Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Value of Literacy Tutors

This research report shows that volunteering is a major part of the literacy training in Ontario. The data was gathered from Literacy Agencies, and compiled to show the monetary value, as well as the how to movitate, train, recruit, and manage volunteers. This is crucial information for the development of a thesis project based on literacy tutoring. It would be streamlined to stem this project from an existing literacy agency in order to pool resources and minimize start up costs, as well as adopt the respect and esteem of an established program. Trust would be a factor in starting a program, and to piggyback onto an agency would ease any uncertainty with the community. Also, of course, developing a relationship with neighborhood schools would be easier when affiliated with an agency.

The report shows how significant the volunteers are:

The results of the economic assessment reveal the vast economic value volunteers bring to community literacy agencies in Ontario. It is apparent that an estimated 5,985 volunteers contribute 665,175 hours or the equivalent of $12,505,290 in work time annually to Anglophone community literacy agencies throughout Ontario. The economic value of all literacy volunteers to all sectors and streams in Ontario is estimated at an $13, 826, 667.

This study states that the two most effective methods for recruiting volunteers are word of mouth and the local media, particularly newspapers. This could be made even more effective with a branded consistent image for the program. It also mentions that younger Canadians are more likely to volunteer when asked. To design the program so that it appeals to younger volunteers is also very important. This helps to preemptively eliminate any stigma that may be asscociated with literacy tutoring or volunteering.

MacDonald, Robb. Literacy Volunteers: Value Added Research Report. Barrie, ON, CAN: Community Literacy of Ontario, 2005.

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