VCLA offers several volunteer opportunities within its organization: on the board of directors, as a volunteer tutor, as part of the fundraising committee, or occasionally as a help around the office.
Board of Directors
VCLA is a non-profit charitable organization governed by a volunteer board of directors. The board of directors sets the mission and policy for the organization.
Board meetings are open to the public. While anyone can come and take part in the discussions about literacy in their communities, only directors can vote and make motions. Being a board member is an excellent way to meet other volunteers, become educated about the issues, and play a guiding role in the governance of the organization.
The board of directors meets the second Friday of every month with the exception of July and August. Meetings alternate between 49 Cornwallis Street in Kentville and, typically, the Nova Scotia Community College campus in Middleton.
Board meetings are scheduled not to exceed two hours in duration. The president, in consultation with the executive director, prepares the agenda. Any member may submit agenda items, normally a week in advance of the meeting, to the executive director. Minutes of the previous meeting are distributed to board members two weeks in advance of each board meeting. Staff, committee and program reports will be circulated a week in advance of the meeting. Acronyms will not be used in the minutes.
All board members receive a copy of the VCLA Memorandum of Association and By-laws, as well as a written job description, at inauguration.
The board has approved policies outlining its expectations in the following areas:
- Responsibilities of the Executive Director
- Financial management practices
- Personnel management practices
- Recruitment and management of volunteers
- Conflict of interest for Board members and staff
- Fundraising practices
- Quality of services to users, clients, consumers, or the public
- Safety of staff, volunteers, and clients
The VCLA policy manual contains all approved organizational policies. The board receives regular financial reports and monitors the performance of the association in relation to its budget.
Volunteer tutors work with adults 1-1 and in small groups. Tutors can help in a variety of ways:
- With adults whose reading levels are too low to participate in a class and need extra help.
- With learners in the Adult Learning Program (ALP) or English as an additional language classes who need extra help with a specific subject.
- With those trying to write their GED who may need specific help in one of the five subject areas: social studies, math, language arts reading, writing and science.
Volunteer tutors work in a number of places. Many work at VCLA’s Learning Centre at 49 Cornwallis Street, suite 106 in Kentville. Others work at the Annapolis County location in Middleton: the Nova Scotia Community College site. Tutors also work in churches, community centres, and libraries. VCLA will help you find a location that is convenient for you and your learner.
VCLA offers orientation training for all volunteer tutors as well as more specific training throughout the year as needs are identified. There is also a comprehensive practitioner training and certification program offered through Literacy Nova Scotia, which is available at no cost for all volunteers working through VCLA. For more information about this training program, go to: www.ns.literacy.ca/ptc.htm.
VCLA has two tutor matching coordinators, one for the English as an additional language program, one for the literacy and GED program. The coordinators help volunteer tutors access the training they need, make a match with an appropriate learner, locate resources and provide ongoing support.
The key fundraising event of the year is the Literacy Mile, but throughout the year smaller fundraisers such as quilt raffles, the Learners’ Cup golf tournament and book sales occur. Please call 1-866-898-7323 to ask for the opportunities available in your area.