Spotlight on a Volunteer

Jane Ashford teaching Craven Literacy Council is honored and fortunate to count Jane Ashford as one of our literacy volunteers. Jane’s life has been one of service to our community, most recently to the Burmese refugees who resettle in and around New Bern.

Teaching English to non-native English speakers is a natural fit for Jane’s enthusiasm for teaching and supporting self-sufficiency in individuals. Read her full profile here in the New Bern SunJournal.

Learning to Read at 48

Earl Mills is one of CLC’s biggest literacy success stories and now one of our biggest boosters. Earl raised a family and enjoyed 30 years of successful employment in New Bern, NC – all while hiding a secret from his children and his employer: he could barely read.  In his 40’s Earl finally turned to Craven Literacy Council for help.

open bookNow a published author and frequent inspirational speaker, Earl tells his story to others, vividly conveying the fear that came with hiding this secret throughout his adult life.  He also shares the sheer determination it took for him to become a reader.

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

ProLiteracy Awareness Campaign

ProLiteracy is expanding its efforts to spread awareness about adult literacy. On Sunday, November 8, The New York Times featured an adult literacy ad in the “Giving” section, a special section dedicated to philanthropy. This issue of The New York Times was distributed nationally to more than 1.2 million people through subscriptions and at newsstands.

See the ProLiteracy NY Times ad here.

Immigrant Runs Own Business and Earns Citizenship

tutor and Gloria
Tutor and her student, a proud new US citizen

When Gloria Aranda came to Craven Literacy Council in 2007 with a high school certificate from her native Colombia, her oral English abilities were sufficient only to satisfy basic survival needs and very routine social demands. She appealed to CLC for help communicating effectively so that she could be involved at her daughter’s school, participate in her church, find employment, and ultimately become a US citizen. Three years later Gloria’s oral skills had increased so much that she could function independently and competently in social and work situations. She is now actively involved with her daughter’s schooling and is comfortable interacting with her daughter’s counselor. Gloria understands the English sermons at her church and sings the hymns in English.

Not only did Gloria get a job – she started her own small business. Her enhanced English listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills permit her to communicate with her customers by telephone and face-to-face. Gloria also worked with her tutor to learn computer and technology skills that many take for granted. She now communicates with her customers via e-mail and creates professional invoices using her new skills. Gloria celebrates other achievements such as knowing how to write checks and deposit slips as well as using the internet to check her bank account online.

Gloria continues to work with a literacy tutor at Craven Literacy Council. In 2015 she met a long-held goal of passing the naturalization test and becoming a United States citizen. She and her tutor worked diligently with the civics material provided to her free of charge. She completed her application and went through the multi-step process to becoming a US citizen. In a recent communication with CLC Gloria wrote, “My experience has been wonderful because now I can communicate better in whatever place I go. ” Craven Literacy Council celebrates Gloria’s hard work. We are thankful to be part of her success story.

CLC Staff Attends Proliteracy Conference

CLC Staffers learn at conference
CLC Staffers learn at conference

CLC practices it’s tag line “Learning for Life” every day. On October 14-17 four staff members were in Charleston, SC to attend the annual Proliteracy Conference. From left to right: Carol McCormick, instructional services coordinator; April King, outreach coordinator; Cathy Weiss, student services coordinator; Debi Lupia, certified trainer and instructor.

The conference in 2015 focused on adult literacy and basic education issues. The event was brimming with speakers and workshops that helped attendees discover new tools and strategies, implement dynamic programming and enhance leadership skills, all while engaging with peers from other literacy organizations of all types and sizes.

The CLC group tweeted these highlights for the  #proliteracyconference: discussion with funders panel, importance of digital literacy, and author, poet, former student Earl Mills speaking.

Everyone agreed that they would be bringing lots of new ideas back to New Bern.

Mumfest 2015

mumsCraven Literacy Council had a booth at Mumfest in downtown New Bern on Oct. 10th and 11th.  Thank you to all — staff, Board members, tutors and volunteers — who gave a part of their weekend  to promote our services. It is always great to be out there getting to know our community.  We enjoyed seeing everyone who stopped by despite the damp weather.

Below, some images from Mumfest 2015:

Mumfestival2015D
Board member Glenn Clairmont and successful learner Earl Mills, now a published author
Mumfestival2015C
Learning for Life can be fun and rewarding
Mumfestival2015B
Smiling volunteers love Craven Literacy Council!

National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week

aefllogo2015The National Coalition for Literacy marks National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week each year to raise awareness of adult education and family literacy. This year #AEFLWeek is September 21-26.

Life is the 21st century relies on technology, moves at the lightning speed of technology:

  • Job applications are online.
  • Teachers email home instructions to parents.
  • Doctors and hospitals keep electronic health records.
  • Retail coupons are sent to smartphones.

Imagine navigating your daily life with low literacy skills!

Too many adults in our community and across our nation lack the skills they need to get and keep a job, support their families, and succeed in life. Improved literacy can change lives. Here at Craven Literacy Council we offer free, confidential, individualized instruction to adults of Craven County who want help with reading, writing, computing and using technology. We work everyday to put more people on the path to self-sufficiency and success.

Visit the National Coalition for Literacy website to learn more about #AEFLWeek.