Partnership with Craven Community College

Image may contain: 10 people, people smiling, people standing, tree, stripes and outdoor
CLC Program Coordinator, Carol McCormick, 3rd from left

With the same goals of preparing residents for college and careers, Craven Literacy Council (CLC) and Craven Community College (Craven CC) have recently formed a partnership to increase tutoring availability for Craven CC students. This will be a new program for both organizations.

The program will provide free tutoring services to students enrolled in adult high school, high school equivalency, and ESL (English as a second language). These courses are part of the college’s Basic Skills program.

According to Jennifer Bumgarner, Craven CC executive director of academic support, the tutoring partnership will improve student success rates and move students through high school equivalency course curriculum faster. “The tutoring will reinforce classroom learning, but it will also allow the instructor to move through the material faster,” said Bumgarner.

In a 2001 U.S. Department of Education publication, Evidence that Tutoring Works, “Students with below-average reading skills who are tutored by volunteers show significant gains in reading skills when compared to similar students who do not receive tutoring from a high-quality tutoring program.”

Within Craven CC’s TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program, which provides tutoring, students were more than twice as likely to persist to the next semester than the college’s general college population. This success has become a model of how the college is expanding tutoring services to students who may not qualify for programs such as TRIO SSS or the newly implemented TRIO Educational Opportunity Center.

In the relationship, Craven CC will provide the facilities and student support, and CLC will provide the tutors. The primary focus will be math tutoring. CLC serves Craven, Pamlico and Jones counties with the mission of building literacy skills to empower adults and improve lives. The college’s students will be co-enrolled in Craven CC and CLC programs.

Carol McCormick, CLC program coordinator, said the 30-year old nonprofit is funded from some of the same state educational funding as the college for Basic Skills programs. McCormick said the funding program tasks receiving organizations to form partnerships, reduce redundancy of services, and help students to reach career and college goals.

According to Nicole Mena, Craven CC tutoring coordinator, the college has wanted to increase tutoring and has been considering utilizing volunteers due to budget constraints. “We are really excited to have CLC on board,” said Mena.

The tutors are volunteers who are trained by CLC and receive instructional support from McCormick. In the next week, the seven CLC tutors will hold their first meetings with their students. “The vision is to continue to sustain, enhance and expand the partnership,” said McCormick.

The CLC volunteer tutors participate in a 15-hour training to become a ProLiteracy® certified tutor. “A majority of our tutors are retired persons who want to give back,” said April King, CLC outreach coordinator. King said tutors spend approximately 2-3 hours of time preparing and conducting each tutoring session and are requested to give at least a year of their time.

For more information about becoming a tutor contact CLC at 252-637-8079 or visit their website at http://www.cravenliteracy.org/.

For more information about Craven CC’s tutoring and academic support programs, contact Mena at 252-638-1213.

Deborah Kania is the director of marketing, communications and development liaison at Craven Community College.

Article originally appeared in New Bern Sun Journal.

Partnering for a Stronger Community

Craven Literacy Council is actively building partnerships with other local organizations. Since we share the goal of helping local adults improve their lives, it makes sense for us to work together. Leveraging our services and resources should bring success  to more people. We look forward to continuing our works with the fine people at these organizations and others like them:

  • Mount Olive College shares their space during the day for tutoring and also lets us host tutor training workshops in their large and modern classrooms.
  • Housing Authority of the City of New Bern, dedicated to the community who live at Craven Terrace and Trent Court, have sent a few of their employees to our last New Tutor Training, and they have invited us to use their office space for tutoring.
  • Interfaith Refugee Ministry (IRM), helping acclimate families to New Bern and the American way of life, is sharing curriculum materials.
  • Uptown Business and Professional Association, working with individuals who want their G.E.D., have an impressive new computer lab to help their students achieve their dreams and goals.
  • Craven Community College is talking with us about how we can help adults access both the campus and the Literacy Council to help them reach their potential. Additionally, the library on campus (Barker Hall) is now available for tutoring space.
  • NC Works! has a few study cubicles we can use for tutoring space, and they offer other services for our students such as a computer lab for job and career exploration.

Welcome to Our Newest Citizen

US flagNancy, a Craven Literacy tutor, just witnessed her student Te (not her real name) take her Oath of Citizenship in Durham.  Kudos to them both for all their hard work! Below is  Nancy’s moving account of the citizenship process with her student.

On Friday, October 28, I had the pleasure of witnessing Te take her Oath of Citizenship at the US Citizenship and Immigration Service in Durham. For refugees, Burmese in this case, this in an awesome step in their lives. Te has been studying to be a citizen for about 2 ½ years. She attends a weekly citizenship class offered through the Craven Literacy Council . She also takes a second class each week to study the English language. In all that time, she has missed maybe one or two classes, always arriving early with her beautiful smile and eagerness to learn.

Through Interfaith Refugee Ministry, Te arrived in the U.S. in July  2010, with her husband and three children. A fourth child was born here. She works in a part-time job as an office cleaner. Her husband works full-time. In addition to this, she has shown her dedication and desire to attend classes twice a week. The application process for citizenship is multi-fold. There is an 18-page ‘Application for Citizenship’ form to be completed, a challenge in itself. This is sent for review and if accepted, a notice is sent for the applicant to go to Durham for fingerprinting. After a waiting period, the applicant is given a date to go back to Durham. They then take the ‘Interview Test’ on reading, writing, history, government, and understanding verbal questioning. When that is passed, the third and final step is to go back to Durham to take the Oath of Citizenship, as happened on October 28.

