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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Become a Literacy Tutor

stack of booksWe’re getting ready to begin another new tutor training workshop. If you’ve ever thought about being a literacy tutor, please come to our orientation on July 12. You can register here.

Anyone can be a tutor. You don’t have to be a teacher or have any special skills. If you can read, if you care about helping others, if you can commit to 3-4 hours per week for a couple of months — you can be a tutor.

Craven Literacy Council offers instruction in adult basic English, as well as English as a second language and help preparing for the US citizenship examination. Come to the new tutor training workshop and learn how satisfying it is to give back to your community through tutoring.

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.

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.

From a Student and a Tutor

Why Have a Tutor?
I have an English tutor because it has a lot of benefits. The program is free. Other English programs are very expensive but this program is very good and free. My tutor helps me to read, write, talk and understand the English language. I love having a tutor because it is private instruction or small group. For this reason I feel free to express my thoughts.

One of the benefits I like is the flexibility. It is hard to study when you have kids. For this reason our meetings are when my children are at school.

In conclusion a tutor is a new friend who helps you when you need it. Thank you to my tutor for your patience. Without you everything I achieved would not be possible.

And a note from our tutor:
She was my English student for approximately 1 1/2 years. She is married to a U.S. Marine stationed at Cherry Point. They have two young children. This was her first time living in the United States. Her native country is Puerto Rico. She made great progress learning English.

It is very rewarding to develop a tutor/student relationship and I highly encourage others to reach out and teach!

We are beginning out next new tutor training workshop in April. Click here to register or for more information.

We Are All “Learning for Life”

Here at Craven Literacy we live our tag line “Learning for Life”. Not only do we require 15 hours of training for new tutors, we offer several workshops throughout the year for current tutors. These sessions present new ideas about tutoring techniques and offer a chance for interaction among tutors. Sharing the same goals with others who may face the same challenges helps tutors to stay positive and motivated, and committed tutors make for learning success for our adult learners.

tutors at workshopOur latest workshop about test taking strategies was so well-attended that we had to offer 3 sessions. In each session our trainers demonstrated practice lesson activities and provided review study guides for student use. Review is  important even to students who may not be taking tests, so these strategies can help any student achieve his or her goals.

Visit this website to learn some creative and helpful ways to review learned material.

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.