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.

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.

Adult Education in the News

newspaperLiteracy for adults is about much more than learning to read. Acting U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. highlighted just how important functional literacy is in assuring that adults can move forward in their lives, whether in post-secondary education, job training or better employment opportunities.

Federal funding for adult education, which includes literacy programs like those we here at Craven Literacy offer, is governed by WIOA (say wee-oh-wuh) which stands for Workplace Investment and Opportunity Act. The latest iteration of this act emphasizes transitions to employment or post-secondary education. Further, it directs all those institutions involved in adult education — community colleges, job centers, literacy nonprofits — to integrate their services. All of us should be working toward those same goals.

To learn more about Secretary King’s comments, click here.

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Free Community College Won’t Help Everybody

In his final State of the Union address, President Obama said, “Real opportunity requires every American to get the education and training they need to land a good-paying job.” Read more here.

Unfortunately for many of the adults who come to Craven Literacy, community college is beyond their reach even when cost is not an obstacle. Our adult learners struggle with basic literacy skills. Many of them have limited ability to use a computer and the internet. At this low level of literacy everyone’s difficulties and needs are unique. Volunteer tutors work one-on-one with our clients to create and follow an individualized learning plan that specifically addresses that adult’s literacy gaps.

Free community college is only part of the solution. We here at Craven Literacy and other organizations like us around the country are also part of the solution.

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.

November is Nonprofit Awareness Month!

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November is Nonprofit Awareness Month, and the NC Center for Nonprofits wants you to spread the word about all the good things nonprofits do for your state and community.

Did you know that nonprofits comprise more than 10% of all private sector employment in the country, accounting for 11.4 million employees according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics? In fact, if the nonprofit sector were a country, it would have the seventh largest economy in the world.

Here are 5 things your can do to boost awareness of and appreciation for nonprofits (courtesy of Unemployment Services Trust):

  • Share. Support nonprofit awareness via social media. Try simply sharing stories and images about a nonprofit you work for or volunteer with using Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and other platforms.
  • Volunteer. Get directly involved in the success of local nonprofits and share your experiences with others.
  • Give. Find a charity you care about, make a donation and encourage others to give. And don’t forget, your donation is typically tax deductible! The Association of Fundraising Professionals provides these 5 P’s of Wise Giving.
  • Learn. Find out 7 myths about nonprofits that you may not have known.  
  • Advocate. Find your elected officials online and make your cause known. Write them a letter, email or call them and take your messages and concerns to them.

 

 

 

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:

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