There were 57 applicants representing about 40 countries, who had completed all the requirements. The Oath Ceremony consisted of short speeches, the Pledge of Allegiance, a video of American places and faces. There was also a video of the President welcoming and encouraging new citizens to observe their rights and responsibilities as naturalized citizens. The new citizens were asked to stand and be recognized as they received their ‘Certificate of Naturalization’. Following that, there were many pictures, hugs, and yes, some happy tears.

What a privilege it was to be a witness to that solemn and happy occasion. Many thanks are due the Craven Literacy Council and all its supporters. They have the will, the desire, and the excitement to enable the process.

Save

Funding for Literacy and a Better Workforce

WIOA logoCraven Literacy Council, like most of its sister organizations, gets a substantial portion of its operating revenue from grants. The largest source of our grant funding comes through the federal government’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act-Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (WIOA-AEFLA) and is administered by the NC Community College System (NCCCS). In their memo to NC literacy associations, the NCCCS states:

The WIOA-AEFLA provides adult education and literacy services to help adults obtain employment and economic self-sufficiency, and support the educational development of their children.  It also prepares adults to earn a high school diploma or equivalency and to prepare them for transition to post-secondary education through career pathways.  AEFLA continues to serve English language learners improve their English language skills in reading, writing, listening, speaking and expands the scope of services to include mathematics and civic related-purposes.

New for the upcoming funding year to begin July 2017 is heightened emphasis on job readiness and post-secondary education. These laudable goals will present challenges to us and other community-based literacy associations. With many of our learners starting at not even a high school reading level, making the gains necessary to be work- or college-ready takes time. Craven Literacy is stepping up to the challenge with more focused help for tutors and students. We still strive to help adults achieve their personal literacy goals but with an eye on solid advancement in skill level.

2017 will be a learning year both for us and our students. Read more about WIOA here.

Save

Save

Celebrating 30 Years!

Many friends and supporters of Craven Literacy Council gathered at the home of tutor and Board member Karen and Jon Segal on September 15th, 2016. It was a fabulous setting to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Craven Literacy Council! photo collage from 30th Anniversary

Guests enjoyed light refreshments on a late summer night as they met new Executive Director Sandra McKinney and learned about programs to build adult literacy in our community. The highlight of the evening was a first-hand account from Karen and her Craven Literacy student, a Burmese refugee who in five years has gone from knowing little English to studying to take the US citizenship test.

We <3 Our Volunteers!

scenes from Volunteer Appreciation dinnerCraven Literacy Council celebrated National Literacy Month with a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner on September 13, 2016.  CLC has approximately 125 active tutors and other volunteers who are the heart of the organization.  These volunteers gave almost 13,000 hours to the organization last fiscal year.  They worked with students who needed help with reading, writing, speaking, technology, achieving citizenship, getting a drivers’ license, reading prescription labels, completing job applications and other forms, as well as helping with fundraisers, training new tutors, and raising awareness of adult literacy in our community.

Janet Peregoy was named the Volunteer of the Year for her outstanding service and advocacy of adult literacy in our community.  Four individuals: JoAnn Kerrick, Debi Lupia, Dorothea Neely and Mary Spooner were recognized for their induction into the Grand Club for achieving 1000 lifetime volunteer hours with Craven Literacy Council.

Save

Become a Literacy Tutor

stack of booksWe’re getting ready to begin another new tutor training workshop. If you’ve ever thought about being a literacy tutor, please come to our orientation on July 12. You can register here.

Anyone can be a tutor. You don’t have to be a teacher or have any special skills. If you can read, if you care about helping others, if you can commit to 3-4 hours per week for a couple of months — you can be a tutor.

Craven Literacy Council offers instruction in adult basic English, as well as English as a second language and help preparing for the US citizenship examination. Come to the new tutor training workshop and learn how satisfying it is to give back to your community through tutoring.

From Illiterate to Poet

We just can’t stop bragging about Earl Mills. He came to Craven Literacy Council at age 48 and through diligent work with our tutors learned to read. He’s been on stage with former first lady Barbara Bush. He’s been a speaker at ProLiteracy events. He’s had several books  published.

Read here about Earl’s most recently published work.

New Leader at the Helm

Sandra McKinney, Executive DirectorWelcome, Sandra McKinney, the new  Executive Director of Craven Literacy Council.

It was hard saying good-bye to Donna Marshall, an 8-year veteran, who has led CLC  for the past 4 years. But it is exciting to look forward, too.

The Board of Directors has tapped a proven community leader in their hiring of Sandra McKinney as Executive Director. She brings an extensive background in administration in the nonprofit sector and a record of success in getting initiatives off the ground and flourishing. In particular, Sandra has experience with the development and implementation of special events to raise funds, increase community awareness, and identify partnership opportunities and nourish those relationships.

Stop by our office to say “hello” and join us in welcoming Sandra to Craven Literacy.