Volunteer tutors make the world a better place!

 

 

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections when they arise, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” Anonymous

 

Literacy Together is celebrating our 35th year of transforming lives and communities through the power of literacy.  Our work is accomplished by, through, and with the commitment and dedication of our volunteer tutors.  Throughout the year, volunteers touch the lives of children who struggle to read; provide encouragement to adults with the courage to overcome the barrier of low literacy, and work alongside immigrants motivated to learn the language of their new community. It requires technical skills, patience, persistence, a sense of humor, and the desire to be of service. 

We currently have more than 220 volunteers who have been willing to continue their work throughout the pandemic by being creative with the use of Zoom, Google Meet, WhatsApp, Skype, and even plain old phone calls. 

So, during this National Volunteer Month – but also every day throughout the year – we say THANKS to each and every one of you!!!

A special thanks to ten amazing individuals who have volunteered for Literacy Together for ten years or more. (I apologize in advance if any names are missing from this list—-please let us know who you are):

Dian Leeper—2004

Anne Dachowski—2005

Mary Sugeir—2006

Katie Winchell—2006

Marianne Newman—2008

Linda Kane—2010

Kathryn Kowal—2011

Linda Van Tuyl—2011

Jim McGlinn—2011 

Martha Woolverton—2011

We honor your contribution to making the world a better place.  And we look forward to continuing our work together in the future.

With gratitude,

Cindy Threlkeld

Executive Director

Do you want to be one of our amazing volunteer tutors? Click here!

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Adjusting the sails

An Update from our Executive Director, Cindy Threlkeld:

Yesterday I listened in on a virtual meeting that our ESOL Director, Erin, was facilitating with tutors to compare the pros and cons of using Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangout to continue lessons with their students. One described her first attempt to hold a virtual class that usually meets at Erwin Middle School with four parents: one each from Mexico and Belarus, and two from Ukraine. All logged in with either a phone or laptop, and by using the whiteboard feature on Zoom and referring to their workbooks, they carried on without a hitch.

Another tutor shared that her student doesn’t have access to a computer, but wants to continue to improve her writing. So the student writes out the lesson by hand, takes a photo of it with her phone, and texts it to the tutor. The tutor accesses the photo, enlarges it, and then calls the student to review her work.

And the stories are just as creative with tutors working with Rebecca in Adult Literacy and Youth Literacy. We will share their stories of both success and struggle in the weeks that come.

I am amazed and heartened by the resilience and determination of staff, tutors, and students to keep moving forward!

 

Note: We received this from a first-year tutor just before schools closed.

I trained with the Literacy Council in late summer of 2019. I was assigned to a 1st grade boy and started with some trepidation about how I would do as a tutor. Would I really make a difference? My student was a little shy at first, but that didn’t last, thanks to many of the fun games and aids I learned in training. I also learned more about The Avengers than I ever imagined! He gave ME homework—he asked that I learn all the Avengers’ names and super powers. I did OK. I tried to incorporate his love of The Avengers and other comic book/movie characters in our reading. 

How did it all turn out? 

I realized that just about anything I could accomplish with my student was making a difference. Sometimes he was too wound up to focus (kinesthetic games came in very handy), but we always got things done. His teacher reports his reading scores are improving and he is much more confident in class. 

Personally, my experience has been fantastic.  I learned a lot about myself (not just about The Avengers). I still have a lot to learn, and because every student I tutor in the future will be different, I can’t wait!

 

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Become an AmeriCorps member at the Literacy Council in 2019/20

Are you looking for the opportunity to make a difference? The Literacy Council has an exciting opportunity to join our team for a year! Apply today to become the Literacy Council’s next Recruitment and Awareness Coordinator through AmeriCorps. Please follow the link below to fill out your application.

 

Join AmeriCorps and “get things done”! Become a NC LiteracyCorps member at the Literacy Council of Buncombe County and improve literacy and English language skills in our community.

The Literacy Council of Buncombe County will host one full-time NC LiteracyCorps (an AmeriCorps Project) member beginning September 2019. The application period is now open and closes August 1.

