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READ Ottawa
Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost to be in the program?

Nothing. It is FREE. Both tutors and adult learners do not pay for materials, tutoring, or training.

Where do tutoring sessions take place?

Tutoring sessions take place in public places, determined by the tutor and adult learner. Examples include local libraries, cafes, or parks.

Can tutoring take place at the home of the adult learner?

No. READ Ottawa does not allow tutoring to take place at the home of the adult learner or the tutor. This is to keep both parties safe and ensure that the adult learner can focus on their studies since the home environment can have distractions. Tutoring must take place in a public area.

If the adult learner cannot get to their tutoring session, what happens?

If the adult learner lacks reliable transportation, then the adult learner and tutor can both sign a transportation waiver, which will allow the tutor to transport the learner to their tutoring sessions. Both parties must have their waiver signed and on file to provide any form of transportation. Neither party is required to complete a transportation waiver.

Is tutoring available during the day, evening, and weekends?

Yes, tutoring is arranged to meet the needs of the adult learner's schedule. READ Ottawa matches a tutor who can meet the needs of their adult learner.

What are the requirements to enroll as a student/adult learner?

A person must be age 18 or older and have a demonstrated need that our tutors can assist with. Our list of services are here.

How does someone enroll?

Our Pair Coordinators will contact a person interested in enrolling. They will set up a one-on-one meeting at the library or another trusted public space to help the new adult learner fill out an application. Once the application is completed with the Pair Coordinator, they are enrolled and will be matched with a tutor as soon as READ Ottawa has someone available for them, based on their learning goals and availability. 


How long does it take to be paired with a tutor or learner?

This depends on how many tutors we have available and we also consider availability and if the tutor has the willingness or knowledge to help an adult learner with their goals. Matching can take two weeks from enrollment or a few months.

What is the process to become a tutor and what is required?

A new tutor needs to have the passion and will to help another adult. A tutor must also have at least 2 hours of time each week to dedicate to their adult learner, which includes travel time, preparing lessons, and tutoring sessions. READ Ottawa provides all training necessary.


Is there assistance for tutors as they serve?

Yes! There are Learning Circles each month where tutors can learn and share ideas. All tutors have access to assistance for their specific learner through staff who will guide them and provide materials as needed.

What materials and resources are available?

READ Ottawa has a variety of materials available. We use many materials from New Readers Press, Pearson, and other online resources.

What are the current skills of adult learners that are receiving tutoring?

READ Ottawa serves adults who are Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English as a Second Language Learners (ESL). These individuals have a broad range of skills and goals. Some adult learners are native to America and need extra help to improve their language skills to possibly achieve a GED or higher education. These adults are ABE.

Other adult learners have immigrated to the U.S.A. from their native county and need help with improving their language and oral fluency to obtain a driver's license or U.S. citizenship. These adults are ESL. The adult learners enrolled in the READ Ottawa program may not be able to speak English or they may be able to speak English fluently. READ Ottawa is dedicated to serving anyone who needs help in the form of one-on-one tutoring to improve their reading skills, language fluency, and other life skills needed to thrive.

Do you have additional questions and you're unsure who to contact?

  • I have a question about tutoring with READ Ottawa or attending a tutor training, email Lynn Groothuis or call 616.414.0295.

  • I have a question about enrolling a learner in Holland or Zeeland, email Richelle Hofman or call 616.795.9991.

  • I have a question about enrolling a learner in Grand Haven or Northwest Ottawa County, email Marisol Stork or call 616.834.0607.

  • I have a question about volunteering in another way besides tutoring, making a donation, becoming a sponsor, or another topic, email Stormie Drake or call 616.843.1470.

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