Volunteer Training and Resources

Volunteer Workshops Available to Help You Support Students

Volunteer Orientation Training Dates

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

Wednesday, March 29, 9:30 to 11:30 AM Register here

Wednesday, May 17, 9:30 to 11:30 AM Register here

Wednesday, June 7, 9:30 to 11:30 AM Register here 

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 and includes a shorter version of the volunteer orientation workshop. If you attend the OttawaReads workshop you do not need to attend Volunteer Orientation. 
All orientation workshops are held at Richard Pfaff Alternative School 160 Percy Street Classroom 3

Register for workshops here:

 April 5, 2017 1:00 - 2:30 PM Register here   

May 17th, 2017 1:00- 2:30 PM Register here

June 7th, 2017 1:00 - 2:30 PM Register here

'Retirement By Design. . . Not By Default' For Women Only April 19th & 26th

This 2-part workshop deals with questions such as how much income you'll need over your retirement lifetime, and where it will come from. To answer these questions the program will cover fundamental financial knowledge:
· Government benefits (how they work and when should you start them)
· Income taxes (how to make the tax system work for you)
· Savings (what type of investments are available and which ones are best suited different times in our life cycle)
· Pension plans (how they work in general)

The knowledge gained in these workshops will not only help volunteers personally, it can be a valuable asset when working with students in the schools and/or in the JA program.
Retirement by 'Retirement By Design. . . Not By Default' was created by Rita Gadoury, founder and president of WealthWiseWomen as part of her WealthWatchers series - a financial literacy program for women.
The workshops would be offered in our training  classroom at Richard Pfaff Alternative School, 160 Percy Street

Registration Required for both part 1 and part 2

April 19 Part 1 Register Here

April 26 Part 2 Register Here

New Online Self-paced Training!

Two new courses are offered for volunteers and volunteers aspiring to be educators. Send an email request to

ELL Volunteer 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 are 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



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