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Volunteering for HVAE

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at HVAE!!  We look forward to working with you!  To ensure that the volunteer placement is the best experience for both the volunteer and the class participants, the process to becoming a volunteer is outlined below.

Step-by-Step to a New Volunteer


  1. Volunteer fills out application.


  2. A meeting is set up between the volunteer and volunteer coordinator to complete the following tasks:

     a. volunteer interview

     b. review of position description

     c. discuss expectations/responsibilities for both HVAE and volunteer

     d. set up volunteer training times - classroom aides will need 4 hours of online training and tutors will need 12: see more                 information HERE.

     e. volunteer signs the following forms:

          i.  Volunteer Confidentiality Agreement

          ii. Volunteer Conduct Agreement

          iii. Background check authorization form

 3. Volunteer reviews Volunteer handbook before first class

English Language Tutor Program


Volunteer as an English Language Tutor

Hiawatha Valley Adult Education offers a personalized one-to-one tutoring program to adults, over 17 not enrolled in high school, the opportunity to advance English literacy. This includes a variety of activities related to reading, writing, and speaking and is selected based upon what the learner hopes to accomplish. Our program follows the MN Adult Basic Education (MN ABE) policies and guidelines.


Why do I need training?

Training is a requirement of MN ABE and is a valuable foundation from which to build upon. Working with an adult individually also presents additional responsibility. Working one-on-one without supervision of a licensed teacher requires twelve hours of training. This provides understanding of:

  • curriculum and lesson planning

  • technology integration

  • facilitating conversations

  • teaching skills for listening, speaking, and writing

Literacy MN is the official volunteer training services contractor for the MN Department of Education Adult Basic Education Department. Training will not only help you meet the MN ABE requirements but will also give you greater confidence and resources to use during your tutor sessions. You have three months to complete the training hours and may begin tutoring after two hours.


How much time does it take?

Volunteer time commitments begin with training. This currently takes twelve hours in addition to preparation for your first session. A tutor may estimate about one hour of lesson planning for each hour of tutoring. Our program recommends meeting with your learner at least once a week.

Do I need any special equipment or skills?

A willingness to learn, patience, and resiliency are helpful qualities. Some basic knowledge of how to use video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Google Meet, and FaceTime are helpful but not necessary. Email communication is the primary method of sharing information. Texting and phone calls are also necessary. This can be accomplished using whatever equipment you have available and varies from smart phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. In-person meetings supported by printed worksheets are also an option.

How long does volunteering last?

Advancing literacy skills is a long-term investment by learners. Their journey to achieve goals could take three months or three years. It depends on where they begin, time invested, and adaptability. Our program asks for a six month minimum commitment working with a learner to support their success.

What if I need to quit?

Life happens, availability and preferences change, and we understand. Please let us know as soon as you feel you need to leave our program and we will work with you to transition your learner to another tutor.

How do I know if I am making a difference?

CASAS assessment testing is one way our program helps adults understand their progress toward literacy level achievement. This is just one way to measure success. A smile, a friendship, or shared laugh is another. We are certain your efforts are making a difference in your learner’s lives.


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