The 27th Annual Spelling Bee Team Registration Open Now!

event-spellingbee-winners

event-spellingbee-winners

Don’t Worry, BEE Happy! 
The Spelling Bee is back for its 27th year

Bibliophiles, word-nerds, and linguists: Save the Date!

Wednesday April 4, 2018 
at The Mothlight
6-9:00 pm
 

Recruit two friends to complete your team and sign up to compete in the most spirited and outrageous word challenge of your lives. Choose your teammates carefully — they must have both spelling and concentration skills in order to disregard the pandemonium caused by a costumed, cheering audience.

How does it work?

  • Recruit two friends and register your team by calling 828-254-3442 or emailing luann@litcouncil.com. Once you register, you’ll get a team packet that includes event rules, study materials, and fundraising suggestions
  • Choose your team name and plan costumes (optional, but there are prizes for best costume!)
  • Study the word list provided
  • Raise funds online or make a personal donation to cover your team’s entry fee of $250
  • Encourage your own personal cheering squad to come and support your team from the audience
10 Audience Ticket

Why participate?

  • It’s fun! Unleash your inner geek and join us for a zany, raucous good time
  • You can cheat! Teams that raise funds over the entry fee can pilfer an easier word or purchase clues
  • The top finishers win generous prizes, but no one walks away empty-handed. Every speller receives a prize
  • Your team could be crowned “Best Spellers in Buncombe County!”

How much does it cost?

Teams contribute a collective $250 to participate. Most teams raise this amount (and more) by encouraging friends, coworkers, family members, and others to sponsor them. We provide access to Give Lively, a fun and simple fundraising web site. Even infinitesimal donations can add up to a cheat-worthy stash! We will also offer some pointers on using social media to reach more people who want to support literacy. You have until the day of the event to raise the funds.

Who is involved?

The Spelling Bee committee is hard at work with the Literacy Council’s staff, planning an unBEElievable event. 

Let’s get serious for a moment.

The Literacy Council of Buncombe County works to increase comprehensive literacy and English language skills through specialized instruction by trained tutors and access to literacy resources. In 2016/17, 249 volunteer tutors gave over 16,000 hours of direct reading, writing, and English language tutoring to over 300 students. We also mailed new children’s books monthly to over 600 pre-kindergarten children through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Our students gain self-confidence and develop the self-sufficiency to improve their lives as individuals, parents, workers, and citizens. As always, proceeds from the Spelling Bee benefit the work of the Literacy Council of Buncombe County.

Are you eager to compete?

We limit the competition to 15 teams, so be sure to reserve your spot by contacting LuAnn today at luann@litcouncil.com or 828-254-3442 ext. 206.

Text to donate: 1-844-544-7171 – 2018BEEThe Mothlight

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Holiday Assistance Partnership

JC Douglas Toys for Tots Letter JPEG

JC Douglas Toys for Tots Letter JPEG

87 Literacy Council Families Receive Toys for Tots

Each year in Western North Carolina, more than 100,000 children benefit from Christmas assistance in the way of donated toys, 9,000 of whom receive gifts through Toys for Tots. The 2017 holiday season marks the 4th year that the Literacy Council of Buncombe County has partnered with Toys for Tots so that our students are among those families benefiting from the program.

LCBC staff and tutors came together to ensure that the families we serve would have an opportunity to select a handful of gifts for the children in their lives. Everything from board games and action figures to stuffed animals and building blocks were available. We also included with every bag of toys a gently used, age-appropriate book to help foster a love of reading in the home.

We are excited to share that 87 different LCBC families were able to take advantage of the Toys for Tots drive, supporting 178 children in the month of December. 
 
One Adult Education student in particular was so moved by the experience, that they wanted to write a thank you letter (pictured above) with the help of a tutor. 

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Holiday Pint Night at New Belgium

new_belgium_tasting_room_asheville

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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