, event planning, and program evaluation and assessment.