President of the Board of Directors for Read Moncton
Improving lives through literacy is not just the slogan for Read Moncton, but is truly our raison d'être, as we recognize that lives are enhanced and our communities are made stronger through improved literacy skills.
Read Moncton, the local council of Read NB, founded in 1977, is a non-profit organization which offers free one-to-one tutoring to individuals over the age of 16, who are looking to upgrade their reading and writing, work towards their General Education Development (GED) certificate, or to improve their math or digital skills. We have recently
added English as Another Language training to our services, due to the growing demand in Southeastern NB, however, this is not one of our core services.
Our learners include adults of all ages, from all walks of life. From grandparents who want to be able to read a bedtime story to their grandchildren, adults who want to feel the accomplishment of attaining their GED, and folks who know that improving their literacy skills may provide the opportunity for a better paying job and better quality of life.
It is not always easy to ask for help, however. There is a perceived stigma attached to the inability to read. We have learners who have graduated from high school, who were pushed through the system, never getting the actual help that they needed. We have learners who completed some high school, but never graduated, and we have learners
that never had the opportunity to attend high school at all. What all of our learners have in common though, is the amazing strategies that they have developed to hide the fact that reading is difficult or impossible for them!
Contacting us at Read Moncton is the first step to improving literacy skills. Potential learners meet with our tutor coordinator for a reading assessment to determine their current level of literacy. They are then matched with a tutor who works one-to-one with them on a schedule that is mutually convenient. Learning sessions are held in public places, most frequently at public libraries, but a few tutor/learner pairs meet at Tim Hortons or other public areas that provide a quiet corner. Learning programs are individually tailored to each learner. Learners may be at a beginner level, starting with the alphabet. Or they may be more advanced, wishing to improve their reading comprehension or writing skills. Sometimes learners want to concentrate on a specific area: the language used in their workplace, a learning manual such as the driver's handbook, or one particular subject for the GED.
Our tutors are all trained volunteers who, like our learners, include people of all ages and come from all walks of life. Qualities we look for in our tutors include: patience and understanding, having a good attitude along with being enthusiastic and encouraging. Tutors must recognize the need of maintaining complete confidentiality with regards to their learner. We ask for a minimum of six months to a one year commitment from our tutors, fully understanding 'life' happens.
The tutor intake process includes an application form, minimum of two references, and a criminal record check. Prospective tutors complete an online training series and participate in a final workshop with other new tutors from around the province. Our local tutor coordinator is available to answer any questions throughout the training process and while tutors are being paired with a learner. We offer ongoing support and hold in-person tutor meetups three times a year. All resource materials are supplied.
It is not uncommon to complete the tutor training and question whether or not you are qualified to undertake tutoring. But you are. Unlike the learner, whose first step was contacting us, a tutor's real first step is that initial session with their learner. It can be a little nerve-wracking for both participants, but once you have a few sessions in the books it gets easier and easier.
And it is incredibly rewarding. Many tutors will say they get more out of tutoring than they feel their learners do.
Every effort is made to pair a learner and a tutor who will be compatible -who may share similar interests, demeanour, or whose personalities will 'gel.' It is not simply a pairing of the next one on the list. A few factors need
to align and be considered before a match is made, such as available times for sessions, gender or age preference, along with personalities.
Read Moncton operates under the guidance of a volunteer board of directors and one part time employee, our tutor coordinator. We have an office located at 96 Norwood Ave., Suite 208, in Moncton, with office hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or by appointment. We may be reached by phone at 506-382-3303 and by email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in becoming a learner or becoming a tutor, we would love to hear from you. Please get in touch. Improve your life or someone else's life through literacy.