“The more you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”  Dr. Seuss


Empowering People Through Literacy

"I am so encouraged and thrilled with the ESL conversation group!  You never know what might happen there!  And it's all good!  Today, the three ladies who came mainly talked among themselves with free-form authentic conversation, about all kinds of things, their kids, their names, how they learn English.  I helped with vocabulary, clarifications, and more questions for example, baby sitter vs. baby sister.  ​This was the first time I had a group who just talked among themselves for so long and so well.  I think it was because of the presence of a new student, Yahaira, who is a big talker but also helps others and asks them questions.  Normally we do something more structured and I have prepared some lists of questions or worksheets to help them with verbs, or we practice spelling and pronunciation.  Today the conversation just evolved on its own and I was so happy to be there. 

This is such a great pleasure for me, Casandra.  And I am very grateful to you and all the staff for the hard work you do every day to make these opportunities possible.  I am certain we are making a big difference in the lives of many people in our community, a difference that they could not easily achieve elsewhere.

Onward and upward!"

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Welcome to the Ulster Literacy Association - ULA

Agency Background

At Ulster Literacy, we have been providing our neighbors with one-to-one free tutoring in basic reading and writing skills as well as teaching English as a new language for over 35 years.

We always have a long list of learners eager to better their lives by improving their literacy and language skills - not so surprising, since there are many adults in Ulster County who cannot read above a fifth-grade level, and many new immigrants trying to learn English.

Coming to ULA is perhaps the most important step towards the future success of our learners.

Overall, ULA serves nearly 400 students annually through the following programs:

Basic reading, writing & math

ULA tutors teach adults basic language skills in a one-to-one setting for two hours weekly on average.  Our approach is learner centered and our mission is to ensure learners meet their personal and professional goals.  Some are working toward their high school equivalency, others are getting a driver's license, some want to read to their children or write letters, and others are working on job applications.

Tutors provide instruction, support and encouragement to students who come from all over the world as well as right here in Ulster County.

Corrections Program

The ULA Corrections program has been providing inmates at our local Ulster County Correctional Facility with opportunities to learn to use computer programs, improve their writing, and gain basic life skills such as financial and health literacy.  This program runs year-long and serves about 140 inmates annually.

English as a new language - listening, understanding and speaking

ULA tutors work with people from all over the world who are learning English as a new language.  In addition to the one-to-one setting, small group classes are also available in workplaces, local schools, and several libraries.  We believe in academic studies as well as exploring the socio-cultural components of language. 

Become a volunteer tutor

People who choose to become a volunteer tutor at Ulster Literacy find an opportunity to engage in an immensely helpful and satisfying endeavor. 

After completing a 24-hour, nationally certified training course with ULA, each tutor is carefully matched with a learner.  We ask that each tutor commit to a year's service, if possible.

Learners and tutors typically meet once a week for at least an hour in a public space, such as the ULA offices, a local library (we have our own office at the Kingston Library), church or diner.

No teaching experience is necessary.  If you are interested in sharing your love of reading, writing and language with a motivated student, become a part of Ulster literacy association.

To get started, please fill out our Tutor Application Form and drop it off at the office.