The tutor guides the student through the process and is available to help when they encounter a difficulty. They also serve as motivators and encourage a student to keep going. Many low level students have had very negative experiences with schooling and need positive support. Tutors will provide that encouragement.

Tutors attend a 1 ½ to 3 hour training session in their chosen program with the coordinator to familiarize themselves with the material and lesson plans for their specific student(s). All books and materials are provided by P.A.L.S. The coordinator is in the office from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, to provide any support or help the tutor needs.

“Volunteering at PALS has been a very rewarding experience. It requires time, patience and commitment. The students and tutors develop a mutual trust and friendship. Students proudly share their achievements with their tutors.

A tutor can see the improvement in their reading and writing skills with the student and share pride in their accomplishments. Their pleasure at being able to read their own mail and not having to ask a friend or family member to read it to them. Being able to pass a safety exam at work with out having to peek at or copy answers from someone sitting beside them. Going to a restaurant and being able to read the menu. All those things that add dignity and independence to their lives. It is wonderful to witness and to be able to celebrate with them.”
Dorothy Lane Literacy Tutor P.A.L.S. 2013

Support to Tutors

Program Coordinator

The program coordinator orients and matches volunteers. In addition, before students are matched, they are assessed and their needs identified by the Program Coordinator. She also coordinates volunteer training workshops. She maintains the volunteer and student files and records and purchases program materials and resources. She is there as a resource person for both students and volunteers. Tutors are encouraged to call P.A.L.S. office to discuss problems, make suggestions and share insights.

Use of P.A.L.S. Equipment and Facility

  • Tutors may use the tutoring space available at the P.A.L.S. office. In order to ensure that the room is available, please enter time slots on the sign up sheets at the P.A.L.S. office.
  • If tutoring is to take place after the office hours, the tutor must sign for keys to the office and discuss lock-up procedures with the program coordinators. The keys must be returned to the program coordinator as soon as the volunteer stops tutoring for P.A.L.S.
  • The photocopier is available for the tutor to copy learning materials. Binders are available for the materials. Please ask staff for assistance.
  • A computer is available to the volunteers and students. For more information, please talk a program coordinator.

Learning and Resource Materials

The materials for the lessons are on loan to the tutor and purchased by the student if the student chooses to write in the materials. Many students, especially in literacy, like to have their own workbooks. If the purchase of the materials is a financial burden for the student, please talk to the program coordinator.

If there is only one copy of the material, please talk to the program coordinator before purchasing.


All materials are available to both tutors and students either to be read and returned or purchased. When materials are on loan the tutor will put the date and the name of the book on his/her library sheet, which remains in the office.

Books that are on loan are not to be written in as other tutors and students will use the books. Please return the materials as soon as you are finished as there may be only a limited number of copies.

Resource Materials

There is a variety of resource material for tutors. This material covers areas from student’s interest to approaches to tutoring. Those materials are available for loan.

Student Materials

There are materials available for each student and given free of charge:

  • Dictionaries
  • Day timers
  • Scribblers
  • Journal
  • Pencils, pens and erasers
  • Personal hygiene matches are available in a student room.


P.A.L.S. has a newsletter that is sent out four times a year. The newsletter contains information on upcoming events, as well as the Literacy, LELL, Math Literacy Tutor Page and Student for Student Page.

We encourage you to use the newsletter as learning materials with your student, to contribute and encourage your student to contribute to the newsletter, and to give P.A.L.S. feedback on the newsletter.

Answering Machine

Information on all activities, including workshops, social activities and current volunteer opportunities are on the answering machine.