Thank you, Mike!

Mike has been with us for ten years and has had three (sometimes overlapping) students: one for five years, one for almost three years, and Olga for 5.5 years. He is now 88 years old, and he retired. He had his last class with Olga on Friday. Thank you, Mike! Watch Olga’s experience working with Mike: 

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The Youth Literacy Program partners with Stephens-Lee Recreation Center

Our Youth Literacy Program has expanded its paid internship program to include the Stephens-Lee Recreation Center, a program within the City of Asheville Parks and Recreation. Five teens participating in the Stephens-Lee after-school program were selected to be paid interns to provide one-on-one reading tutoring to elementary-age students enrolled in the after-school program.

The interns received training on effective literacy instructional strategies and have been provided resources and materials to use with their students. The tutoring pairs meet twice a week to work on literacy skills, including phonics skills, vocabulary development, fluency, and reading comprehension.

In addition, the tutors use literacy games, children’s literature, and engaging lessons to inspire the students to become strong readers. We’re so excited about this new partnership!

Lear more about the Youth Literacy Program.

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ESOL success story: Dulce’s dream came true!

Dulce has been an ESOL student for fifteen years. She started taking classes with a volunteer tutor five years after she moved to the country. She didn’t know much English then but strongly desired to learn. Our one-on-one classes were perfect for her and her learning style. She’s had many ups and downs during these years and sometimes had to take extended breaks from taking lessons due to life circumstances. She always came back.

Last year, inspired by an experience on the morning of her birthday, she wrote “The Sunrise and the Fog,” a book in English! Although she’s always had a passion for writing, it surprised her that she had the impulse to write her first book in her second language. Congratulations, Dulce! And thank you! You can read The sunrise and the fog here! (pay close attention to the dedication!). Watch the video below, where Dulce speaks about her book. Make sure you watch it on Youtube so you can read the subtitles. 

Dulce spoke at our 14th Annual Authors for Literacy Dinner and Auction. In this photo, she’s holding author Silas House’s book, and he’s holding Dulce’s first story. Dulce spoke to the audience and shared her experience as a student and her intention to be a writer and a motivational speaker.


Here are Dulce and her tutor Katherine:

The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program teaches oral English, reading, and writing to adults who have immigrated to the U.S. from around the world. ESOL is the largest program at Literacy Together, serving approximately 250 students annually. Our students’ most common goals in learning English are to improve their employment prospects, help their children in school, and pass the U.S. Naturalization exam

Each student works with a trained volunteer tutor, either individually or in a small group of ten people. Tutoring takes place for two hours each week at times and locations that are mutually convenient for students and tutors. Tutors may choose to teach one (1) two-hour session or two (2) one-hour sessions each week and may do so online or in person. Sign up online to volunteer.

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Thanks to WLOS ABC 13 for featuring our ESOL student MZ’s story!

Thanks so much, WLOS ABC 13 News, for featuring MZ’s story and helping us to spread the word about Literacy Together’s work in the community. Would you like to support students like MZ? Our English for Speakers of Other Languages Program has a waiting list of 70 people. They’ve been waiting for months for tutors. Please sign up online to attend a volunteer orientation meeting. Even if you can’t commit to volunteering right now, we’d love to have you so you can learn more about our work in the community. 
Follow this link to watch the interview. These are some photos of MZ, her tutor Judith and the TV crew at our office on the day of the shooting.

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In this video, our ESOL volunteer tutor Gwen shares her experience

Gwen is an ESOL tutor. She has an extended background in education, and she’s been an unconventional teacher all her life. She started tutoring Leyda last year, adding many field trips and hands-on experiences to their lessons. For example, they always end the classes with a visit to a cafe. Our volunteer tutors don’t need to have a background in education. We train them, and that’s all they need to start tutoring. But we also encourage them to be creative and do what works best for their students. In this video, Gwen shares her experience. Thank you!

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