Augustine Literacy Project (ALP)-Burlington Chapter The mission of the Burlington ALP is to improve the reading, writing and spelling abilities of low-income children at Newlin Elementary school who struggle with literacy skills. The project trains and supports volunteer tutors who provide free, long-term, one-on-one instruction using the Orton-Gillingham approach and Wilson Reading System™ materials. The curriculum is research based, structured, systematic, multi-sensory and phonetic. It has proven successful with children who have learning differences and with those whose reading skills are impaired by poverty (lack of exposure to print and enriched vocabulary) or English language learner issues. Learn more about how to enrich a child’s life forever. Click ALP FAQ link for information about our volunteer program. Due to Covid-19, the tutor training sessions for fall 2020 have been postponed until further notice. Click Information Sessions for instructions on how to sign up for an informal information session or to schedule an appointment with the program director once the training program has resumed. If you have further questions, please contact Betsey Savage. The ALP Burlington Chapter is a replication chapter of the Augustine Literacy Project-Triangle located in Durham, NC.

For more information

Betsey Savage, Director
Augustine Literacy Project
Burlington Office: 336-227-4251
Email: [email protected]

What are tutor training requirements?

Sixty hours of training is offered each fall. This includes instruction in the Augustine Method designed to improve reading, writing, and spelling abilities: a structured, multisensory, individualized, phonics-based, which follows the research-based OrtonGillingham approach. Five practicumlessons supervised by master tutors are taught.

What commitment is expected of the tutor?

Training is provided at no cost to tutors. After successful completion of training the tutor signs an agreement to teach a minimum of 60 pro bono lessons to a Newlin Elementary school student. Lessons are conducted twice a week and are 45 minutes in length. It takes 3-4 semesters to complete this commitment. Many tutors volunteer a number of years beyond this minimum commitment.

Who pays for training, materials, etc.?

Fundraising, individual donors and the Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter underwrite the cost of training. Individual tutors purchase their own books and manuals (cost is $150). Upon request, Augustine provides scholarship assistance for purchase of required books. Applicants contact the director at [email protected] to inquire about this assistance.

When is the next two-week training class?

September 21-October 2, 2020; 10 days (M-F) from 8:30 am-2:30 pm with lunch break

Where do practicum lessons take place?

Newlin Elementary School, 316 Carden St., Burlington, NC 27215. Website:

Where does the training take place?

At the Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter at 320 East Davis St., Burlington NC (Website: and Newlin Elementary.

Are additional meetings required after training?

Tutors attend regularly scheduled Tutor Support meetings and luncheons. As tutors prepare more advanced material for students, they are required to attend a minitraining session.

What is the level of commitment Newlin School offers?

Faculty and administration welcome tutors. Teachers and tutors develop on-going working relationships, and the teacher allows the child to leave class for tutoring. The administration is deeply committed to the program and actively supports the tutors to insure that they have what they need in order to do their tutoring at the school.

Besides teaching basic reading skills, how important is it for a child to have their own tutor?

The combination of nurture and knowledge offered by an Augustine tutor builds a foundation for a child’s self-esteem and increases the student’s opportunities for success in school and in life.

How much time does it take to prepare a lesson?

Lesson planning for new tutors often takes about an hour. This process often becomes more streamlined with experience.

Is it important to have prior teaching experience?

No. Experienced teachers bring a wealth of information to the program. They will learn the specific methodologies and skills associated with the Augustine Project. People with other educational backgrounds will have an opportunity to learn the methodology and practice the skills necessary for being a tutor. We welcome people with different work experiences. Most of our current tutors are not professional educators. Each person brings their own wealth of life experiences to the children.

Are trainees required to pass a Background Check in order to tutor at Newlin?

Yes. Documentation of successfully passing is required prior to beginning training.

Will I be teaching what the student is learning in class?

Our one-on-one instruction is independent of the classroom instruction. We provide a more intense level of reading instruction in a one-on-one situation over an extended period of time. Children return to the classroom as more active, competent learners. Augustine children have fundamental reading skills that are not fully developed. This impedes their learning in the classroom. This is the focus of the tutor’s work.

How will the child I tutor be selected?

Teachers recommend 2nd grade students they believe would benefit from one-on-one reading instruction. Selected children’s families cannot afford private tutoring. The Augustine Director and the Newlin School Literacy Coach pair students with tutors.

How is being an Augustine tutor different from being a Lucky Listener?

Lucky Listeners is another volunteer opportunity in the Newlin School Partnership. Lucky Listeners listen to children practice reading. Reading out loud is a critical part of young children learning to read fluently and developing strong skills in comprehension. Lucky Listeners volunteer one hour a week. Unlike tutors, no prior training or experience is required.