Volunteer Training and Resources

Volunteer Workshops Available to Help You Support Students

Volunteer Orientation Training 

Volunteer orientation and training are mandatory for all new volunteers. This workshop provides you with valuable information you need to have a successful school experience. 
Please register for the workshop that meets your availability. All orientation workshops are held at Richard Pfaff Alternative School 160 Percy Street Classroom 3

April 25, 2018 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Richard Pfaff Alternative School 
160 Percy Street, Room 3
Register here, please and thank you. 

May 2, 2018 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Richard Pfaff Alternative School
160 Percy Street, Room 3
Register here, please and thank you. 

May 2, 2018 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Richard Pfaff Alternative School 
160 Percy Street, Room 3
Register here, please and thank you.

May 23, 2018 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Richard Pfaff Alternative School 
160 Percy Street, Room 3
Register here, please and thank you.

Please contact Lee-Ann Scott to request online Volunteer Orientation training if you cannot attend Orientation in person.  

OttawaReads Read Aloud Training Dates

Read Aloud training workshops for volunteers who will be reading to children one-on-one in JK to grade 3 classrooms. 
All candidates must attend a workshop to be trained for the OttawaReads read-aloud program.
Training takes about 2 hours. 
Workshops are held at Richard Pfaff Alternative School 160 Percy Street Classroom 3

April 25, 2018   1:00-3:00 PM
Richard Pfaff Alternative School
160 Percy Street, Room 3
Register here, please and thank you!

Please contact Lee-Ann Scott to request training opportunities. 

Children's Aid Society of Ottawa Workshop April 30, 2018 

The Children's Aid Society of Ottawa community presentation, facilitated by Raina Swansburg,  will provide you with an introduction to the Society and the work that they do. You will have a better understanding of the families and children with whom we work; the importance of the duty to report; what is abuse and some of their indicators; what to expect when you call and; how you can help. 

Workshop from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, April 30, 2018
Richard Pfaff Alternative School 160 Percy Room 3 
Register on this link please and thank you!

Facilitated by Raina Swansburg, CAS

New, By Request Only, Online Self-paced Training!

In addition to Volunteer Orientation, we offer several online courses for volunteers and volunteers aspiring to be educators. Send an email request to

Volunteering with Poverty in Mind

As a volunteer, you can play an integral transformational role in a child's life. The information for this course is taken directly from author and educator Eric Jensen’s book,  “Teaching With Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It.”

“If life experiences can change poor kids for the worse, can’t life experiences change also change them for the better?”  Eric Jensen

Researcher, Eric Jensen makes three claims:

  • Chronic exposure to poverty causes the brain to physically change in a detrimental manner.
  • Because the brain is designed to adapt from experience, it can also change for the better. In other words, poor children can experience emotional, social, and academic success.
  • Although many factors affect academic success, certain key ones are especially effective in turning around students raised in poverty.

In this course, we will review some aspects of Jensen’s research that can be applied to volunteers assisting in schools. To obtain a copy of the book, google: Jensen, E. (2009). Teaching With Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It.  

Learning Strategies: Skills you can teach students for academic success:

This online course focuses on learning strategies to help the students that you support as a volunteer become better, more independent learners. You will learn literacy and numeracy skills, personal management skills, and interpersonal and teamwork skills that you can pass on to your students to improve their learning and achievement in school, the workplace, and the community. Teaching the students learning strategies will build their confidence and may motivate them to pursue opportunities for success in secondary school and beyond. You may even learn a few new tips to improve your own productivity!

How to Support English Language Learners:

This training is meant specifically for those interested in supporting English language learners (ELLs) in Ottawa District School Board (OCDSB) schools. Most of the students you will be working with our recent newcomers to Canada, some will have gaps in their learning or not yet developed age-appropriate literacy skills in their first language but due to a variety of factors. Some will be Canadian-born students, who also learning English as an additional language. There some students from Metis, Inuit or First Nations communities who are attending school in Ottawa. Others are students living in international communities in Ottawa where English is not being spoken at home. Other ELL students include international students attending OCSDB schools.

Training Objectives: Volunteers completing this course will:

  • Become familiar with additional language teaching: definition and basic concepts.
  • Develop an understanding and appreciation for ELLs and how you can help support them in a culturally responsive manner.
  • Gain insight into the four language skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) and how to support ELLs in their learning environments as they develop these language and literacy skills.
  • Learn various skills and strategies for successful support and inclusion of ELLs.
  • Develop skills to help students with their social and emotional learning, such as building relationships, making friends, and learning how school works.
  • Embed theory into practice upon successful completion of the training through a volunteer placement in an OCDSB school or program through OVIE.

Assistive Technology Online Self-paced Training

A 20-hour self-paced course for volunteers aspiring to become educators, learning strategists or assistive technology trainers. Send an email request to

Training Outcomes:

  • Better understanding of the different types of assistive technologies and how they offer independent and academic support for English language learning students.
  • Knowledge of learning strategies to help all students
  • Experience and knowledge of the accessibility laws and rights of students with disabilities
  • Teacher specific information for those who want more training
  • Hands-on experience
  • Job readiness for those wanting to be educators or assistive technology trainers
  • Knowing you can make a difference in a child's life by being their champion. 

Length of Time: The time you take to complete the entire course is personal as those who want to work in Education take the time to fully understand the information which can take several days. The typical timeframe is approximately 20 hours.  

Volunteer Resources

Volunteering to help a student is one of the most fulfilling ways to be part of your community. OVIE, in collaboration with our partners, has pulled together a few resources to help you support your students.
Remember the best source of information is the school where you are volunteering. If you have questions or need additional support, speak to the Classroom Teacher or Learning Resource Teacher. They can provide you with valuable information on how to help your student and give you access to additional resources (math manipulatives, language development resources and much more!)
Please send us your “tried and true” resources to post on this site to share with others.

We’ve divided the resources into the following categories, click on the link that applies to you:

First Nations, Métis, Inuit Student Support

Learning Styles, Learning Differences

  • All volunteers must watch this video to give you context, "HOW DIFFICULT CAN THIS BE?" The F.A.T. City Learning Disability Workshop by Richard Lavoie. F.A.T. City stands for the Frustration, Anxiety and Tension which comes from living with a learning disability. Borrow this video from your local library or from the Ottawa-Carleton Learning Disabilities Association
  • Anxiety, Depression and Behaviour: Wonderful tools to help you support all learners: The Supporting Minds
  • Learning Strategies help students learn new skills; organization, SQ5R reading strategy, note-taking, writing and studying. Learn strategies that you can pass onto your students.
  • Learning Disabilities 35% of children with learning disabilities drop out of high school. This is twice the rate of students without learning disabilities. Learn how you can support these students.
  • Assistive Technology Support for K-12 Students AT provides the "wings" students with language learning challenges need to "fly". Watch these videos sign up for AT training through ONFE.
  • Assistive Technology Support for High School and Post-Secondary Students Getting student ready to attend post-secondary education, whether it be college, university or an apprenticeship program, this site provides wonderful resources to create a transition plan, learning strategies, and assistive technology training and support.
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an educational framework based on research in the learning sciences, including cognitive neuroscience, that guides the development of flexible learning environments that can accommodate individual learning differences
  • How to Support Gifted Students click here for a list of great resources and videos.  
  • Learn about the Ontario Accessibility Guidelines to help you support students with disabilities. It will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. Enjoy the course!
  • Yale Centre for Dyslexia and Creativity -- loads of resources! 

Early Literacy



User login

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Flickr
  • YouTube