Literacy Council Corporate Partners share “An Hour with Author Wayne Caldwell”

IMG_4072

Author Wayne Caldwell keynoted an event for the Literacy Council's Corporate Partners Monday, Jan. 23, 2017

Locally acclaimed author Wayne Caldwell keynoted an event for the Literacy Council’s Corporate Partners Monday, Jan. 23 aimed to both inspire new strategies for working together and provide a special experience for current partners. 

Wayne Caldwell’s Teachers Inspired His Craft

Caldwell spoke about the early influences that provided him the impetus to not only learn to read, but to read great works of literature. These influences included his adoptive mother and many teachers in the Enka community. A high school teacher even encouraged him to “write the Great American novel.” Caldwell knows that she would be proud, as his novel, Cataloochee, is a 2013 James Still Award winner and a Southern Independent Bestseller Award winner. Caldwell attributed his success to the encouragement he received throughout his childhood.

The Literacy Council Can Support Local Businesses

Robert Foster, of Biltmore Farms Hotels, presented about how his company has partnered with the Literacy Council for the past two years. During this time, the Literacy Council has provided English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes at the DoubleTree Biltmore hotel for housekeeping employees. Robert shared stories of employees who had previously declined offers to move into higher positions because they were not confident enough in their English language skills. After spending time in ESOL classes, Robert now found the same employees approaching him more confidently and asking for new positions, in English! He found a way to encourage these employees to take the classes by lightening their workload the day they have class and providing lunch during class. Robert says he has seen such a benefit to his business that he plans to expand the program to other Biltmore Farms Hotels.

How Your Business Can Partner with the Literacy Council

A partnership between a corporation and the Literacy Council can be a critical step toward improving basic literacy and English language skills for employees or other contacts, which in turn improves employee retention, productivity, and promotability. Ultimately, adults with increased literacy and English language skills positively impact our local workforce, economy, and community.

To learn more about starting an on-site class or referring an employee in need of assistance, contact Ashley@litcouncil.com.

To learn more about how to support with the Literacy Council through your business, click here.

Special thanks to Malaprop’s Bookstore, Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, Lenior Rhine University, Sierra Nevada, and Biltmore Wines for contributing to the event.

Continue Reading No Comments

The 26th Annual Spelling Bee Team Registration Open Now!

Speller-2016-crop

Speller-2016-crop

Calling all bibliophiles, word-nerds, and linguists…
The Spelling Bee is back for its 26th year!

Save the Date

salvagestation-logoThe 26th Annual Spelling Bee benefiting the Literacy Council of Buncombe County will be held Wednesday April 5, 2017 at The Salvage Station, 6-9pm 

10 Purchase Audience Ticket

*Please Note: Team Registration is now closed.

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 
  • Encourage your own personal cheering squad to come and support your team

Why participate?

  • It’s fun! Unleash your inner geek and join us for a zany, raucous good time
  • With comedian David Ostergaard as the emcee, you’ll be laughing the entire evening
  • You can cheat! Teams that raise funds over the entry fee can pilfer another team’s 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 of our teams raise this amount (and more) through friends, coworkers, family members, and others. We will provide access to CrowdRise, a fun and easy-to-use fundraising web site. Even little donations add up to a cheat-worthy stash! We can 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. This year’s volunteer committee is being spearheaded by celebrity restaurateur Joe Scully, 2016 Top Fundraiser Katherine Cross, former speller Lauren Harr and more. 

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 2015/16, 200 volunteer tutors gave over 14,000 hours of direct literacy tutoring to 350 students. We work with both native and non-native English speakers to help improve job prospects, ensure parents can help their children in school, and give students support as they enroll in a GED program. The gift of literacy is truly transformative. 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 will limit the competition to 15 teams, so be sure to reserve your spot by contacting LuAnn today.

Email luann@litcouncil.com or call 828-254-3442 ext. 206

Want to support a team? Click here! 
Crowdrise_logo

Continue Reading No Comments

A letter to our community — valuing diversity through education

A  Literacy Council student celebrates passing the US Naturalization exam

A  Literacy Council student celebrates passing the US Naturalization exam

To our Buncombe County neighbors,

The Literacy Council of Buncombe County values people of all ages, races, religions, national and ethnic origins, abilities and disabilities, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Our staff and board are committed to creating opportunities for all people in Buncombe County to receive high-quality educational services. We honor the gifts that our diverse students and volunteers bring to our community.

In the month of November, we received inquiries from 50 people wanting to become volunteer tutors. This is twice the number we would typically receive over the course of a month. This tells us that people in our community honor and value literacy and English language education and want to help our students achieve their goals.

We are grateful to live and work in such a supportive community.

With great respect,
Literacy Council of Buncombe County

Continue Reading No Comments

Donate this holiday season to change a student’s life

holiday-card-rev

This time of year, many of us look forward to preparing our favorite dishes and sharing them with loved ones. But, can you imagine what cooking would be like if all of the ingredients looked like the can to the left? Where would you begin? Would you feel anxious? How would your dish taste?

For English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students at the Literacy Council, this is a daily reality. These students desperately want to learn English so they can participate fully in their new home community.

For adults and children struggling with a learning difference like dyslexia, a holiday card from a loved one could look like the example to the right. How would you feel if you received a letter that looked like this? Would you be ashamed that you did not understand what it said? Would you feel the love they expressed? Adult Education students at the Literacy Council are courageously giving reading and writing another chance in order to connect with family and better navigate the world around them.

Please make a donation to Literacy Council this holiday season. Your gift will be used to match 350 ESOL, Adult Education, and Augustine Project students with trained volunteer tutors. In the coming year, these students will improve their ability to navigate grocery stores, read mail, and so much more. Next year’s holidays will look very different for these students, thanks to your support.

Donate Now

Continue Reading No Comments

Make a Difference Day

madd

In honor of Make a Difference Day, the Literacy Council of Buncombe County partnered with the Leicester Community Center to provide a wide selection of free books to community members living in rural areas. Participants were able to take home as many books as they wanted, with options that included board books for toddlers, early readers, chapter books, and even bestselling paperbacks for adults! 

mannaThe books were an addition to the free produce and perishable items that are offered at the Leicester Community Center on the third Tuesday of each month as part of MANNA’s Food Distribution initiative. MANNA provides goods such as bread, bakery items, and seasonal produce. This month lots of butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and root vegetables lined the tables.

For more information on food distribution or services offered at the Leicester Community Center, please contact them at:

Leicester Community Center
PO Box 1518
2979 New Leicester Highway
Leicester, NC 28748
828-774-3000
http://www.leicestercommunitycenter.com/home 

Make a Difference Day is an event that began in 1992 as an idea for a national day of service and has since transformed into one of the largest, annual, single days of service nationwide! With the intent of showing that anyone, regardless of background, is able to make on impact on their community, Make a Difference Day has resulted in thousands of projects taking place on the fourth Saturday of October each year. 

Many national projects have focused on pressing global issues, such as:

unnamed

  • Disaster Relief
  • Disability
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Education/tutoring/mentoring 
  • Unemployment
  • Environment
  • Healthcare
  • Homelessness
  • Housing 
  • Hunger
  • Poverty

Continue Reading