Tutor Programs

History: The tutor program is a partnership between Vancouver Island University and Literacy Central Vancouver Island (LCVI- formerly Literacy Nanaimo). The original program began at VIU (formerly Malaspina College) in 1989. We opened our downtown office two years later and we have enjoyed a fruitful partnership ever since.

Since the inception, we have assisted 4130 adult learners, using 884 volunteer tutors.

Programs:The program provides literacy services to adults between Nanoose and Ladysmith.

We offer free one-to-one and small group tutoring to anyone the age of 15 and older who wishes to improve their basic English, math and/or computer skills. ESL assistance is provided to Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents. We also have a Family Literacy program supporting parents with their literacy skills.

Tutors and their learners meet for up to three hours per week at a time and public location convenient to both. Tutoring is not permitted in private homes

We provide space and resources at both VIU and LCVI, as well as at a range of outreach locations. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Snuneymuxw, Stz’minus and Snaw-Naw- As First Nations, and Tillicum Lelum
  • Nanaimo Correctional Centre (NCC)
  • John Howard’s Vancouver Island Therapeutic Community
  • Society for Equity, Inclusion & Advocacy: Central Vancouver Island (SEIA)
  • Ladysmith: Ladysmith Resource Centre, VIRL, LaFF (Ladysmith Family and Friends)

New partnerships are being formed with other non-profits, which will be providing space.

Become a Volunteer Tutor

Benefits to you:

  • Helping another adult improve basic literacy skills
  • Meeting others interested in a common cause
  • Involvement in the community and in the literacy movement
  • Gaining new skills and knowledge
  • Bookstore discount -Literacy Central Vancouver Island Well Read Books
  • Vancouver Island University Volunteer Tutor Certificate (with 30 hour training)

Expectations of you:

  • To be willing to accept and work with people of various cultural, economic and religious backgrounds
  • To treat each learner’s opinions and experiences with respect and confidentiality
  • To tutor in a supportive manner which will build each learner’s confidence and self-esteem
  • To prepare adequately for each lesson
  • To maintain regular contact with the program coordinators and
  • To submit monthly progress reports.

Tutor Training and beyond

We offer a 6-hour orientation for those who have a degree in education, tutor training, or a TESL certificate.

An interview is required for all potential tutors, plus a criminal record check. Once having completed training, tutors will be matched with an adult learner based on the tutors’ preferences.

We also provide ongoing professional development for all tutors, as well as opportunities to connect with other tutors.

Download Tutor Registration Form here

For more information, contact:


Tutor Coordinator

 Phone250-754-8988 ext. 228


Program Coordinator
Adult Literacy

 Phone250-754-8988 ext. 230


Program Coordinator
Indigenous Literacy

 Phone250-754-8988 ext. 222


Program Coordinator
Youth Literacy

 Phone250-754-8988 ext. 225