a world of adults, families, and communities empowered through literacy.
Literacy DuPage recruits and trains tutors who teach adults English.
Our volunteers teach basic—but life-changing—communication skills to adults who want to learn English.
Since 1972, we have been equipping a big-hearted army of tutors to work side-by-side with adults who cannot comprehend, speak, read, or write English. Imagine! We give these volunteers the materials, techniques, and confidence they need to help adults break through language barriers and experience a whole new world of communication and connection—right here in DuPage County.
Once each tutor is ready, we match him or her with an adult who wants to learn English. The learner and tutor decide on a convenient meeting time and place—often at the local library.
From there, the instruction is entirely customized. The learner chooses specific life skill goals, e.g. understand street signs, decipher prescription labels, read mail, tell bedtime stories, or apply for a job, and the tutor offers practical instruction in response. This highly personalized approach gets results, builds relationships, and strengthens communities.
Our community’s language gap may surprise you.
More than 100,000 DuPage County residents possess sub-par English skills.
Every year, Literacy DuPage serves more than 400 adult learners, covering more than 30 communities throughout DuPage County. But right now, our waiting list includes 100 more people who hope to be matched with a tutor soon.
We are proud of the difference that we’re making in so many lives, but we have far to go in achieving full literacy throughout the county. Learn about our five-year plan for doubling the impact of Literacy DuPage and read our Fiscal Year 2019 Program Report and 2019-2020 Annual Report to learn about the latest impact we have had in the communities.
These are your neighbors in need.
Literacy DuPage learners are adult men and women of all ages, nationalities, and social backgrounds. They all live in the western suburbs of Chicago. They all have hopes and dreams—to be self-sufficient individuals, productive employees, involved parents, connected neighbors, and informed citizens.
And they all struggle due to language barriers.
Generally, learners come to us with English literacy skills below ninth-grade level. Some are native English speakers, but most are immigrants. Our learner base represents 36 first languages and 58 countries.
- Our English as a Second Language (ESL) Learners have limited skills to read, write, speak, and understand English. Tutors help ESL learners understand and use English so that they can be independent and successful at home, at work, and in the community.
- Our Basic Literacy Learners are proficient in English, but may have difficulty identifying letters or words, reading signs, completing job applications, or doing simple math. Tutors help these adults master skills like these to become more productive in society.
Literacy DuPage is an alternative to classroom instruction.
Literacy DuPage offers free, customized, one-to-one tutoring for adult learners.
For one to two hours each week, tutor and learner meet at a mutually convenient time and place, commonly the local library.
This flexible, accessible approach accommodates learners who cannot participate in classroom-based programs. They may not have access to transportation or they can’t afford childcare. Perhaps they’re juggling multiple jobs and work schedules to make ends meet.
With Literacy DuPage, learner and tutor work together to overcome these challenges.
For groups of learners, we offer conversation practice.
In addition to our core program of one-to-one tutoring, Literacy DuPage offers 10 Conversation Groups:
- Conversation Groups allow adult ESL learners to practice speaking English in a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. The program is open to Literacy DuPage learners and tutors, as well as any English learner who wants to participate. There is no need to register and no charge to attend. Meetings take place often and are held via Zoom and at a few local libraries. See the Conversation Group schedule.
Literacy is a connected cause—globally and locally.
Literacy DuPage collaborates with other organizations that share our passion for literacy.
Literacy DuPage is an accredited affiliate of ProLiteracy Worldwide, based in Syracuse, New York. ProLiteracy Worldwide was formed in 2002, a merger of Literacy Volunteers of America and Laubach Literacy International.
Literacy DuPage is a member of the Literacy for Adults Partnership, which formed in 2006 to unite four like-minded Chicagoland organizations in promoting literacy programs and recruiting volunteer tutors. Together, Literacy Dupage, The Literacy Connection, Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley, and Literacy Volunteers of Western Cook County can raise greater awareness and engage more people to serve a growing population of learners.