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Santa Clara City Library

Read Santa Clara

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Adult and Family Literacy Services

Read Santa Clara, the adult and family literacy program of the Santa Clara City Library, provides free literacy instruction for English-speaking adults who want to improve their basic reading, writing, and/or math skills.

Since 1995, Read Santa Clara has trained volunteer tutors to work in partnership with adult learners to help them achieve their literacy goals as family members, workers, community members and lifelong learners. Through tutoring, learners are able to fill out forms, read to children, write letters, register to vote, understand health information, read for pleasure, and more. Volunteer tutors work with adult learners one-on-one or in small groups.


Our Learners

“I am a 52-year-old man. All my life, I have had reading and writing difficulties. Three years ago, I came to Read Santa Clara. Today, I’m reading the best I’ve ever read in my life. My reading is helping me on my job, in my relationships with my family, and with my self-esteem.” – Ron, Read Santa Clara learner

To become a learner (student) with Read Santa Clara, you must:   

  • be 18 years or older and not attending high school
  • be comfortable speaking in English
  • read or write at or below an eighth-grade level

Our services are free, focused on your goals and confidential.

If you (or someone you know) would like to learn how to become a learner, call (408) 615-2956 or email

Our Volunteer Tutors

  • “What does it take to tutor? A sense of humor, commitment, flexibility, and patience definitely help. You won’t always know all the answers, but don’t let that stop you. It is an ongoing learning experience for both tutor and learner.” – Anne, Read Santa Clara tutor

To become a Read Santa Clara tutor, you must:

  •   be 18 years or older
  •   have a High School diploma or GED
  •   be proficient at reading, writing and speaking in English
  •   commit to tutor at least 2 hours a week for a minimum period of six months
  •   be able to tutor in the City of Santa Clara

Volunteers receive 10 hours of tutor training after attending an orientation. Please call (408) 615-2956 or email to sign up. Fall 2019 Schedule of Volunteer Orientations and Tutor Training

Families for Literacy

“I really recommend this program to every family that wants to increase reading and learning together.” – Martha, FFL parent
Those learners in the adult literacy program who have a child (or a grandchild) below the age of five can join the Families for Literacy Program (FFL). Learners and their families participate in monthly family nights which include dinner, story times, songs, crafts and gift books for the families to take home.

To find out more, please call (408) 615-2956.

Family Literacy Outreach

Read Santa Clara also provides family literacy services at community sites, including transitional housing shelters, for teen parents, families participating in Migrant Education and at five state preschool classrooms at two elementary school sites in Santa Clara. Besides events with story times, puppets and book giveaways, we have used engaging hands-on family literacy activities, such as bookmaking and preschool family math workshops, with early math literacy kits,  in English and Spanish, for families to take home.This outreach is made possible by grants and donations from the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends.


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