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MN ABE News

A place to get ABE news from across Minnesota.


Volunteer Support for Teachers and Programs - By Andrea Echelberger, ESL Training Coordinator

Volunteers are a huge asset in the ABE classroom, and the better trained a volunteer is, the quicker they are able to jump in and help learners! The Minnesota Literacy Council has numerous resources to share with programs that currently use volunteers to support ABE classes, as well as resources for programs who are interested in beginning to utilize volunteers.

Volunteer Management Tools

Find resources to help your program recruit, train, and manage volunteers at mnliteracy.org/volunteermanagementtools. If you have any questions about using these tools, contact Wendy Roberts.

Free On-line Class: Using Volunteers in the Classroom

Pick up some tips for how to effectively use and support volunteers in the ABE classroom (and earn two CEUs to boot). Access the course at online.themlc.org.

Online Volunteer Request Form

Looking for a volunteer for your class or for your program? Fill out the online form at mnliteracy.org/opportunity and we will post it on our website and share it with prospective tutors.

Individual Support

Have a question about using volunteers in your ESL classroom or program? Contact Andrea Echelberger for suggestions and support!

Training for Volunteers

12- Hour ESL and GED Tutor Pre-service Trainings

Ask your tutors to attend Minnesota Literacy Council’ English as a Second Language Tutor Training or Reading, Writing, Math and GED Tutor Training. These 12-hour trainings provide volunteers with an overview of teaching as well as some concrete skills and activities they can use when they get to your classroom. Teachers and programs report that volunteers who go through these trainings are better prepared to jump right in when they arrive in the classroom to volunteer, and require less coaching and feedback than untrained volunteers. Find the current schedule of trainings at mnliteracy.org/volunteers/training

In-service Trainings for Current Volunteers

Encourage volunteers to sharpen their skills by attending Minnesota Literacy Council’s volunteer engagement events. Ranging from informal movie nights to half-day mini-conferences, these events will keep tutors fresh and motivated. Topics covered include conversation circles, teaching low literacy level learners, and bolstering learner engagement. Find the current schedule of trainings at mnliteracy.org/volunteers/training.

Online Trainings

Are your volunteers unable to make it to an in-person training? Minnesota Literacy Council offers a variety of free online classes. Two workshops, ABE Volunteer in the Classroom and ESL Volunteer in the Classroom, are designed to help prepare tutors for their volunteer assignments. A variety of other courses will help them refine their knowledge and skills in areas such as teaching pronunciation, grammar, and citizenship. Check them out at online.themlc.org.

By Request Trainings for Local Programs

Have a group of volunteers who need training but aren’t able to make it to the regularly-scheduled workshops? Your program can request an on-site training, and the trainer can come to you! This is a helpful option for programs in Greater Minnesota. All you need is 10 volunteers and chairs for them to sit on. A catalog of workshop options is available at mnliteracy.org/educators/adult-tutor-trainings. Contact Andrea Echelberger for adult ESL trainings, and Rob Podlasek for children’s and GED trainings.