Literacy & ESL Training

For anyone looking to improve their literacy or learn to speak English, the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) can help you take the next steps. SVHEC offers opportunities to learn and advance your education and career.

Volunteer Literacy Program

It’s never too late to learn to read, whether you want to continue your education or build skills you can use at work. The SVHEC knows that taking the first steps towards literacy can be difficult, and we’re here to support you. Our Volunteer Literacy Program removes many of the obstacles that can hold back adult students. The program is free and confidential. Most important, tutoring is one on one, so students get the kind of personal attention it takes to progress to proficiency.

The SVHEC also can help students who want to attend community college but need to improve their score on the placement test. Test preparation is available, along with free tutoring to help prepare for community college.

English as a Second Language

Learning to speak English opens the door to many educational and professional opportunities. The SVHEC offers English as a Second Language (ESL) tutoring to help anyone pursuing this goal. Tutoring is free, confidential and one on one. We also can assist people studying for the U.S. citizenship test.

To become a volunteer or student for either program, please contact: Judy Ward at or (434) 572-5449.

Success Stories

Image of Suzana Jubel
From Literacy to Employment

“When I came to this country, I couldn’t speak any English. I needed my husband for everything — I couldn’t even go to the doctor alone. Now I can go shopping or go out with friends. I’m working, and my career is progressing. Judy isn’t just my teacher, she’s my American mother.”