Volunteer shaking hands with a teacher at the front of the room


Why Volunteer at Cedar Riverside Adult Education Collaborative?

Help promote literacy. 885 million adults are illiterate in the world today. That’s about 1 in 4 adults. Literate adults have many advantages. They can read the job application they pick up, help their children with homework, read the medicine bottles they get from the doctor, and much more. Quite simply, literate adults are better equipped to take care of themselves and their families. We strive to increase literacy among adult learners from a variety of cultural and educational backgrounds.

Learn about different cultures. The Cedar Riverside neighborhood is home to thousands of immigrants and refugees, many of whom are from East Africa: Somalia, Ethiopia, and Oromia. A small percentage of students are from Vietnam, Korea, Liberia, Russia, Mexico and Ecuador. In general, you can expect to work with Muslim East African adults whose native language is either Somali or Oromo. 

Learn more about your neighbors. Although the immigrants and refugees who come to the Twin Cities are from dramatically different places and cultures, they share many of the same values and goals as native born Minnesotans. First and foremost, they want to feel safe and well-integrated in their neighborhoods. They want their children to receive good educations and job opportunities. In addition, they want to understand and be understood by those living in their community. By volunteering your time at CRAEC, you have the opportunity to help someone learn English as they build a new life in the U.S.

Volunteers provide additional assistance in the classroom by helping teachers with in-class readings and lessons. They also provide extra conversation, writing, and reading help to each student. This individualized attention supports the teacher while helping the students to advance more quickly in their English language learning.