Volunteer with IRWP!
We need individuals sensitive to cultural differences with a desire to empower others. No teaching experience needed, just a caring heart, the ability to adapt and your own transportation for two, one-hour sessions per week.
Our volunteers teach women and men who are unable to attend formal English language classes. Our students and teachers meet for classes twice a week in the student’s home for one-on-one instruction that includes speaking, reading, and writing English. Teachers also often assist their students with real-life situations and go on “field trips” to various places in the community to practice their new skills. Most importantly, volunteers provide friendship and a sense of support and community to their students.
Volunteers must be at least college-age (18 or older). You must be able to meet regularly with your student two times per week for at least one semester (5 months). Volunteers should be flexible, patient, and comfortable working with individuals with limited English.
We do not require our volunteers to have previous teaching experience or knowledge of a second language. Our volunteers receive training from IRWP staff before starting their work with students, and ongoing training after they become teachers.
Benefits to Volunteers
As a volunteer, you’ll have an opportunity to learn about another culture firsthand— many students enjoy talking with their teachers about their home country, and often prepare traditional foods for their teachers to try. You will develop a friendship with your student and get to know them and their family. While working with your student, you’ll witness progress and celebrate both big and small victories together. You’ll gain valuable teaching and tutoring experience, and will often find yourself learning as much as your student!
Why don’t our students attend formal English classes?
Lack of child care
Inflexible work schedules
Health issues / trauma
Lack of transportation
What else do our teachers help with?
Making medical appointments
Using public transportation
Studying for the U.S. Citizenship exam
Applying for a driver’s license
How does learning English change our students’ lives?
Besides significantly increasing independence for many of our students, improved English ability:
Relieves isolation in a new culture
Enhances ability to communicate with doctors, children’s teachers, business personnel
Strengthens communication skills for the work place and positions students to be valued employees
Prepares them for citizenship
Assists in developing financial literacy