New Americans in search of tutors in the Black Hills

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Literacy Council of the Black Hills is looking for volunteer tutors to help foreign students learn the English language.

Literacy CouncilThe council partners with libraries from all over the Black Hills and offers a learning environment for tutors and students to engage in one-on-one lessons.

Program Coordinator of the Literacy Council of the Black Hills, Jenn Utecht, explains, “We have such a great need in the Black Hills area of adult students who are looking for tutoring services. So we are always looking for volunteers to tutor.”

Students come from all corners of the world, including six refugees from Ukraine, and the council structures the classes to help students become contributing members of society. The types of classes tutors and students will engage with include one-on-one tutoring and a conversations class where multiple students gather to work on their conversation skills.

Utecht went on to state why the council provides this service.

“Low literacy rates in our country, and specific to South Dakota — it impacts all of our society. So as we continue to provide these services, we’re really impacting students to be successful with accomplishing their goals, and also just being better contributors to our society.” Utecht said.

There are no requirements needed to become a tutor. Utecht explains that you just have to be committed and available, attend the training sessions and meet with students at least once a week.

“We feel like that that consistency and that repetition really increases the progress that students can make,” she said. “So, we ask our tutors and students to meet once a week. Our conversations class also meets weekly, and so they’re also getting that repetition in and practice.”

Utecht went on to talk about future volunteers as well.

“I want our future volunteers to know that this is just an incredibly fulfilling and satisfying service we provide for adults,” Utecht stated.

Training for tutors will begin on August 13 and last until August 16.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News