About Us


What is the Holyoke Tutor/Mentor Program?

Established in 1991, The Holyoke Tutor/Mentor Program recruits, trains, places and supervises volunteer tutors in Adult Basic Education programs.


We partner with five educational organizations in Holyoke to support adults who are learning English (ESOL) or the academic skills (reading, writing, math, science, social studies and/or computers) to earn a high school equivalency credential (HiSET, formerly known as GED).


Hundreds of adults in Holyoke enroll in classes each year to improve their English skills or complete their high school education, many more would enroll if there were room in a class. Some of these adults return to school to improve their employment prospects, some as a first step to further education, others to set an example for their children, or be able to navigate their childrens' school, healthcare and other life tasks more easily.


Whatever their goals, volunteer classroom tutors help these learners achieve their dreams by providing additional support and encouragement.


We are funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Adult and Community Learning Services, and operate in conjunction with the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce.




Learn More: Our FY16 Annual Report




Contact Us


Who Are Tutor/Mentors?

A wide variety of people volunteer with us. They come from Holyoke and surrounding communities in Western Massachusetts and Connecticut. They range in age from young adults to senior citizens. They are self-employed, retirees, college students, teachers, homemakers, and more.


Each tutor has time to share each week, believes change comes through education, and enjoys working with people and learning about other cultures. Tutors may or may not have previous teaching/tutoring experience, and ESOL tutors don't have to speak a language other than English. All of our volunteers receive training from the Tutor/Mentor program to help them succeed as tutors.




Why Do We Need Tutors?

Adult education classes bring together students with a wide range of skills, educational experiences and language backgrounds. This mix makes for an engaging and dynamic classroom environment, but can also make it difficult for one teacher to serve the needs of all students simultaneously.


Tutors help meet the needs of more students by providing one on one support for students who struggle, leading small groups working on different tasks or at different levels, and providing flexible support throughout the class.



Interested in becoming a tutor?

We are always pleased to welcome new tutors. If you may be interested, please see this page for more detailed information about becoming a tutor, or submit an inquiry, and a member of our staff will get in touch with you.


For students seeking tutors

The Holyoke Tutor/Mentor Program tutors students in Holyoke’s Adult Basic Education classes. We do not tutor children or people who are not in ABE classes.

If you want to sign up for an ESOL or HiSET (High School Equivalency, formerly known as GED) class, contact Marisol Fontanez at (413) 552-2990 mfontanez@hcc.edu. Or stop by the first floor of the Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center (PAFEC) at 206 Maple Street, Holyoke.

Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College have special programs to help you do better in college after you've passed the GED. Here is information about applying for financial aid.


If  you want to study Reading, Writing, Math, GED Prep, ESOL, Typing or Computer Skills on the computer, click here.



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