What is the Holyoke Tutor/Mentor Program?
For many adults in Holyoke, daily tasks such reading the newspaper, filling out a form or writing a check are out of reach. These adults may have left school at an early age or without learning basic skills. Or they may have come to Holyoke with a dream of economic opportunity, but are unable to speak, read or write in English. Many of them enroll in Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes, and are striving to fulfill their dreams and better their employment opportunities.
Established in 1991, The Holyoke Tutor/Mentor Program supplements Holyoke's ABE and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs. We recruit, train and support a pool of tutors who work primarily as classroom assistants.
Who Are Tutor/Mentors?
A wide variety of people volunteer with us. They come from Holyoke surrounding communities in Western Massachusetts and Connecticut. They range in age from young adults to senior citizens. They are self-employed, retirees, college students, teachers, homemakers, and more. Each tutor has time to share each week, believes change comes through education, and enjoys working with people and learning about other cultures.
Why Do We Need Tutors?
ABE funding is very limited and does not meet the needs of our community. As of the beginning of 2010, roughly 500 people were on a waiting list to get into one of Holyoke's ESOL or ABE classes. Placing tutors in classes allows students to get more support, which enables them to progress more quickly and free up slots for those who are waiting.
The Holyoke Tutor/Mentor Program operates in conjunction with the