Volunteer Literacy Tutoring

This program helps adults develop their basic reading, writing, oral language, and math skills. It is a free program offered to anyone 19 years of age or older. Students can join the program anytime between September and May. Students work one-to-one with a volunteer tutor, focusing on their goals and learning at their own pace. 

I need tutoring

This program is for you if you: 

  • are 19 years or older 
  • need one-to-one help with reading, writing, speaking, or basic math 
  • need to improve these skills for school, for work, for home, or to get into another program 
  • can meet in-person or online 
  • need flexible learning times 

Get started

Contact the literacy instructor at your nearest campus to get started.

Contact us

I would like to become a tutor

What is required of tutors?

  • Volunteer tutors must complete an application form, provide references, provide consent for a criminal record check (some campuses) and meet with a staff from the tutoring program for an intake meeting
  • Tutors must participate in free tutor-training sessions
  • Tutors set up their volunteer schedules based on their availability and that of their students, ideally meeting once or twice per week for a minimum of 6 months
  • Tutoring sessions could be in-person at designated meeting areas, or online, or a combination of in-person and online sessions
  • Tutors create a student-centered environment and help the student work towards their learning goals
  • Tutors spend time in advance planning their sessions
  • Tutors provide regular reports to the instructor

You are eligible to be a tutor if you:

  • are an adult who enjoys working with other adults  
  • are proficient in the English language and/or basic math 
  • can commit to weekly tutoring sessions for a minimum of 6 months 
  • can be flexible to accommodate student schedule needs 
  • want to contribute to your community 

Get started

Contact a literacy instructor at your nearest campus to get started.

Contact us

Contact us

Get started today by contacting a literacy instructor at your nearest campus:

Kelowna

Rene Dahms

Adult Upgrading – Literacy Instructor
Office: Business Building 216B
Campus: Kelowna
Phone: 250-762-5445 ext. 4244
AACP instructor Rene Dahms

I joined Okanagan College in 2004 as an Adult Literacy Instructor and worked initially at the Salmon Arm Campus. I was a founding member of The Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society (LASS) in 2009. I’m a people person so my favourite part of being an Instructor is the connection with my students. The things I love most in my life are my family, my chocolate Lab, Bear, travel, reading and the “pinch-me-I-live-here” moments of residing and working in Kelowna.

Credentials:
B.Ed, Emergent Literacy/Primary Program, University of British Columbia
BA, English and History, Simon Fraser University

Penticton

For Summerland contact Brianne Niznikowski
For Osoyoos/Oliver/OK Falls contact Kathy Hamilton

 

Brianne Niznikowski

Adult Upgrading – Literacy Instructor
Office: Ashnola Building 114
Campus: Penticton
Phone: 250-492-4305 ext. 3331
AACP instructor Brianne Niznikowski

I began my career with Okanagan College's Adult Upgrading department in 2015. I teach English literacy and numeracy and also facilitate the Volunteer Adult Literacy Tutor Program. What I love the most about teaching adult literacy is connecting with students and helping them transform their lives. When I am not teaching, I am spending time with friends and family enjoying all that the Okanagan has to offer.

 

Credentials:
B.Ed, Education, University of British Columbia Okanagan
BA, History, University of British Columbia Okanagan

Kathy Hamilton

Adult Upgrading – Literacy Instructor
Office: Sunoka Building A01B
Campus: Penticton
Phone: 250-492-4305 ext. 3230

I began working at Okanagan College in 1989 at the Oliver Centre teaching Adult Basic Education English, math, social studies, and science. I have since taught ABE English, math and social studies at the Penticton Campus and for five years worked in the Arts and Foundational Programs Dean's Office as Associate Dean. Currently, I am the Instructor for the Community Adult Literacy Program which operates in Oliver, Osoyoos, and Okanagan Falls. Occasionally, I also teach ABE English classes at the Penticton Campus.

Credentials:
M.Ed, Adult Learning, University of Calgary
B.Ed, English, University of Lethbridge
TESL Certificate, University of Calgary

Vernon

Chandra McCann

Adult Upgrading – Literacy Instructor
Office: Main Building C303
Campus: Vernon
Phone: 250-545-7291 ext. 2311
McCann, Chandra

I became a volunteer literacy tutor at the Vernon Campus of Okanagan College in 2007. In 2008, I began working as the VLT Program Assistant, and as a support person for students with disabilities. I have been teaching Fundamental English and working as the VLT Program Instructor since 2013, and teaching Fundamental Math since 2018. 

Credentials:
B.Ed, French, University of Toronto
BA, French, University of Toronto
Learner-Centred Instructor Certificate, Okanagan College

Salmon Arm

Adult Upgrading

  • If you are interested in Adult Upgrading English courses (not tutoring), then please contact Tracy Riley.
  • There is no Adult Upgrading tutoring available at this time on the Salmon Arm campus. Please see ESLSAP for ESL tutoring support.

English as a Second Language Settlement Assistance Program (ESLSAP)

  • If you are interested in English as a Second Language (ESL) tutoring or ESL Practice Groups, then please contact Olia Bullen.

 

Tracy Riley

Adult Upgrading – Literacy Instructor & Coordinator
Office: Salmon Arm Building 148
Campus: Salmon Arm
Phone: 250-832-2126 ext. 8235
Headshot of Tracy Riley

Credentials:
Bachelor of Arts, Trinity Western University
Bachelor of Education, Simon Fraser University
TESOL, Vancouver Community College
Master of Arts, UBC

Olia Bullen

CS - OC Wide Contracts
Office: Salmon Arm Building 005A
Campus: Salmon Arm
Phone: 250-832-2126 ext. 8237
Headshot of Olia Bullen

Revelstoke

Aaron Orlando

Adult Upgrading – Literacy Instructor
Office: Revelstoke Building 102
Campus: Revelstoke
Phone: 250-837-4235 ext. 6516
AACP instructor Aaron Orlando

I am the instructor for AACP English, Adult Literacy and the ESL Settlement Program instructor at Okanagan College's Revelstoke Centre. I have worked as a professional journalist and editor in the Kootenay and Columbia regions for the past 14 years. I am currently the editor of Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine and its sister publication revelstokemountaineer.com. I have received awards for investigative journalism and historical writing and my freelance work has been published in a variety of outlets.