Become a Tutor

So much of the success that children experience in Reading Power is due to the strong relationships that young children form with our tutors.

Reading Power is growing to serve more children in more schools. You can help us by joining our tutoring team!

Our volunteer tutors and professional staff are a diverse group of dedicated, educated, and passionate individuals. They come from all walks of life and share a love for reading and children.

Consistency creates a quality educational experience and builds confidence and trust. For that reason, we ask our tutors to make a solid commitment to whichever program they choose. Tutors commit to being on-site at a school one day per week for 1-3 hours, depending on the program. Programs are offered in the mornings and afternoons during the school day. We recognize that our tutors are volunteering their time and talents, and substitute tutors are available when “life” gets in the way of your plans.

A background check will be completed for each tutor. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

For more information, please contact Beth Zender, Community Engagement and Volunteer Manager, at:

Volunteer Tutors

“I have been a Reading Power volunteer since 2008. It is by far the most worthwhile volunteer opportunity I have been involved in. The students are receptive to our reading instruction, and the ongoing tutor training is invaluable. I find it almost like going to graduate school! Reading with my students is the highlight of my week.”

Susan Sponseller, tutor

Tutor one child. Change two lives.

Who makes a great Reading Power tutor? Anyone who has a love of reading and children. The need for literacy intervention is greater than ever. Reading Power needs more tutors to continue expanding and reaching more students in need. Check out the video below to learn more about our program and how to become a volunteer tutor today. Special thank you to the Reichert Family Foundation for funding this important project.

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Tutor Frequently Asked Questions

Where will I be tutoring?

Reading Power is planning in-person tutoring at all of our sites based on recommendations from the CDC and local school districts. We have sites in North Chicago, Waukegan and Zion, IL.

How many tutors will be at my school?

There are up to fifteen tutors assigned to each session. 

How will I know what to teach?

There are very structured curricula, and you will be trained to use it. When you begin tutoring, you will learn how to prepare and follow a lesson plan. There are several trainings throughout the year and your site coordinator will support you through your learning process. All Reading Power programs include daily training.

What kinds of activities are included in the lesson plan?

First and second graders read several leveled books, write, and play some brief ‘word work’ games during each session. Kindergarten students are read to, learn to write their names, write in their journals, play some brief literacy games, and read poetry. 

What safety measures are taken?

Tutors will undergo a background check. When in person, they will wear an identifying Reading Power name tag while at the school and will sign in and out at the school office.  Also, all stations are wiped down between students and tutors.

View our Whistle Blower Policy.

Where do I park? Or How do I find my School?

Parking is available on the street or in the school parking lots and requires no sticker.

What if I cannot commit to being a full-time tutor?

Our tutors commit to tutoring weekly. (For example, a Tuesday morning tutor will work with the same three students every Tuesday morning.) The weekly commitment is crucial to our students’ progress, yet we know volunteers live very busy lives. We stress the importance of attendance yet provide flexibility with available substitute tutors when necessary. 

If I cannot tutor, how else can I help?

Throughout the year there are events where volunteers are needed. Please complete our application and indicate your interest. If you cannot contribute your valuable time, we encourage you to make a financial contribution, subscribe to our newsletter, and let others in the community know about the dynamic work we are doing at Reading Power.