About OC Read

OC Read provides foundational 1-on-1 tutoring for English-speaking adults who want to improve their reading and writing skills. OC Read is a program designed to support adult learners to further their work, family, and personal goals. 

Why Literacy Matters

  • 1 in 4 adults in Orange County read below the 8th grade level
  • 16% of adults in Orange County do not have a high school diploma
  • 29% of inmates in United States prisons have low literacy skills
  • Children of parents with low literacy skills have a 72% chance of being at the lowest reading levels
  • 47% of children in Orange County are not ready for kindergarten
  • The United States ranks 12th in the literacy world

Three Divisions, One Program

Adult Basic
Literacy Skills

Personalized tutoring for adult learners who need help with their basic reading and writing skills. With the assistance of an individual tutor, learners are able to achieve life goals such as:  

  • Reading to their children
  • Reading a newspaper
  • Getting a better job
  • Registering to vote

Families for Literacy

Family engagement activities and programs that focus on adult learners and their family members, younger and older generations alike. Build your skills through:

  • Interactive activities for the whole family
  • Directed learning experiences
  • Instruction in reading techniques
  • Connection-building

Working for Inmate Literacy Now (WIN)

Personalized tutoring for adult inmates who need help with their basic reading and writing skills. With the assistance of an individual tutor, inmates are able to achieve life goals.

Notice: The WIN program is currently on hold.

How To Join

All potential learners follow the same process to join OC Read. 

Step 1: Intake Interview

To enroll with OC Read, call the office to speak with a literacy coordinator. The coordinator will have a short, 10-15 minute interview that covers your history, education, and goals. If OC Read potentially has the resources to help you succeed, the literacy coordinator will schedule an assessment.

Step 2: Assessment

The assessment is an informal, 30-60 minute meeting on Zoom where your reading and writing skills are estimated through a series of short activities. The assessment helps identify your current strengths, as well as areas for potential growth. Literacy coordinators will review the assessment and interview to determine if OC Read is the best match to meet your needs. 

Step 3: Matching

If OC Read is a strong match for your goals and needs, you will be added to a waitlist until a tutor becomes available. Once a tutor has been identified, staff will set up a match meeting on Zoom so the two of you can meet. A literacy coordinator will be present at this meeting to help discuss goal setting, scheduling, lesson planning, and to answer any questions that may arise. 

Step 4: Follow Up & Beyond

OC Read likes to stay in touch with learners and tutors! At the six-week mark, a literacy coordinator will follow up with you and your tutor to see how things are going. After that, OC Read will contact you periodically to check in, share program news, and, on a yearly basis, schedule a reassessment. 


OC Read offers services to anyone who is a resident of Orange County and:

  • Is 16 years or older 
  • Is not enrolled in the K-12 school system
  • Wants to improve their foundational reading and writing skills  

Though OC Read strives to serve the ELL community to the fullest extent possible, tutoring is conducted in English, so learners must have conversational command of the language.

Tutoring is completely free for adult learners.

Yes. Any personal information shared with OC Read is kept confidential between you, the program, and your matched tutor or learner.

OC Read tutors come from all walks of life. No experience is needed—OC Read will provide all the necessary training.

OC Read tutors are:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Willing to try new things and think outside the box
  • Able to commit a minimum of two hours a week to tutoring time, plus lesson prep time, on a regular basis
  • Must check email regularly and have, or be willing to learn, basic computer skills
  • Have completed OC Read's New Tutor Orientation and Training  

No teaching experience is needed to become a volunteer. OC Read will provide all the training. Visit the Tutors page for more information.

Tutors and learners work together for at least 2 hours a week. OC Read will match you with someone in your area at a time that works for you. Tutors and learners are encouraged to meet at OC Public Libraries branches. 

Yes. An estimated 400,000 adults in Orange County do not read or write well enough to meet their needs as workers, family members and members of the community.

Though OC Read strives to serve the English Language Learner (ELL) community to the fullest extent possible, tutors do not have the training to effectively assist ELL adults who want to work on their English (listening, speaking, reading, writing). Language acquisition requires all parts of language learning, and it would be a disservice to match someone who has language acquisition or language proficiency goals with this program.

If you or someone you know would like to learn English, OC Read can help connect you with other low cost/no cost ESL programs within Orange County. Please contact the office at readoc@occr.ocgov.com or (714) 566-3070. 

Get Involved Today!

To become a learner, call OC Read at (714) 566-3070 or email readoc@occr.ocgov.com.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, visit the Tutors page for more information.