For thirty years our volunteer tutors have been liberating their student’s voices and minds through the power of literacy. At MLP we train and support our tutors to work one-to-one or in small groups with adult students and their families. Our uniquely designed ESL and EFL (English as a Second Language and English as a First Language) training program enables our volunteers to address our students’ individual needs through a variety of methods.
The family literacy component of our program is essential to our work, from our special projects like the West Marin KidsZone to our “Fathers” program at the Marin County Jail. The majority of our students have young children and the day to day work on family literacy between our tutors and students insures our students’ involvement with their children’s acquisition of literacy skills.
Volunteers do not need prior teaching or tutoring experience, or knowledge of another language, in order to become a tutor for our program. We have developed a specifically designed training program which enables our volunteers to help address our students’ individual needs through a variety of methods.
In areas of need we provide English as Second Language (ESL) classes conducted by certified and highly trained ESL instructors as well as offering those students a volunteer one-to-one tutor. We also work closely with other providers of ESL classes to refer MLP students there to help with their literacy work as well as providing their ESL students with one-to-one tutors if requested.
Originally a joint venture between the San Rafael Public Library and the Marin County Free Library, the program had been co-managed by the two libraries with the fundraising and advisory support of The Marin Literacy Program 501c3 Board. In early 2011 the program faced closure due to several deficit years and the cessation of State Literacy funds. The Marin Literacy Program 501c3 Board agreed to take over management of the program and become the governing body. As a freestanding 501c3 we continue to partner with libraries and other community organizations to provide literacy services throughout Marin County to continue our legacy offerings. We are grateful our primary founding partner, the San Rafael Public Library, continues as a partner and provides us with our original Resource Center. We are currently serving approximately 500 students and family members per year.