Learning Advantage (previously Reading Advantage)


Learning Advantage is a literacy program which pairs volunteers and adults with low literacy skills, for a period of approximately one year. Volunteer coaches help participants develop basic reading and writing skills, experience the joys of reading, and pursue individual goals. A student-centred method is utilized to build upon each individual’s needs, strengths, learning styles and life experiences.

Program Goals

Learning Advantage is designed:

  • To provide one-on-one coaching for adult Calgarians who want to improve their literacy skills and engage in lifelong learning activities.
  • To support Calgarians in achieving their reading related goals.
  • To increase awareness and use of library resources, services and programs.

Length of the program

  • 2 hours a week throughout the year

Volunteer Qualifications

  • A strong commitment to adult literacy and interest in helping adults learn to read and write.
  • Ability to work independently with a learner
  • Excellent listening and communication skills
  • Flexibility, creativity and good problem solving skills
  • Demonstrated ability to accommodate a diversity of backgrounds and skill levels
  • Patience
  • Attend a one day training session

Volunteer Responsibilities

  • Help learners develop basic reading and writing skills to enrich their lives and promote lifelong learning
  • Develop and implement individualized learning plans based upon the learner’s goals
  • Develop and maintain learning journals, individualized learning plans and learner portfolios
  • Consult with learner and library staff to arrange mutually convenient meeting times, generally 2 hours per week. An additional 20–60 minutes is required for program preparation
  • Commit to participate in the program for a minimum of one year
  • Maintain regular contact with library staff to discuss the participant’s progress and activities
  • Respect confidentiality


  • Volunteers receive 13 hours of comprehensive core training, plus opportunities for supplemental training
  • Training includes an introduction to the CPL vision, mission, goals and core values; roles, responsibilities and expectations; boundaries (role of volunteer vs. staff); typical session; FAQ; and list of resources
  • All volunteer training takes place at the Central branch

Program Locations

  • All branches
  • Volunteers may specify which locations they prefer

Volunteer Benefits

  • Extremely rewarding opportunity to make an impact in a learner’s life as literacy is essential today in every facet of life: education, employment and relationships.
  • By working one-on-one with a learner, you have the opportunity to provide empowerment and lasting change in a person’s life.

Learning Advantage Contact:

Emily Robinson Leclair Email: learningadvantage@calgarypubliclibrary.com Phone: 403-260-2729

If you are interested in volunteering for the Learning Advantage program, please apply here.