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.

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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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.

Meet Our Board

Board members at retreat
front, L-R: Kathy Carter, Alice Underhill, MaryLane Stine, Janet Peregoy, Sandy Epperson, Sandra McKinney (Executive Director). back, L-R: Jim Slaughter, Bill Rivenbark, JoAnn Kerrick, Glenn Clairmont, Donna Marshall (outgoing ED). not shown: Keith Merritt, Susan Moffat-Thomas, Karen Segal

The Board of Directors of Craven Literacy Council posed for this group photo at their annual retreat held May 19. From the newest directors who are only a few months into their service to veteran directors who have over 6 years on our Board, this is a committed, dedicated bunch.

Each year at the retreat the Board learns about some aspect of nonprofit operations from a guest speaker and finalizes the budget and strategic plan for the upcoming fiscal year. This year’s focus was on our literacy programs, which CLC staff presented in a fun and engaging manner.

Thank you to our wonderful Board of Directors for their work  improving literacy skills to empower adults and improve lives.

Trivia Night Is Back!

Trivia_Night_logoThe 2nd Annual Trivia Night and Silent Auction will be held in downtown New Bern on Friday, June 3, from 6-8:30PM. This enjoyable group event features four rounds of spirited competition with teams/tables of up to 6 people competing for cash prizes, bragging rights and the Trivia trophy. Register your team online or download this form to complete and mail in.

Dads and Daughters Dance for Literacy

The 5th Annual Daddy Daughter Sweetheart Ball Fundraiser that was held on Friday, February 5, 2016, earned over $9,000 with an attendance of 65 dads and 79 daughters. What a wonderful memory making night for the excited girls and their handsome escorts!DDCollage2016

Craven Literacy Council would like to thank all those who attended and our fantastic sponsors: Gold Sponsor – Coastal Children’s Clinic; Silver Sponsors – Ed Blunt, Jerry and Jettie Pelletier, Janet and Kip Peregoy, Bill and Susan Rivenbark, Stubbs Perdue P.A., Alice and Reed Underhill; Bronze Sponsors – Mike and Sandy Epperson, GreeneWilson, Attorneys at Law, Law Offices of Oliver & Cheek, and SpecialEyes Pediatric Vision Clinic.

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

Welcome, Winter

holly berries inwinterDecember 21 was the first day of winter, and staff here at Craven Literacy Council began our 2-week year-end break. All of us are looking forward to some time away from the office and a chance to decompress.

Of course, we plan to enjoy this time off and celebrate the joys of the season with family and friends. We wish the same for all of you, our loyal supporters. Enjoy!

Please do check back with us in January as we begin another exciting and productive year empowering adults through literacy.