Learn more about our program!

Read Santa Clara exists to provide free literacy instruction and support English-speaking adults in the City of Santa Clara, enabling them to reach their goals and realize their full potential in their personal, family, work and community lives.

Contact Us

1098 Lexington Ave.
Santa Clara, CA 95050
(408) 615-2956


Read Santa Clara (formerly the Santa Clara City Library Reading Program) began in 1995 as a member of the State Library’s California Literacy Campaign. For the first five years, the program provided literacy services in the City of Santa Clara under the auspices of the Santa Clara County Library Reading Program. On July 1, 2000, the literacy program became an integrated service of the Santa Clara City Library and was renamed Read Santa Clara. Read Santa Clara’s funding sources include: the City of Santa Clara, the California State Library, the Friends of the Santa Clara City Library, the Mission City Community Fund and individual contributors.

Read Santa Clara’s volunteers have assisted hundreds of adult learners during the program’s seven years of service. Volunteer tutors make possible individualized instruction, in which tutoring sessions focus on the interests and goals expressed by the learner, using methods and materials appropriate for each person’s own learning style. Prospective tutors attend a 90-minute orientation followed by 12½ hours of initial training and participate in on-going workshops. Tutors and learners are asked to make a six-month commitment to the program and meet at least two hours weekly for tutoring sessions. Learners are oriented, interviewed and assessed individually before they are matched with tutors. Read Santa Clara provides free instructional materials to supplement the real-life materials learners and tutors use in lessons and a variety of innovative support services to program participants.

Read Santa Clara encourages individuals, organizations and businesses to join us in our commitment to promoting literacy in the City of Santa Clara by building a community of readers. You can make a difference by volunteering, referring potential learners and tutors, donating space for tutoring sessions and/or meetings or making in-kind or financial contributions.

Core Tutoring Services

Since its inception, Read Santa Clara’s core literacy services have been delivered through trained volunteer tutors working one-on-one or with small groups (3 to 5 learners meeting with a tutor) towards learners’ expressed goals. Tutoring hours and locations are flexible to meet the schedules of both learners and tutors.

Support Services

Read Santa Clara offers a variety of support services to broaden, as well as deepen, participants’ learning experiences. Tutors and learners communicate with Read Santa Clara staff, other learners and tutors on a regular basis so that they feel connected to the program and its members. Learners and tutors provide valuable feedback as we plan new services.

Community Literacy

Volunteer tutors are trained and supported as they work in partnership with adults who seek to improve their reading, writing and math skills. Tutors and learners meet in libraries, offices, homes or other locations mutually agreeable to participants. Tutoring sessions incorporate real-life materials that help meet learners’ goals in their personal, work, family or community lives.

Family literacy

Community learners who have one or more children five years of age and younger are eligible for Read Santa Clara’s family literacy service. In addition to meeting with their tutors, family literacy learners bring their families to the Mission Library Family Reading Center one evening a month for a program designed to help parents instill a love of reading and learning in their children. Family learning experiences, shared meals, story times, puppet shows and book giveaways are all part of family literacy learning nights.

Computer-aided Literacy

Learners and tutors can supplement their lessons by working with literacy software installed on a Macintosh and a PC at the Mission Library Family Reading Center. Using both commercial and custom literacy software, learners gain literacy and computer skills. Plans under development will encourage learners and tutors to share their writings and lesson ideas on literacy web sites as they become familiar with the Internet.

Tutor/Learner Involvement Activities

Read Santa Clara supports its tutors and learners through a variety of on-going educational and motivational opportunities designed to promote a true learning community. These include learner-led workshops, leadership classes, tutor workshops, conferences and social events. Each year, Read Santa Clara publishes a book of learner writings.