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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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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