Partnership with Craven Community College

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

The State of Adult Literacy

The need grows. The funding shrinks.

That’s just one of the take-aways from ProLiteracy’s Annual Statistical Report for 2014-2015. Don’t let the word “statistical” in that title scare you away. View the summary here in a breezy, concise infographic format.

We’re especially proud of the positive outcomes reported for all literacy organizations, including ours. While most of our clients arrive with less than a high school education, they can and do make progress.

student infographicCraven Literacy tutoring lets our adult learners build the skills they need in their lives. Our students show learning gains, improved job-related skills, and increased involvement in children’s educational activities.

If you want to be part of this change for the better, join us starting next week on April 12 for a new tutor training workshop.

We Are All “Learning for Life”

Here at Craven Literacy we live our tag line “Learning for Life”. Not only do we require 15 hours of training for new tutors, we offer several workshops throughout the year for current tutors. These sessions present new ideas about tutoring techniques and offer a chance for interaction among tutors. Sharing the same goals with others who may face the same challenges helps tutors to stay positive and motivated, and committed tutors make for learning success for our adult learners.

tutors at workshopOur latest workshop about test taking strategies was so well-attended that we had to offer 3 sessions. In each session our trainers demonstrated practice lesson activities and provided review study guides for student use. Review is  important even to students who may not be taking tests, so these strategies can help any student achieve his or her goals.

Visit this website to learn some creative and helpful ways to review learned material.

Calling All Tutors

Registration is now open for Craven Literacy’s new tutor training workshop beginning April 12. We have a steady stream of adults coming to our office  for help with their literacy skills. Literacy, of course, starts with reading. But today it is so much more.

The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 defines literacy as “an individual’s ability to read, write, speak in English, compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job, in the family of the individual and in society.”

This broader view of literacy reflects the realities of education and work in the 21st century. As information and technology have increasingly shaped our society, the skills we need to function successfully have gone beyond reading.

The tutoring opportunities are many and varied. Please consider attending the first session of the workshop for an orientation to the clients we serve and the services they need.

Welcome, New Literacy Tutors!

Craven Literacy Council announces that 13 new tutors participated in the new tutor workshop ending on January 28, 2016. These individuals are currently being paired with a student. The next workshop begins April 12. When you see a new face in the hallway, please give them a warm welcome!

Jan 2016 tutor classPictured L-R, 1st Row: Lynda Ahmed, Maggie Nicholson, Pamela Collier, Barbara Haan, Augusta Jackson, Kathy Carter, John Sickles
2nd Row: Patrick Feury, Bernie Frank, John Shipherd, Jan Ecklund, Tim Fisher, Sammie Caswell