Single Mom Improves Literacy for Better Job

picture of student and tutor
Tutor Mary Helen Boone (right) celebrates with her student

When a young single mother reached out to Craven Literacy Council to help improve her reading and writing skills as a way to get a good paying job, she had no idea how far she would go. Adult learner Denise Ellis and her tutor, Mary Helen Boone, have accomplished so much together since December 2008.

Denise faced many challenges during those years. Family issues, unemployment, an auto accident that left her with recurring bouts of pain, and finally, loss of her home to Hurricane Irene. She had to move her children from one temporary location to another over the past few years. (Fortunately, with the help of Mary Helen and her husband, Denise was finally able to find a permanent home for her family this year.)

With all these challenges, it would have been so easy to stop studying, but not Denise. Discovering through her daughters that she had a passion for working with young children, she enrolled at Pamlico Community College to work toward a certificate in Early Childhood Education. As a work-study student at PCC, she is able to work with the Smart Start Program, a pre-school educational program, which made her even more certain that she wants to help educate children. Denise has already completed two years of study at PCC and earned all B’s last semester! Now she and Mary Helen are working on the financial aid package to enable her to continue her studies.

We’ve all heard the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” That certainly describes the Denise/Mary Helen team, and we couldn’t be prouder to share their story.

US Citizenship for CLC Student

photo of tutor and student
Tutor with new US citizen Gloria Aranda

Gloria Aranda was all smiles after becoming a naturalized citizen during a ceremony in Durham this month. Since arriving from Colombia in 2004, she has worked hard to master the English language to be able to help her daughter do well in school.

Gloria came to Craven Literacy Council two years ago, and we paired her with a volunteer tutor. The duo has been studying together ever since. In that time Gloria has steadily improved her English proficiency. When she decided to work toward achieving citizenship status both she and her tutor studied U.S. history and civics together. This summer the hard work paid off with Gloria’s earning of US citizenship.

Read more of Gloria’s story here in the New Bern SunJournal.

Support CLC With Your Back to School Shopping

It’s easy to support Craven Literacy Council when you are doing your back to school shopping. Many merchants donate a portion of their sales to nonprofits. All you have to do is indicate CLC as your preferred nonprofit. Here are three quick ways to do just that.

Harris Teeter TIELink your Harris Teeter VIC card to Craven Literacy Council (#3289) for Together In Education (TIE). By  shopping for HT brands, a percentage of your purchase is donated to the Literacy Council.

Thanks to everyone who has linked their VIC card to Craven Literacy Council, we just received a check for $183.20.  Each August be sure  to relink your VIC card to CLC’s number (3289) by visiting

Click here when you shop at Amazon. Select Craven Literacy Council as your nonprofit, and we’ll get a nominal portion of your purchase price.

logo_staplesWhen checking out at Staples, give them our telephone number (252-637-8079) so we can get the ‘rewards’ from your purchases.

Welcome, New Tutors

group photo of July 2015 new tutor training class
Welcome New Tutors!

Craven Literacy Council has a fabulous new group of volunteer tutors in the process of being matched with a student. We are excited and delighted to have them on board.

These individuals have completed our 15-hour New Tutor Training workshop and are now ProLiteracy Certified Volunteer tutors. They each will be paired with a student whose literacy needs meet their tutoring skills and availability.