The NC LiteracyCorps places members at literacy organizations, providing literacy tutoring to youth and adults while building program capacity through volunteer management. The Literacy Council of Buncombe County’s member will: 

• provide direct service tutoring 
• recruit and orient volunteers
• recruit and support students 
• develop community partnerships 
• conduct visibility campaigns 
• manage a book gifting program 
• participate in national days of service

The Literacy Council’s full-time member will provide 1,700 hours of service with a 10-month commitment, receiving a living allowance of up to $13,992. Upon successful completion of requirements, the member will be eligible to receive an additional educational award.

Requirements to serve with the NC LiteracyCorps are that the member must:
• be at least 17 years old
• have a high school diploma or equivalent
• successfully pass statewide and national criminal background checks
• be a U.S. Citizen, National, or Legal Permanent Resident of the United States

The Literacy Council is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Please follow the link for more details and to apply online: http://nclc.web.unc.edu/join-nclc/americorps-member/ You may also contact Nureena Faruqi (faruqi@email.unc.edu) or Ashley Lasher (ashley@litcouncil.com).

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Tutors: You Can Help Reduce The Student Waiting List

Help us recruit fabulous new tutors just like you!

We currently have waiting lists in all three Literacy Council tutoring programs, and we find that word-of-mouth recruitment is one of the most reliable ways to bring new tutors through our doors. 
 
There are two templates below for you to choose from. Please use whichever fits your schedule and preferences.

If you have two minutes to spare, send this email to everyone you know:

Hello friends,

Tutoring at the Literacy Council of Buncombe County has been a truly engaging and meaningful activity for me. Today I’m asking you to join me in this work because right now there are so many students asking for help and not enough volunteers to serve them. The Literacy Council runs on a staff of six people and serves about 325 students in the community. They accomplish this great feat through the commitment of over 200 volunteer tutors.

All three of their tutoring programs — Adult Literacy, Youth Literacy, and English for Speakers of Other languages (ESOL) — currently have long waiting lists. Students on the waiting list are looking for help from a caring volunteer tutor to increase their basic literacy and English language skills.  These programs work, and they can change the course of a student’s life. Will you please join the cause and become a volunteer tutor? Click here to learn more: litcouncil.com/become_a_volunteer.htm 

If you have ten minutes to spare, share your LCBC story on social media. Here’s how:

  1. Upload a photo that has to do with your volunteer work at the Literacy Council. It can be a photo of you volunteering, your student studying, a stack of your favorite books… anything that reminds you of LCBC. If you’re stuck, you can download and use this image.

  2. Use 2-3 sentences to answer one of the following questions:
    – Why do you volunteer at the Literacy Council?
    – What was your favorite tutoring experience?
    – What makes your student special?

  3. Then include one of the following:
    – Please join me and become a volunteer tutor at the Literacy Council.  
    – You can impact a student’s life by becoming a volunteer tutor. 
    – Volunteer with me!

  4. End your post with the following: litcouncil.com/become_a_volunteer.htm #readersareleaders @Literacy Council of Buncombe County (on Facebook) or @LitCouncil (on Twitter)

Here is an example of Ashley Lasher’s Facebook post, the Literacy Council’s Executive Director:

One of my favorite times of the day is reading three bedtime books to Jeanette and Madelyn. And it’s more than just fun. Did you know that a caregiver’s reading level is the single greatest determinant in their child’s academic success? I support the Literacy Council of Buncombe County because I want ALL families to be able to enjoy bedtime books together. You can help a low-literate parent create generational impact by becoming a volunteer tutor. litcouncil.com/become_a_volunteer.htm #readersareleaders @litcouncil

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Upcoming Career Fairs

Is your student looking for a new or better job?

Please use the list below to help your student connect with potential employers.

Edington Center Career FairMay 8, 2019, 1:00-4:00 pm: “Connecting career seekers with living wages”

WNC Career Expo – Oct. 17, 2019, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm: “The WNC Career Expo, hosted by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Mountain Area Workforce Development Board, connects area employers with talented workers.”

+ online job seeking resource Mountain Area Careers

 

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