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Become a Volunteer

GPLC offers a variety of volunteer opportunities in the Pittsburgh area. Community volunteers are needed throughout Allegheny County to reach students in areas close to them to facilitate learning. If you are interested in improving your community through education, you have come to the right place.

The first step in becoming a GPLC volunteer tutor is to call our main office, 412.393.7600, and request a volunteer application packet. You can also go to the page entitled Sign Up Online and submit your request for an application packet electronically.

Tutoring is the most popular activity for volunteers. Volunteer tutors who teach GPLC students receive 12 hours of training in teaching methods. Then they are matched with a student or group of students. Tutors are asked to hold two sessions totaling 4 hours a week and to make a six-month commitment. No previous teaching experience is required; however, new volunteer tutors must possess or are working toward earning a four-year college degree.  This requirement is mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education effective July 1, 2011.  Non-teaching volunteer opportunities do not require a college degree.  Students and tutors meet on days and times and in public locations that are mutually convenient.

You will receive a great deal of support from experienced staff members when you become a volunteer tutor. At GPLC we do not leave you on your own to decide what to teach or how to teach it. You are not required to speak a foreign language to be a tutor of a foreign-born student.

A schedule of the training courses for volunteer tutors is found on the Volunteer Training page, and this information is also included in the application packet.

If tutoring is not for you, because of the time commitment or the need for regular, twice-weekly sessions, or for any other reason, please consider the following volunteer opportunities (call our main office for more details about any of these):

  • Teach a mini-class (one session a week for 4 to 9 weeks).
  • Help a student at the Downtown Center.
  • Tutor/coach a refugee who is new to the U.S.
  • Support GPLC through the Leaders for Literacy Luncheon Committee – active from March to September.
  • Participate in fundraising activities.
  • Help an English as a second language student to improve his/her speaking and listening skills through regular telephone calls (Telephone Conversation Partners). 
  • Help an English as second language student to improve his/her writing and communication skills through exchanging e-mail messages (E-mail Partners).
  • Be a technology instructor – teach one computer skills class per week for 4-6 weeks.

Choose GPLC and you'll soon be on your way to a rewarding volunteer experience!