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.

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.

Low Literacy in the 21st Century

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One in five American adults cannot access or use the Internet.

If you’re reading this blog, low literacy is probably not an issue for you. But what about that other 20% of Americans? No Facebook? No Google searches? No online job searches? Low literacy makes it impossible for adults to participate in life to the best of their abilities.

Basic literacy skills simply aren’t enough in today’s technology-driven world. Adults need computer skills and access to technology to succeed in our society, whether they’re trying to find a job online, getting accurate health information on the Internet, or simply reading an email from their child’s teacher. Adults who lack basic technology skills are stuck at the bottom of an entrance ramp to an information superhighway thay can never reach.

Click here to read more from ProLiteracy about all the ways low literacy impacts adults.

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.

 

 

 

Nonprofits Making a Difference in North Carolina

Nonprofits provide 1 out of 10 jobs in North Carolina by employing more than 400,000 people. Only the retail trade, manufacturing, and accommodation and food services industries are larger than the nonprofit sector.  Nonprofit employees’ incomes are put back into the economy in the form of income, sales and property taxes, and homes and consumer goods.

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Add the services provided by the approximately 2.5 million people who volunteer in NC nonprofits, and the impact is truly profound. From arts to education and more, the needed and valuable services provided by workers in the nonprofit sector enhance the fabric of NC communities.

Visit the N.C. Center for Nonprofits website to download their first ever comprehensive report about the economic impact of 501(c)(3) nonprofits in our state.