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Another fantastic edition of Authors for Literacy!

We had another fantastic edition of Authors for Literacy, our signature fundraising event. It was a pleasure to host New York Times bestselling author Lisa See! We are so grateful for everyone who came to support Literacy Together’s mission of changing lives and communities through the power of literacy. 

Special thanks to our adult learners Fernanda (ESOL) and Karima (Adult Literacy), who, accompanied by their incredible tutors, moved us to tears with their courageous, inspiring, funny testimonials.

Thank you, Jesse Kitt Photography, for the beautiful photos!  Thanks to Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe for being there! To our sponsors: we couldn’t have done it without you! 🙏🏼 We love what we do, and it shows! Thank you!

 

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The Youth Literacy Program has had another successful year!

 

The Youth Literacy Program has had a successful year! Our volunteer tutors and interns worked with 165 scholars throughout the last year, and we are so grateful for their commitment and support. Some of our tutoring pairs will continue their work throughout the summer, and our interns will provide intensive literacy support for scholars enrolled in our partner summer camps.

Our volunteer tutor, Karen, serves at the Christine W. Avery Learning Center and shared, “This has been one of the most joyful experiences of my life! My student has made tremendous progress since February, and I hope to work with her again next year.”

Laurel is one of our interns at Literacy Together. She works at Youth Transformed for Life, and she had this to say: “Literacy Together has been an incredibly valuable experience for both me and my scholar. One of the biggest obstacles we’ve been working through is a general intimidation of reading big words or books. We use a lot of rhymes, pictures, and hands-on activities to break words down into individual sounds in an engaging and memorable way. This past year, I’ve noticed not just his skills improve, but also his patience, receptiveness, and excitement about reading. At the beginning of the year, my student refused to read words with four letters. Now, he dives into words like “hamburger” with no hesitation! Seeing the progress he’s made in such a short amount of time is so encouraging and really shows the power that a little extra help can have on both a student’s academic performance and perception of reading.” 

The Igniting Superhero Readers Summer Internship starts June 17, and we have already hired 95% of our interns for the program. This summer, we’ll work at the Christine W. Avery Learning Center, Youth Transformed for Life, and the YMCA at Johnston Elementary, serving 60+ students across eight weeks. Interns will undergo training in order to deliver 1:1 instruction to young scholars in need of support with their foundational literacy skills.

Our interns will also receive professional development from community partners, including Misfit AVL, First Bank, UNCA Career Center, United 4 Youth, and more. If you know someone between the ages of 15-23 who would be interested in joining our internship program, please encourage them to complete our application before May 31

The Youth Literacy Program will also welcome and train new volunteers in September for the 24-25 school year. We will predominantly volunteer in the afterschool programs, but there are other options as well. Sign up to volunteer during the next school year!https://lit-together.org/volunteer-roles-literacy-together/become-a-volunteer/

Learn more about the Youth Literacy Program

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One of our students from Afghanistan and her family were granted asylum!

We’re so happy for them! Her incredible tutor, J.K., and her church organized a celebration party. There was ice cream, lots of yummy food, cake, and friends. However, our student’s favorite part was communicating in English with her new community!

Our student, who we can’t name for security reasons, came to the United States with her husband and two preschool daughters, fleeing her home country and the Taliban during the great international airlift of August 2021. After stops in Qatar, Germany, and New Mexico, the family arrived in Asheville in January 2022. She had no access to formal education in her home country and did not read or write in her native language. She’s been taking English lessons twice a week since May 2022 and can now help her daughter with homework and be herself at parties and events. She enjoys cooking food for her home country, making beautiful embroidered dresses for her daughters, and creating colorful jewelry. She has big dreams about her family’s future, and we’re sure she’ll accomplish them!

Thank you to her tutor for the continuous support! We love it when she comes to the office to tell us about her student’s small and big wins! Our tutors do so much more than teaching English. They’re cheerleaders, advocates, and friends.

Literacy changes lives! Would you like to become a volunteer tutor to support your immigrant neighbors? Learn more about the ESOL Program and how to become a volunteer tutor

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Corporate Partner Spotlight: Heartwood Realty

What sets your company apart?

Alisha and Jess are part owners of a small locally focused firm at Heartwood Realty. Alisha is a former teacher who is passionate about educating clients and going above and beyond to be there every step of the way. Her organization and communication skills that she has carried over from teaching means that no detail goes overlooked and no questions goes unanswered. Alisha’s passion for passing on knowledge with clarity and honesty make her clients feel comfortable and confident from start to finish. Jess’ background is in therapy and mediation, and these strengths allow him to build strong relationships and carefully mentor and guide clients. The process of selling or buying can be overwhelming and Jess is really able to help navigate these tough transitions and help clients accomplish their goals. Also, his experience in construction and remodeling allows him to identify nuances of a property that might be overlooked by others. He aims to always help clients be prepared to be successful homeowners and he’s been known to go back and help with a home project after move in. Together, Alisha and Jess are a strong complementary team that have the ability to provide you more than the average agent.

Why did you choose to support Literacy Together?

As a former teacher, literacy is near and dear to Alisha’s heart. Jess also has worked with troubled youth in his past. They both know that literacy is the key to unlocking so many doors, whether young or old. In this profession, strong literacy skills support people’s ability to foster independence. They especially loved that this organization was supporting the students that Alisha cares so deeply for and the adults trying to better their lives through reading.

What is your favorite book? (Or what are you reading now?)

Alisha is a huge fan of the Harry Potter series and can’t wait until their son is old enough to enjoy the books with her. As a former middle school librarian, her favorite overall genre is middle school fantasy! Jess enjoys science fiction and is always reading something, often completing multiple books a week. His favorite series is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

Please let us know if you or someone you know is interested in becoming a corporate partner. Contact LuAnn at LuAnn@lit-together.org. Thanks!

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Glory Andrade, one of our Adult Literacy/ESOL students, wrote an article for a national journal!

Glory Andrade, one of our Adult Literacy/ESOL students, wrote an article for a national journal! It’s called The Change Agent. All the articles are by ABE/ASE and ESOL students. Please see p.26-27 for her story. She is a superhero. For real. 
 

Read the article here!

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