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Adult Literacy and Academic Upgrading


For information about volunteer tutoring, click here.


Are you over 18? Can you speak English well? Do you want to learn to read and write better?

We can help you:

  • improve your reading
  • improve your writing
  • improve your math
  • learn to use computers
  • prepare for college

When you come to the program, you will have a one-to-one tutor. You can also join some of our groups.

There are some of the things people in our program are working on:

  • preparing for college
  • getting a G1 driver’s licence
  • citizenship preparation
  • applying for a college
  • applying for a job
  • helping their kids with homework
  • shopping
  • banking
  • learning to use a computer
  • writing stories


What does the literacy program do?

The West Neighbourhood House Adult Literacy Program provides English speaking adults with one-to-one and small group tutoring in reading, writing, basic math and basic computers. Most of our tutoring is one-to-one. We also have a number of small groups. In addition, we hold workshops on topics of interest to learners.

The program takes a critical approach to literacy. We try to incorporate community development and social justice into our programming by empowering people so they can become more involved in shaping their community. We encourage all participants (learners and tutors) to provide input as to how the program is run.

We work with learners and tutors to develop an individualized plan for learning that is based on the learner’s goals and experience. We also publish a quarterly newsletter that is put together by learners, tutors and staff. Periodically, we publish books by learners.

When can I tutor?

When we match learners and tutors we consider their availability. When you come in to meet with us we will ask you to indicate what times you are available.

Our program is open:

    • Monday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
    • Tuesday to Thursday from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm
    • Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

What qualifications do I need?

We require that tutors:

  • are 19 years or older
  • like working with people
  • have everyday English skills
  • have an open mind and believe that all people can learn
  • are interested in community development
  • can make a commitment of three hours a week (2 hours of tutoring and 1 hour of prep.)

 How do I become a tutor?

Get in touch with us by phone or email.  Our phone number is: 416-539-9000. Our email address is We’ll send you a questionnaire (by email, fax or snail mail). When you have completed it, send us back to us. We will call you set up an interview. The interview is approximately 1 hour and includes a ½ hour video.

Will I get training?

Yes. We provide an initial 15 hour tutor orientation. We also hold regular tutor development nights and tutor cafés on topics of interest to tutors. In addition, staff is always available to answer questions or meet with you and your learning partner. We also have a resource centre on site. In addition, we will work with you and your partner to plan tutoring strategies and activities.

What if I want to get involved with West Neighbourhood House but I’m not sure the literacy program is for me?

West Neighbourhood House provides a number of other volunteer opportunities. Visit our volunteer page to find out about other opportunities at the House.