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Holiday Pint Night at New Belgium

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A Corporate Culture of Generosity

Because New Belgium Brewing is 100% employee owned, and Liquid Center workers are full-time, benefited employees, all tips are donated to nonprofits. Employees have the opportunity to nominate tip donation recipients throughout the year. The Literacy Council is honored that our Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program was chosen as the recipient of tips made between Nov. 27 and Dec. 5. We are using this generous gesture as an excuse to host a holiday pint night! 

Pint Night Details

Monday, Dec. 4, 5:30-8pm
New Belgium Tasting Room
 
Literacy Council staff, board, volunteers, donors, and friends are invited to join us for this informal gathering. Tip generously because 100% will go to the Literacy Council’s Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program! If you cannot come the evening of Dec. 4, please stop by anytime between Monday, Nov. 27 and Tuesday, Dec. 5. During that period, all tips will be donated to the Literacy Council.
Partnering with nonprofit organizations and community involvement have always been a big part of New Belgium. It’s so important to us to show up authentically in the communities where we do business, to give back to those who have supported us along the way, and to advocate for a future that’s bright for all.”
– New Belgium Brewing

 

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Mountain Xpress: Attitude of gratitude

Mtn Xpress LCBC Thanksgiving Article 11-2017

Literacy Council students were featured in a Nov. 22, 2017 Mountain Xpress article about how immigrants in Asheville celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. Read excerpts below and click here for the full article with photos

Attitude of gratitude: Asheville residents from around the globe dish about Thanksgiving

Mtn Xpress LCBC Thanksgiving Article 11-2017

MULTICULTURAL BLESSINGS: Pictured from left at the Literacy Council of Buncombe County, Ina Sanzana, Victor Garcia, Katie Forester and Natasha Berehova came to Asheville from diverse cultures, and all have different ways of observing Thanksgiving. Photo by Evan Anderson

Thanksgiving is about a lot of things besides gratitude: family, friends, colossal amounts of carb-loaded comfort food — and for some, football and a turkey coma.

But at its heart, Thanksgiving is really an immigrant story: the tale of some English folks who brought their families to an unfamiliar land in search of a better life. Nearly 400 years later, immigration is a hot-button issue, yet as of 2015, the foreign-born population in the U.S. topped 43 million. And bringing it closer to home, 2016 numbers show immigrants accounting for well over 7 percent of Asheville’s residents.

So how do today’s immigrants feel about this uniquely American holiday?

Time to be kind

“One of the first things I noticed about Thanksgiving is that people act more kind, they think about others more. I like that,” says Victor Garcia, who came to the U.S. from Mexico 17 years ago.

His wife, Ina Sanzana, agrees. “It kind of changes the attitude, and that’s good,” she says. “People stop and say, ‘Hi, how are you doing? How’s your health?’ Because sometimes in America, people are so busy they don’t want to take time to spend with others.”

Sanzana, who is originally from Chile, met her husband when they were both new arrivals to the U.S. taking English language classes at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. They later continued studying English at the Literacy Council of Buncombe County and today work together for the same cleaning service in Asheville.

The couple embrace Thanksgiving in a familiar way — with lots of food. They sometimes gather at a friend’s home in Black Mountain for a potluck mish-mash of American and Latino dishes. Sanzana likes to make Chilean recipes such as empanadas and pastel de choclo (spiced beef casserole with cornbread crust). Garcia likes to cook as well, and for last year’s celebration he made the turkey.

They also have adopted the tradition of asking each guest to name a thing they are thankful for. “I like that part, because it’s kind of the purpose,” says Sanzana. “We have many blessings. The least we can do is think of one and say it.” One thing she and Garcia are thankful for, she adds, is being in America.

Talking turkey

Katie Forester, who moved to the U.S. from Thailand 18 years ago, can’t usually celebrate Thanksgiving at home because one of her two jobs requires her to work on the holiday. But her employer, an Asheville retirement community, does host a party that day with plenty of food, and she says she likes the cranberries.

But the turkey? Not so much. “It’s too dry,” she says.

Five years after immigrating to the U.S. from Ukraine, Natasha Berehova, a stay-at-home mom, enjoys celebrating Thanksgiving every year with her young daughter and other family members. She makes some Ukrainian foods, including breads and sauces, but she also prepares typical American fare such as mashed potatoes, turkey and salad.

But how did she learn how to make traditional Thanksgiving dishes? “The internet, of course,” she says. “YouTube helped me.”

Marlene Levy was working at a hotel in her home country of Guatemala when she was swept off her feet by an American tourist. Now, having married her suitor and moved to Hendersonville with him four years ago, her eyes dance with excitement when she talks about the upcoming holiday.

“I love Thanksgiving — my mother-in-law is a good cook,” she says with a little translation help from her Literacy Council tutor, Dolph Hoehling. Levy’s husband’s family hosts a huge feast each year, a party she very much looks forward to. Although she loves the American food, she always contributes a big pan of chicken or pork tamales and a traditional Guatemalan turkey soup. The tamales go over particularly well. “They will eat two or three plates each until it’s all gone,” she says.

Levy left her own family behind in Guatemala, so she expresses deep gratitude for her husband and the close relationship she has with her in-laws. “Thanksgiving traditions here are very important to me; spending Thanksgiving at my mother-in-law’s is very important to me,” she says.

Irina Khasanova, office manager and English for Speakers of Other Languages specialist at the Literary Council, thinks family is key. After moving to the U.S. from Russia 22 years ago with her husband and two young sons, they celebrated Thanksgiving because the children learned about it in school. Now that her sons are grown, it’s not a priority.

“When it’s just the two of us for Thanksgiving, we do not prepare a big meal,” she says. Instead, they cook some foods they enjoy, go hiking and maybe  watch a movie. “So we see it as a small vacation.”

