A Community
Literacy Resource

Who we are: Whatcom Learning is a not-for-profit, community literacy resource.Our mission is to help beginning and challenged readers ages 5 to 95 learn to read in English.The emphasis is on early intervention with one-to-one tutoring assistance from trained community volunteers utilizing the additional support of computers to reinforce literacy skills.

We believe that lives can be improved and many of society's problems can be reduced by teaching children and adults how to read.

Who can use our help? Children or adults with underdeveloped reading skills. Also ESL (English as Second Language) learners

DYSLEXIA We are piloting a reading program designed for dyslexic or reading challenged students. This structured program also works well with typical learners. Private evaluation for dyslexia and other learning disabilities available at additional cost.


We offer tutoring for one hour sessions. There is a minimal fee of $2.00 per session which can be adjusted based on need. Two time slots are available at each site.

Who can become tutors? High-schoolers and adults who are willing to become trained, commit to tutor for the school year, and have a heart for helping others. All adult volunteers must pass a Washington State Patrol background check.

If you want reading help or to volunteer as a tutor, please call 371-3978 or email: whatcomlearninglab@comcast.net

Location and Days


NW Baptist Church
On NW Ave. round-a-bout
3545 NW Ave.
Mon. & Wed.
3 – 4 or 4-5 PM


Grace Luteran Church
702 G Street
across the street from the Boys and Girls Club
Tues. & Thurs.
3-4 or 4-5 PM

We follow school district calendars for holidays. The Whatcom Learning Lab ends the month of June and resumes in the fall.

If you are interested in hosting another site, please contact us.

As a not-for-profit resource, we welcome donations. We are especially seeking donations of working, Wi-Fi enabled, computer laptops or iPads.

Benefits to the Community

For Tutors:
In addition to tutoring skills, volunteer tutors develop skills in the areas of interpersonal interaction and experience the satisfaction of helping another person.

For Tutees:
As tutees (children or adults), raise their reading levels; their self-esteem is increased as well as their ability to be more productive at school and on the job.

When adults learn to read, their personal lives are enriched by reading for personal pleasure as well as being able to read to their children or grandchildren.

When adults build strong reading skills, they are more empowered to: seek quality, higher-paying jobs; make informed decisions when fulfilling civic opportunities such as voting; and contribute to the community when they volunteer or work for the good of others.

Need for Literacy Help

2/3rds of ALL children who do not read by the 4th grade will be in jail or on welfare when they are adults (report by Dr. Louisa Moats published by Thomas B. Fordham Foundation)

Approximately 1/4 of Whatcom County's 4th graders tested below grade level in reading on the 2013 statewide MSP (Measurement of Student Progress).

One in 6 adults in Whatcom County is functionally illiterate (Whatcom Literacy Council website). This means there are about 26,000 adults in Whatcom County who need help to learn to read and write.

Nearly 1/2 of all adults with low literacy levels are living in poverty, even if they are employed (Whatcom Literacy Council website).

70% of adult inmates and 85% of children in the juvenile court system cannot read (Family Literacy Centers' publication)

Studies prove that reading failure causes increased: 1) juvenile delinquency 2) health care costs and 3) prison enrollment (Family Literacy Centers' publication)

Info & Contact

The director: Linda Gorsuch, is a retired school psychologist with training as a special education teacher. Linda offers private tutoring and assessments for students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.

If you want reading help or to volunteer as a tutor please call 371-3978 or email whatcomlearninglab@comcast.net