The tutor-training class that began several weeks ago drew fewer new volunteers than usual, and the waiting list of local residents needing help is long, said Menlo Park librarian Roberta Roth, who works with Project Read.
In an effort to recruit more tutors before the next tutor-training class meets in February 2011, Project Read staff is urging people to sign up to volunteer and learn tutoring skills through videotaped and DVD training material available from the program's office at the Menlo Park Library.
No experience is necessary to be a Project Read tutor. Volunteers are matched with students, and the tutor and student determine when and where to meet. Tutoring often takes place in the library, and books and other materials are supplied by the program. All instruction is in English, so knowledge of another language isn't necessary.
The nonprofit program has provided free tutoring to more than 2,000 local residents since its founding in 1985. Some of the beneficiaries are trying to learn to read and write in English as a second language; others are native English speakers, but somehow slipped between the cracks at school and never learned literacy skills beyond a rudimentary level.
Although their backgrounds can be widely different, they have an important thing in common: the desire to improve their lives and those of their families through literacy, Ms. Roth said.
For more information about becoming a tutor, call the Project Read office at 330-2525, or e-mail Alice Bradshaw at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go to projectreadmenlopark.org to learn more about the program.