Adult Literacy (Alameda Reads)

Alameda Reads is a FREE service of the Alameda Free Library.

The program has been helping adults improve their reading and writing skills for more than 30 years. Adult learners are at least 18 years old. They often come to the program because school was not the right place for them to learn. People succeed in our no-pressure, non-academic environment. They have busy lives and want to be able to use their skills right away as community members, parents, workers and lifelong learners.


We provide adult learners individual attention so they can focus on their personal learning goals. They also become part of a vibrant learning community and can participate in tutoring, small group learning, computer-assisted learning and community-wide celebrations and events. Since Alameda Reads opened, we have helped thousands of adults learn how to do things like:

  • read books to their children
  • apply for a job
  • read a newspaper
  • write emails for work
  • pass the high school equivalency exam



 Adult Learners

If you are an adult who wants to improve your basic reading and writing skills, the Alameda Reads program may be for you!  The program is free and confidential.  Call us at 510-865-2454 to find out more.

We ask adult learners to:

  • Call us on the phone to make an appointment
  • Tell us what you want to learn about or be able to do better
  • Come to the program 2-3 hours a week
  • Stay in the program at least 6 months, but you can stay in the program as long as you like!
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If you are a patient, flexible and reliable adult, and if you would like to meet new people and help them, you would be a great Alameda Reads volunteer.

Volunteers are active, engaged listeners.  They support the Alameda Reads learning community in a variety of ways depending on program needs and a volunteer's skills.  The health of the program relies on a diverse range of volunteer support including:

  • Tutoring adults
  • Online social media and web support
  • Program promotion in the library and community
  • Outreach through fliers and newsletters
  • Small learning group support
  • Special events coordination

We ask volunteers to:

  • Complete a 13-hour training workshop
  • Volunteer two hours a week
  • Commit to 6 months of service, although we hope you'll stay longer!
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To volunteer please fill out the application online.

Click here to view and fill out volunteer inquiry form


For Tutors

California Library Literacy Services (CLLS)  A program of the California State Library, supports Californians by providing services to adults with low-literacy and their families through California public libraries.  This website has many programmatic and tutoring resources.  

The Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS)   A national dissemination, resource gathering, and professional development system providing information on a wide variety of literacy relevant topics, issues, and resources.  

BALit (Bay Area Literacy)   Serves adults in the Bay Area who choose to improve their reading and writing skills. BALit’s 25 member programs are located in libraries from Mendocino County to Santa Clara County.  

Tutor Ready Reading These videos feature tutor-learner pairs demonstrating evidence-based reading strategies. You can watch them to learn techniques for teaching reading to adults and to see what tutoring pairs might do in a lesson.

Tutor Ready Writing   These videos feature tutor-learner pairs demonstrating evidence-based writing strategies. You can watch them to learn techniques for teaching writing to all learners, beginning to advanced, and to see what tutoring pairs might do in a lesson. 

Adult Numeracy Network (ANN)   A community dedicated to quality mathematics instruction at the adult level. ANN supports adult educators, encourages collaboration and leadership, and influences policy and practice in adult math instruction. 

Discovery School's Puzzlemaker   Create and print customized word search, crossword and math puzzles using your own word lists. 


Basic Computer Skills and Typing

Goodwill Community Foundation (GCF)  Excellent online basic computer skills tutorials as well as math, reading and career development resources.  

Typing Club  A web-based typing tutorial with hundreds of guided lessons.   


Adult Basic Education 

Practice tests for GED, TOEFL and others. You need to log-in to use this site, but the log-in is free. Print material may be purchased. 

Read It! is designed for middle and high school students and adults who have a basic foundation in English grammar and reading but need adapted reading material for a variety of subjects. It offers resources to help build background knowledge, conduct research and improve study skills. 
Este recurso de información multipropósito está diseñado para estudiantes de secundaria y preparatoria y para cualquier persona que sea nueva en el idioma inglés. Esta base de datos ayudará a los estudiantes de ELL a tener éxito académico y en la vida cotidiana, brindándoles asistencia a medida que realizan investigaciones, desarrollan sus conocimientos previos y desarrollan habilidades de estudio. El contenido abarca una amplia gama de áreas temáticas, como Ciencias, Matemáticas, Historia, Educación cívica, Habilidades para la vida y Literatura, y está escrito en un nivel adecuado para la edad, utilizando vocabulario y estructura simplificada que es útil para hablantes no nativos.



Pronunciation  Online videos that show how to pronounce American English sounds.

USA Learns  Online English lessons.  Online US Citizenship course.  You need to log-in to use this site, but the log-in is free.  

US Citizenship & Immigration Services  Resources for learners and educators to apply for citizenship and to prepare for the test. 


Financial Literacy

Practical Money Skills for Life

A Financial Literacy Handbook for All Life Stages     Excellent guide to understanding and managing money.