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Volunteer Orientation Training

Click for dates of upcoming orientation training.

Volunteer Training

Click for dates of upcoming training workshops.

Ongoing Volunteer Training

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. All orientation workshops are held at Richard Pfaff Alternative School 160 Percy Street Classroom 3. See the top of this page for current workshops.

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. Please contact Lee-Ann Scott to request training opportunities.

Children's Aid Society of Ottawa Workshop

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. See the top of this page for current workshops.


Online Self-Paced Training

We offer Volunteer Orientation Online Self-Paced Training only to those individuals who cannot attend the in-person Volunteer Orientation workshop.

In addition to Volunteer Orientation, we offer several online courses for volunteers and volunteers aspiring to be educators. To receive access to any course, please send an email request to


Volunteering with Poverty in Mind - Online Self-Paced Training

A 6-hour self-paced course for all volunteers. To access this course, please send an email to

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.

Assistive Technology Online Self-Paced Training

A 20-hour self-paced course for volunteers aspiring to become educators, learning strategists or assistive technology trainers. To access this course, 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. 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.

How to Support English Language Learners - Online Self-Paced Training

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. To access this course, please send an email request to .

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.

Learning Strategies: Skills you can teach students for academic success - Online Self-Paced Training

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!

To access this course, please send an email to

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