September 14, 2021

Literacy DuPage

Literacy DuPage is a non-profit organization that has been committed to offering English language instruction to DuPage County adults since 1972. Its mission is to help adults achieve their life skills goals through accessible and customized tutoring.

Literacy DuPage recruits and trains tutors, providing them the materials, techniques, and confidence that they need to help adult students break through language barriers, one conversation at a time. Learners increase their English fluency and expand their communication skills, leading to safer, more productive lives and fuller participation in their communities.

Remarkably, it is estimated that there are more than 100,000 adults in DuPage County with insufficient English language abilities. Literacy DuPage has been able to provide services to over 10,000 adult learners throughout 30 communities in DuPage County at no cost.

Primarily through virtual means during COVID-19 restrictions, Literacy DuPage tutors have been able to continue to offer tailored, one-to-one tutoring to county adults, who have reached out for help in improving their English language comprehension, reading, speaking, and writing skills.

Students learn to converse so that they can do what most of us take for granted, such as making doctor appointments, go grocery shopping, or speaking with their children’s teachers. Additionally, intermediate-level learners participate in virtual English conversation groups with six libraries throughout DuPage County.

Learners represent 39 primary languages and 51 countries. The average age is 44. 80% are female, and 85% are parents, Learner ethnicities include 46% Latino, 16% Caucasian, 27% Asian, 3% Black, and 8% other. They are mostly immigrants, refugees, and low-income adults.

Tutors come from a range of backgrounds, as no prior teaching or foreign language experience is necessary. Tutoring occurs in a one-to-one setting at a time and public location that is convenient for both tutor and student.

Volunteers must live in DuPage County, be at least 21 years old, pass a background check, attend an orientation and 15 hours of training, and commit to a minimum of one hour of tutoring per week for at least 6 months.

Literacy DuPage is supported by foundation and state grants, corporate support, and donations from individuals.

Spotlight Guest

Bobbi Burgstone, Executive Director

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