Click here to read the full article.

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National Philanthropy Day 2017

Charles Frederick of TD Bank, the event's Platinum Corporate Partner

Charles Frederick of TD Bank

Charles Frederick of TD Bank speaking at the 2017 Authors for Literacy Dinner & Silent Auction.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals WNC Chapter’s National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon took place Tuesday November 14, 2017 at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel.

The Literacy Council of Buncombe County was honored to be one of two agencies that nominated awardee TD Bank for Outstanding Business in Philanthropy. TD Bank has been the Platinum Corporate Partner for the Literacy Council’s Authors for Literacy Dinner & Silent Auction for six years. The Literacy Council’s Development Director, LuAnn Arena, stood with TD Bank as they were honored for their support of countless nonprofits in WNC. Also nominating TD Bank was the Buncombe County Schools Foundation.  

From the National Philanthropy Day Program:

[TD Bank is] committed to helping build stronger communities across WNC. TD believes corporate responsibility is more than just a tradition, it is an everyday commitment and a major part of our business strategy. We focus on helping to bring change to our communities and this is accomplished through multiple areas. 

TD provides support for Financial Literacy and Education such as WOW! Zone, K-12 personal finance and junior banker store visits. In addition, we strive to support our environment and to be as green as our logo. Finally, we place a strong emphasis on accessibility, diversity, and the development of our people.

Over the last three years in WNC, TD has contributed $515,000 in grants through the TD Charitable Foundation, $165,000 in Community Sponsorships and $80,000 in local marketing.

TD Bank employees have volunteered almost 1,000 hours and attended or sponsored 456 events over the past three years. 

TD Bank loves supporting our communities in WNC and [helping] this beautiful area thrive and grow. We are proud to receive this award!”

 

 

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Recap: 10th Annual Authors for Literacy Dinner & Silent Auction

Ann Patchett keynotes the 10th Annual Authors for Literacy Dinner & Silent Auction, Oct. 13 2017

The 10th Annual Authors for Literacy Dinner & Silent Auction was a sold-out event that broke records for both attendance and funds raised!

Ann Patchett, New York Times best selling author, generously donated her time and energy to make this a truly memorable event. She started by with meeting staff and board for pictures, before joining VIP guests at the Top of the Plaza. Each guest that she personally encountered walked away feeling that they had shared a special moment with the author.

Guests enjoyed glasses of Biltmore Wines on the outdoor patio and in the lobby for the silent auction. The auction had a sleek new design this year with the help of volunteers Rebecca Caldwell, Debbie Lampton, and Ceevah Stevenson. This year’s new Buy It Now table, and the option to pay for Buy It Now items on-the-spot, kept the silent auction busy throughout the entire cocktail hour. 

Hilarious emcee David Ostergaard had guests in stitches throughout dinner, while sponsor representatives from TD Bank and Biltmore Wines spoke to the history of literacy programs in our community, as well as their importance to our neighbors today. The Literacy Council’s Executive Director, Ashley Lasher, and Board Chair, Anne Bleynat, shared exciting news about the Literacy Council’s student outcome rates (some of the best in the state!) and upcoming expansion of the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program. 

Adult Education student Ashley Ramey and her tutor Robbie Coleman, brought the audience to tears as Ashley shared her story, riddled with drug abuse,  a lack of education, abusive relationships, and the challenges of single parenthood. With Robbie’s help, Ashley proudly shared that she graduated from a rehabilitation/treatment facility, passed the GED this summer, and has already earned college credits towards her Associate’s Degree in Political Science. Guests flew to their feet in applause.

Ann Patchett gave a warm, often funny, and touching talk. She recounted the story of the nun who “forced” her to learn to read, and who is now a dear friend and fellow troublemaker. Ann shared that reading and writing had brought her more happiness and fulfillment in her life than anything else, and she entreated the audience to do all that they can to support others in their quest to gain literacy and English language skills.

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New Training Model for Augustine Project Tutors

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circleThe Literacy Council trains Augustine Project volunteers to tutor low-income children who read, write or spell below grade level. In the past, tutors have been required to complete two weeks of face-to-face training, which created a barrier for many interested volunteers.

To make the tutoring experience more accessible, we are piloting a Hybrid Training Model. This new training only requires 16 hours of face-to-face pre-service training. To ensure that Hybrid Training Model volunteers are still fully prepared to tutor struggling young readers, the additional training content is delivered online and through follow-up lesson observations.

Training Dates

The Hybrid Training Model will be offered for the first time November 11-12 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at the Literacy Council. Approximately 10 hours of online instruction will be required before attending.

Training Content

Augustine Project volunteer tutors in the Hybrid Training will learn about:
  • the essential elements of reading instruction
  • current brain research on dyslexia
  • the impact of poverty on literacy
  • syllable types in the English language
  • multisensory learning and the Wilson Reading System
Tutors will learn to use Orton-Gillingham methodologies and Wilson Reading System materials. The program provides the curriculum and lesson plans needed to be successful in teaching a child to read. New tutors will also practice their new skills by delivering their first lessons to a student under the supervision of an experienced mentor.

Qualities of a Great Tutor

It is not necessary to have a background in teaching or education to be a successful Augustine Project tutor! We look for tutors that: 
  • can make a school-year commitment of providing two 50-minute lessons per week
  • have patience and an open mind
  • are sensitive to cultural and learning differences
  • have a GED or high school diploma
  • are willing to undergo a background check

Learn More and Sign Up

Contact Niki Paganelli at niki@litcouncil.com or 828-254-3442 x202 to learn more and sign up for the upcoming tutor training. Click here to read more about the Augustine Project program. 

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