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Meaningful Volunteer Opportunity?


To find out more, register for an upcoming Orientation!
Call 331-6837


Empowering People Through Literacy

Two women, a robed judge and a newly sworn-in citizen, in front of the judge's bench.

Zahida becomes a citizen.

"My teacher's name is Nelsie.  She has such a good physique that she looks more like a mother than a tutor.  She wears simple but neat and clean clothes.  She is good natured and kind hearted.  She is so loving.  She is very hard working and dutiful.  She is also very punctual.  She is never late for class.  She often comes to class fifteen minutes earlier.  Several teachers came in my life but she is very respectful myself because everybody desires success.  So a good teacher is very important for all students.  I am a very crazy student.  Because I am 47 my memory is not good.  Sometimes I forget some things but my teacher is very helpful.  I am proud of my teacher because she understands me.  Thank you." 

"Two and a half years ago I started tutoring an adult Pakistani woman.  She had come to this country as an adult with four children.  Although she could understand a great deal of English she struggled in understanding and especially speaking English correctly.  I recalled that my grandmother came to this country as an adult Puerto Rican woman who spoke no English.  She never was able to learn to speak it even though she worked here for 30 years in the garment industry. memory of my grandmother I will work with my student until she is proficient in speaking English in the expectation that this will bring her much pride and joy!  Of course I will also feel pride and joy that I have provided this to someone who needed it." 

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How ULA can help you

Ulster Literacy Association (ULA) offers free tutoring to adults, 16 and older, looking to improve their English reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.

Two people looking at a newspaper.

Our learners are native speakers of the English language and those who are just learning English.

Tutoring is offered one-to-one and in small group settings by volunteers who have completed a 24-hour training course with ULA. Tutors provide instruction, support, and encouragement to our learners.

Learners and tutors working one-to-one typically meet once a week for at least an hour in a public space, such as the ULA offices in Kingston, a local library, church or diner.  ULA also offers the Literacy Center program for learners interested in learning in a small group.  Feel free to stop by.  There is no need to call ahead.

Getting started

Applying to be matched with a tutor is easy.  Please contact our office to set up an appointment.  We will ask you some questions about your background and schedule.  Then, we will also give you an informal reading assessment to find out where to start your lessons.

There are many Ulster County adults in need of our services.  So, once you have applied for a tutor, it may take some time for us to match you with a tutor.  Don't worry, there is someone out there ready to work with you.

If you or someone you know needs tutoring, contact our office at (845) 331-6837.

Ongoing free classes


George Washington School
67 Wall Street
ESL for Parents Tuesday & Thursday 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.

Ulster Literacy Office
480 Aaron Court
Everyday Math Monday 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Coming in September

Kingston High School
403 Broadway
ESL for Parents Tuesday & Thursday 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Chambers Elementary School
945 Morton Boulevard
ESL for Parents Tuesday & Thursday 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who asks ULA for tutoring?

A: ULA's learners range in age from 16 to 80. About 54% are male, and 46% female.  Our learners are from a variety of cultures and backgrounds, with 33% white, 15% black, 25% Hispanic, 11% Asian, and 16% unknown.

Q: How long does it take an adult to learn to read in the ULA program?

A: It varies from person to person.  Some learners will need only six months to acquire reading skills.  Others will work hard for several years toward a High School Equivalency Diploma or to enter higher education.

Q: Where do learner referrals come from?

A: Referrals often come from other social service agencies in Ulster County.  The Department of Social Services, Golden Hill, Gateway Industries, Ulster BOCES, U.C. Mental Health Association, Ulster Association for Retarded Citizens, public libraries, and public schools.  Word of mouth, publicity, posters, and special ULA events also create an ever-growing adult learner roster.