Jail Tutoring Project


We hold that literacy is a fundamental human right, essential to the ability to improve one’s quality of life. We work towards a vision of basic reading, writing, math, and communication competency skills for any person who finds him or herself incarcerated in the Dane County Jail.


  • Identify men and women incarcerated in the jail who may benefit from help with literacy skills and make them aware of the opportunity for one-on-one support.
  • Recruit, train, and support volunteers to provide one-on-one reading, writing, and math tutoring.
  • Provide a tutor to any person who identifies him or herself as seeking help with literacy.

Core Values

  • We believe in the life-serving value of self-expression and effective communication; we seek to build literacy skills alongside a sense of pride, competence, hope, self-worth and joy.
  • We believe that pleasure in learning, the relevance of materials to learners’ lives, and consistent support are key to building effective learning situations.
  • We follow research-based principles for reading assessment and instruction, and support our tutors in data-driven instructional decision-making.
  • Our teaching methodologies take into account the impact of trauma on concentration, memory, and organizational and language abilities.
  • We believe in a collaborative partnership between tutor and learner; our tutors are trained in the empathy-based principles of Nonviolent Communication©.
  • We understand the importance of a good match between tutor and learner; we follow up to make sure the match is meeting both parties’ needs.

For additional information visit the Jail Tutoring Project Website