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Virtual Adult Literacy Tutor Training

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Virtual Adult Literacy Tutor Training

Sonoma County Library

Education - Adults | 2021 | Honorable Mention

Innovation Summary

Adult Literacy staff created a six-module virtual tutor training program to streamline content delivery and provide an avenue for recruiting and training new volunteer tutors during the pandemic. The program utilized its existing data platform, America Learns, to host and administer the training.

Problem Statement

Before 2020, in-person tutor trainings were infrequent and restricted to centralized locations. The length of training, volume of information and inconvenient locations limited participation in the program. Trainings were conducted by available staff members, with limited consistency between trainings. Continuing education for past tutors was irregular. When COVID-19 hit, we had to find a new way to train volunteers consistently and virtually to keep this important program alive and meet the needs of adult learners.


We created six training modules focused on core adult literacy effective practices. Topics include orientation, creating a learning plan, fluency, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and phonics. We worked with CLLS (California Library Literacy Services) and Partners in Reading to incorporate clips from their demonstration videos that model specific tutoring strategies. The modules were hosted on our data platform America Learns, which allowed us to integrate with other reporting required for volunteers and staff.


Outcomes include: new literacy volunteers can access training at point of need across the county; volunteers have continuing education to match new trends and best practices; staff is confident that all tutors have been trained on the same topics in the same way; incorporation of training into America Learns reinforces use of that tool. As of October 2021, 18 new tutors have completed training with this program; of those, 10 have been matched with adult learners and are actively instructing in the community.