28 South First Avenue - Mount Vernon, New York 10550 - (914) 668-1840

Literacy Volunteers

What is The Literacy Center at Mount Vernon Public Library?

The Literacy Volunteers Program is a free literacy service to adults in our community. Since 1972, the Mount Vernon Public Library has provided free, confidential, one-on-one tutoring in Basic Literacy and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) to the Mount Vernon community, as well as to surrounding communities. It is the first public library in the United States to house and support a literacy program. We also conduct extensive outreach to the Mount Vernon community, community agencies, and religious institutions to promote awareness of literacy, ESOL, and other available educational programs. Anyone who is over 16 years old and no longer in the public school system, or who lacks basic reading or conversational English skills can benefit from one-on-one or small group tutoring in Basic Literacy or English for Speakers of Other Languages. If you wish to pass the GED, get a driver’s license, study for and pass your citizenship test, improve your English reading and writing skills, or just learn to read with more confidence, send an email to nstepak@wlsmail.org or mcabrera@wlsmail.org or call (914)-668-1840 ext. 228.

Who are Literacy Center learners?

Literacy Center learners are a segment of the more than 50,000 adults in Westchester County who lack the necessary English communication skills they need to be successful in their daily lives. Our library literacy services are of special value to those who have not succeeded in a traditional classroom setting, or have not had the opportunity to be a part of that environment. The Literacy Volunteers Program at the Mount Vernon Public Library believes that the strongest library literacy services are those that value the various learning styles, ethnicities, ages, and abilities of their learners, volunteers, staff, and communities.

How does the Literacy Center serve learners?

The Literacy Center at Mount Vernon Public Library has partnered with Literacy Solutions NY, Inc., a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing student-centered English literacy services and ESL classes to adults in Westchester County, free of charge. For more information on these programs, please contact them by email at literacysolutionsny@gmail.com or by calling (914) 375-7964. Students are screened and tested at The Literacy Center in Yonkers, then matched with an appropriate tutor. Schedules are set based on student and tutor availability. The meeting place is at the Mount Vernon Public Library, where there are three study rooms for one-on-one tutoring sessions..

Who are Literacy Center tutors?

Literacy Center tutors are recruited from all walks of life and are trained to assist learners with the basic reading and conversational English skills necessary to survive in the 21st century. Our volunteers help learners meet their goals for improving their basic skills not only by helping them to achieve increased test scores or grade levels. Learner-centered literacy instruction assists adult learners in their significant life roles as community members, workers, family members and life-long learners.


Volunteer tutors may find themselves engaged in the following activities:

  • Select appropriate sources and materials for discussion;
  • Lead small conversational groups at the library, providing
    direction and facilitating focus on selected topics for discussion;
  • Conduct educational or interactive exercises with individuals
    and/or groups.
  • Promote the use of library resources by referring students to
    specialists at the Library, when appropriate;
  • Take attendance, reporting the total number of participants to
    the site supervisor after each shift.

Required Skills

  • A strong commitment to helping people learn to speak English.
  • A friendly and approachable manner.
  • Ability to get along with a diverse group of people.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Ability to make a commitment of one two-hour shift per week,
    for a period of at least ten weeks.

Apply for a Literacy Volunteer position
Literacy Volunteers Application Form(pdf)

Please mail application to:
P.O. Box 693
Yonkers, NY 10702

Testing will take place at:
Westchester Center
Yonkers Riverfront Library
1 Larkin Center, 2nd Floor
Yonkers, NY 10701