Giving adults the gift of Language and Literacy

About Us

About Us

Since opening its doors in 1991, the Literacy Network of South Berkshire (LitNet) has worked with more than 1,000 volunteer tutors to provide over 1,200 adult students in Berkshire County with free, individualized tutoring.  LitNet seeks to give adult learners the tools they need to succeed in their jobs, support their families, and engage with their local communities.  The organization currently serves more than 130 student/tutor pairs, who meet weekly to study English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), prepare for the high school equivalency test or the U.S. citizenship exam, or learn basic reading skills.  More than 90% of LitNet’s students are immigrants learning English.

Our Tutors

LitNet tutors are an ever-growing network of over 150 professionals: bankers, physicians, librarians, horticulturists, business owners, editors, teachers, lawyers, speech pathologists, nurses, actors, artists, journalists, scientists, graphic designers, playwrights, nonprofit leaders, and social workers.  Volunteer tutors are provided with training and ongoing support. Some tutors have backgrounds in education, others do not. There is no need to have any expertise in any language except English. The only requirement is to be interested in helping change lives, one student at a time. 

Our Students

LitNet serves the large population of immigrants who live and work in Berkshire County.  According to the American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau, between 2009 and 2014, the number of South Berkshire residents who spoke a language other than English at home increased by almost 30%. About 3,000 individuals in LitNet's primary service area speak a language other than English at home.
 
In the past year, students enrolled with the Literacy Network ranged in age from 20-71. They were of limited income and came from 30 different countries and spoke at least 18 different languages collectively. The majority of LitNet students are from Central and South America; however, we also have students from Western, Central, and Eastern Europe as well as China, Japan, India, and Southeast Asia. Some LitNet students have learning disabilities and have been unsuccessful in more traditional learning environments.
 
Currently, more than 90% of LitNet's students are studying ESOL, 5% are working to receive their high school equivalency certificate, 3% are pursuing their American citizenship, and 2% are practicing basic reading skills.