Welcome!

We would love to help you learn to speak, read, and write English. If you have trouble completing the application, please feel free to email us.Listen

¡Bienvenido!

Estaremos encantados de ayudarte a ti cómo hablar, leer y escribir en inglés. Si tienes problemas completando la aplicación, por favor escríbenos.Listen

Our Programs

Better English can change your life!

Manatee Literacy Council services are provided confidentially and free of charge to Manatee County adults regardless of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, or socioeconomic status. Manatee Literacy Council matches learners with volunteer tutors for one-on-one lessons. Some group classes may be available.

Questions or concerns?
See Adult Learner Frequently Asked Questions.

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All classes are free for adult residents of Manatee County

Learner Programs Offered:

Virtual Confident Conversation Classes


Our virtual conversation classes are held on Zoom several times a week to give our learners an opportunity to practice their conversational English.  There is a theme to each class that continues throughout the week.  These classes are open to Manatee residents as well as out-of-county learners and are a great way to improve vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar, and build confidence. You may attend as many classes during the week as fits your schedule.
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One-on-One Tutoring.


Manatee County residents enrolled with Manatee Literacy are eligible to work one-on-one with a tutor for English as a Second Language (ESOL) and Adult Basic Education (ABE) classes You and your tutor will decide the time and location of your meetings.  You will work on a curriculum that best suits your skills and interests.   Working with a tutor is a wonderful way to improve your reading, writing, grammar, and pronunciation.  This program is only open to adult residents of Manatee County who are enrolled in our program.  It is our goal to match each eligible learner with a tutor.

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U.S. Citizenship Test Preparation


Learners work with a tutor one-on-one or in small groups to prepare for their naturalization test. This work includes all History and Government Civics Questions, reading, writing, and vocabulary. Students are expected to have Intermediate or Advanced English language skills. Currently being offered on Zoom.
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Pen Friends

Pen Friends is a virtual pen-pal program to help learners improve their written communication skills. This program is open to both native English speakers and English as a second language (ESOL) students. You and your “Pen Friend” will correspond with each other through email. This program is best suited for Intermediate and Advanced learners to improve their reading, writing, and grammar skills.
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Family Literacy Classes


Because a parent’s reading skill is the single most important factor in a child’s literacy development, we offer Family Literacy Classes in conjunction with other local agencies.  These programs focus on helping parents learn to read more proficiently, and encourage families to read together.  We also help parents develop the communication skills needed to advocate for their children in a school setting.  They are held throughout the year.
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Digital Literacy Classes


In the 21st Century, digital literacy skills are critical for success.  We work to support our learners with the skills they need to use today’s technology including cell phones, laptops, computers, tablets, virtual conferencing programs like Zoom, computer programs, and applications.  We conduct classes specifically geared towards learning these skills informally throughout the year. We also provide “Zoom Basics for Spanish Speakers” on a regular basis. 
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Financial Literacy Classes


Financial literacy is crucial for the success of our learners and their families.  We partner with area banks to teach financial literacy classes and help our students learn best practices for managing their money.  These classes span a range of subjects including basic money skills, retirement planning, mortgages, and debt management.  They are held at least once a year.
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Whatsapp Group


Many of our users use this application in their day-to-day activities.  We have started our own account in order to meet our learners where they feel most comfortable. Members of this group will find it easy to get the most out of their time with Manatee Literacy by having up-to-date information as well as being able to meet new people. This group is for learners and volunteers of M.L.C. exclusively.  Promoting services or goods is not allowed.  
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Learner Mentors


Our more advanced learners who have been working with Manatee Literacy Council for a while are often some of the most influential people to new learners.  It’s because of this that we have designated “Learner Mentors” – experienced learners who can provide guidance to new learners in a variety of ways. These learners have proved to be an essential part of our organization and a crucial part of our success.
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Digital Literacy Skills


We provide ongoing support for Zoom and email.  We occasionally also host very specific digital literacy workshops focused on different programs and learning platforms.   These classes are open to both Learners and Tutors!
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Book Club


Our Book Club meets weekly virtually, and occasionally in person, to read and discuss a contemporary book. Times and books change regularly, so please contact us for more information. This is open to both Learners and Tutors!
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Agency Referrals


There are times when our learners find that they need additional support in areas of their lives where we do not have the resources to help.  Our learners’ overall welfare is of vital concern for Manatee Literacy.  We belong to the Crosswalk referral system so that we can connect with other organizations in our area to help learners find the support they need in any area.  These referrals can include Health and Wellness, Housing, Employment, Education, Childcare, College Advising, First-time Home Buying, Parenting Support, and more.
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Tutor Programs Offered:

Tutor CertificationTraining (TCT)


We offer virtual Tutor Certification Training for all of our new tutor volunteers. In order to be matched with a learner, tutors are certified in a rigorous, self-paced tutor training program. Please contact the Executive Director for more information.
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Tutor Teas


We host “Tutor Teas” on the first Monday of each month at 1 p.m. on Zoom. These are relaxed, roundtable discussions designed to answer questions, create camaraderie, and introduce teaching techniques and strategies to our tutors. We hope that you can join us!

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Tutor Mentor Program


Our tutors are special people, dedicated to empowering adults to independence through literacy. Some of our most experienced tutors have been tapped to mentor new tutors as part of our Tutor Certification Training. Tutoring does not require a knowledge of teaching or another language. Our tutor mentors provide the experience and expertise to support new tutors as they begin to work with learners and beyond. Our staff also welcomes your call or email should you have any questions, concerns, or need support in any manner.
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Learner Evaluators

We have volunteers that are specially trained to evaluate learners English skills on a regular basis to ensure that they continue to progress. This is a program through the Center for Applied Linguistics.
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Digital Literacy Skills


We provide ongoing support for Zoom and email. We occasionally also host very specific digital literacy workshops focused on different programs and learning platforms. These classes are open to both Learners and Tutors!

Everyone will benefit from following us on our Social Media Channels for timely updates about programs and events. We also provide a quarterly newsletter. You are automatically signed up for the newsletter when you sign up as a volunteer or a learner.

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Book Club


Our Book Club meets weekly virtually, and occasionally in person, to read and discuss a contemporary book. Times and books change regularly, so please contact us for more information. This is open to both Learners and Tutors!

Everyone will benefit from following us on our Social Media Channels for timely updates about programs and events. We also provide a quarterly newsletter. You are automatically signed up for the newsletter when you sign up as a volunteer or a learner.
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Manatee Literacy Council does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, religion, race, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, or any other status protected by law. Individuals will be accommodated to the fullest extent as outlined in the ADA guidelines. Due to limitations of the volunteer-based program, Manatee Literacy Council is unable to serve some individuals who are cognitively disabled or developmentally disabled. Recognizing this policy, there may be individuals who, however willing, are not able to benefit from Manatee Literacy Council tutoring. If in the opinion of the tutor or a staff person and with the concurrence of the Executive Director, such a situation exists, the student will be advised that tutoring or continuing in tutoring is not recommended. If possible, the individual will be referred to another appropriate agency better able to meet his or her needs.

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