Washtenaw Literacy

Rating: 4.96 stars   25 reviews

Issues: Education, Human Services, Immigration

Location: 5577 Whittaker Rd Ypsilanti MI 48197 USA

Mission: Washtenaw Literacy was founded in 1971 by a small group of volunteers who wanted to help other adults learn to read. Today, our organization has grown to serve over 1,500 adults each year in our one-on-one and group tutoring programs. We remain the only organization in Washtenaw county that provides free, customized one-on-one tutoring to adults in reading and writing or English as a second language.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I've been a tutor with Washtenaw Literacy for 3 1/2 years both as an ESL tutor and, most recently, as a tutor in the literacy program with the county jail. Washtenaw Literacy is excellent in its preparation and continued education for its volunteers. It makes it nice for those of us who are retired and are undertaking a new role that may be different from our life long career. I especially like the fact that Washtenaw Literacy truly engages in meeting the needs of those with the most need.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a tutor for a little over eight months. The tutoring that I did with my first learner, who had a brain injury, was challenging, but I learned a lot and had a sense of having helped the learner make progress. I had great support from staff, beyond my initial training and some additional workshops. After six months that tutoring relationship ended by mutual agreement, and for the past two months I've been part of Washtenaw Literacy's Washtenaw County Jail program. Again, I'm learning a lot and most definitely having the enjoyable and rewarding sense of making a difference in the lives of the learners. The experience has touched me deeply. I would highly recommend becoming a volunteer tutor (or a volunteer in some other capacity), or contributing to the organization. It is a no-nonsense, lean and mean, friendly and helpful organization that is truly making a difference in our community.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

have even more tutor training programs for interested tutors, if financially possible and feasible time-wise for staff, etc.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been volunteering for Washtenaw Literacy for about two and a half years, working with ESL learners in a drop-in group, and with basic learners, doing both GED preparation and basic math and reading literacy. As a retiree, I find this a valuable use of my time in a way that makes a big difference in my life and the lives of the people I serve.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been with WL since 2006. I have had the honor of helping learners become American citizens, learn to read, learn to do basic math, and learn to speak English. The staff is amazing, and I really enjoy working with them. I have enjoyed being a mentor and working with other tutors as well. I love WL because I can make a difference in the lives of others, and also because I'm needed, wanted, and valued. I get to teach people how to do things I take for granted, like reading my bills, filling out forms, and asking questions at the doctor. While I'm teaching, I'm also learning, about my community, my country, and the world. Deciding to join WL is the best choice I've ever made.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer tutor with Washtenaw Literacy since 1997, working both with individual ESL learners and with groups. My first one-on-one learner earned her U.S. citizenship on the second try when she was about 80 years old. One of my current ESL learners, an extremely focused self-starter, has made incredible strides in speaking and comprehension in the past several years. Working with ESL groups teaches me as much as I teach them. The generous and timely support that volunteer tutors and mentors receive from the Washtenaw Literacy staff creates a core of faithful volunteers who continue their association with the organization year after year. The excellent 15-hour training for new tutors, which WL devised and continues to refine, plus workshops on teaching methods, lesson planning, learning styles, local resources, etc., make them the premier literacy agency in Michigan.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Rating: 5 stars  

I've been volunteering with WL for many years, and have found it to be the most rewarding volunteer experience I've had. The number of people who benefit from the organization, as well as the vast range of their needs and abilities, is amazing. Working with ESL learners, I've encountered everything from post-doctoral students to illiterate folks from depressed countries, and without exception all are provided the best possible learning situation as well as complete respect. Tutors and staff are exceptional, dedicated people.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I've been a tutor with Washtenaw Literacy for 6 years. In 2008 I assisted my 50 year old learner to prepare to vote in a presidential election. This was the first time in his life that he had ever voted, because he had never been able to read the ballot. He was so happy and proud to be able to participate in this basic civil right. An adult who cannot read is restricted from participating in so many everyday activities that most of us take for granted. Washtenaw Literacy is an incredible organization, using hundreds of volunteer tutors to reach out and make a difference in thousands of lives. The training, staff support and mentoring services provided to tutors are outstanding. The staff are continuously providing educational opportunities and encouraging tutors to grow and be the most effective possible. Because of their dedication and superb use of resources, this organization has made great strides in decreasing illiteracy in Washtenaw County one learner at a time.

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Rating: 4 stars  

This is a great organization that has served hundreds of learners over the years. It not only helps adults with basic literacy skills but also has a large ESL program. The organization has remained strong through hard economic times when funding has been scarce. It utilizes it's large tutor base well especially when times are tough. It provides a wonderful traing program, great tutor support and continuing education for it's tutors.


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Rating: 5 stars  

Washtenaw Literacy changes lives by increasing adults' abilities to read and write. I've been a volunteer tutor with Washtenaw Literacy for 4 years - as a tutor, you get to work directly with learners and see the changes in their abilities. The staff goes above and beyond to support volunteers, including offering development and leadership opportunities.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Washtenaw Literacy fosters an exceptional volunteer experience. The work (helping adults learn to read and write English) is so important, and a unique service. I see every week the direct life-changing impact that learning how to read has for learners. Moreover, the agency keeps volunteers connected with frequent training and social opportunities.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Rating: 5 stars  

When I became a tutor with Washtenaw Literacy, I was and still am thoroughly impressed with the training provided to new and seasoned tutors. The organization constantly provides tools and resources relevant to learners and the actual environment we live in. It is also a pleasure when you see other tutors jump in to help their fellow tutors. The relationships built and meeting new people is a secondary benefit to helping someone improve their literacy skills.

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