Volunteer English Tutor Program

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“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” 1 Peter 4:10

Many children arrive in the U.S. from war-torn countries, separated from their parents and unable to speak English. Thanks to the volunteers in the Catholic Charities St. Jerome program, many of these children receive tutoring to read, write and speak conversational English to obtain employment and actively engage in their new communities.

Become a volunteer ESL tutor and give children the tools to be self-sufficient and successful.

Fill out the application to get started.

  • Flexible schedule
  • 2-4 hours per week
  • One-on-one or small group (2-3 students) tutoring
  • Multiple locations to visit homes near you
  • Teach in English; no need to speak a foreign language
  • No prior teaching experience required; we’ll train you!
  • All teaching materials and lessons provided
  • Gain valuable tutoring experience
  • Make a difference in the life of a child

Catholic Charities is currently seeking volunteer ESL tutors in the following areas:

  • North Houston
  • Northwest Houston
  • Southwest Houston
  • Channelview
  • Katy
  • New Caney
  • Richmond
  • Rosenberg
  • Spring
  • Wallis

“After retiring from engineering, I found a second career in teaching English as a second language. I feel like I am saving the world, one child at a time.” – Scott Magelssen, Volunteer English Tutor

Job description

Volunteers will be assigned to one or more homes within a 30-minute drive of a volunteer’s home. The volunteer will work closely with St. Jerome staff, parents and students to understand students’ level of English skill, their learning needs and to schedule instruction. Volunteers will teach 2-4 hours per week, use textbooks approved by Catholic Charities, participate in evaluations and recommend supplemental instruction (e.g. computer-aided instruction, outside classes), assign and review homework, and submit monthly time logs and student progress notes. Students are 14-21 years old and in the U.S. without their parents. They live in either foster homes or supervised independent living apartments in the Houston area.

Many students have additional needs for tutoring in other subjects such as basic math and school homework. Volunteers may tutor additional topics as requested by the student and as the tutor feels qualified.


  • Must be fluent in English.
  • Able to teach vocabulary and grammar from standard ESL textbooks plus supplementary writing and literacy instructional materials.
  • Approved by Catholic Charities based on a background check and recommendations.
  • Attend 4-8 hours of volunteer orientation/training

How it works

  1. Fill out an application online.
  2. Background screening approval (process takes several weeks to complete).
  3. Attend a half-day of orientation and training.
  4. Receive ESL training on how to teach. Instructions and curriculum provided.
  5. Volunteers will co-teach with an existing teacher, where practical.
  6. Become assigned to an individual or small group (2-3 students) in homes. Most volunteers are assigned to one home and work with foster parents on establishing a schedule.

To get started, fill out the online application on our volunteer page for either Houston or Fort Bend County.

For more information on the program or about volunteering, contact Volunteer Services at volunteer@catholiccharities.org.