Donate this holiday season to change a student’s life

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.

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Make a Difference Day

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

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:


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

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Part-Time ESOL AmeriCorps Position

Are you looking for the opportunity to make a difference? The Literacy Council has an exciting opportunity to join our team for a year! Apply today to become the Literacy Council’s ESOL Assistant through AmeriCorps.

Apply Here

Position Descriptionliteracy-council0011

Join AmeriCorps and “get things done”! Become a NC LiteracyCorps member at the Literacy Council of Buncombe County and improve literacy and English language skills in our community.

NC LiteracyCorps members provide literacy tutoring to youth and adults while building program capacity through volunteer tutor management and support. The ESOL Assistant LiteracyCorps member will have the opportunity to:

Promote ESOL Student Success

  • Complete the English for Speakers of Other Languages tutor training
  • Become a tutor for at least one small group class
  • Act as a substitute tutor for small group classes when necessary
  • Conduct student orientations and intake testing for students in small groups
  • Communicate with students and/or tutors when they have missed classes, need to reschedule sessions, or need to be added to the waiting list
  • Assist in developing community partnerships to build a support system for students
  • Work with the ESOL Program Director to promote use of the computer lab

Provide Tutor Support

  • Assist with tutor appreciation events
  • Work with the ESOL Program Director to plan in-service trainings
  • Assist tutors with checking out and making copies of learning materials

Increase Community Awareness

  • Collaborate with community organizations to assist with events involving volunteers
  • Participate in volunteer fairs 
  • Plan and implement national identity days

The Literacy Council’s NC LiteracyCorps member will begin in late September 2016 and complete their service year in July 2017. Over the course of the year, the member will become an integral part of the Literacy Council’s team, providing 900 hours of service.

AmeriCorps LogoBenefits to the Member

NC LiteracyCorps members receive a living allowance of up to $6,265 and qualify for limited health insurance reimbursements. Upon completion of requirements, they are eligible to receive an educational award of $2,887. NC LiteracyCorps members receive training in volunteer management, literacy issues, tutoring strategies, diversity, and leadership skills. The member placed with the Literacy Council will also have a professional development stipend to participate in conferences.


To serve with the NC LiteracyCorps, the member must:

  • be at least 17 years old
  • have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • successfully pass statewide and national criminal background checks
  • be a U.S. Citizen, National, or Legal Permanent Resident of the United States

Preferred qualifications are:

  • fluent in Spanish and English (required)
  • a deep commitment to providing educational opportunities to economically disadvantaged adults and those who are from other cultures
  • excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to work effectively with staff, volunteers, and members of the community
  • outstanding written and oral communication skills
  • a working knowledge of office technology including Microsoft Office suites
  • ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • creative, strategic thinker with excellent organizational skills and ability to track deadlines
  • available to work occasional evenings

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Auction Item Sneak Peek #2

Bee Sieburg- Clothesline

Bee Sieburg was one of many artists who participated in the Visual Word show at Broken Roads Studios in August to benefit the Literacy Council. Each work was accompanied by a spoken word piece, poem, or story.

Bee’s painting, “Clothesline,” was accompanied by a poem her son George wrote. We are so honored that Bee and George have generously donated their collaborative work to the Authors for Literacy Silent Auction.

See more of Bee Sieburg’s work here.

Preview Additional Auction Items

Regardless of personal tastes or styles, Authors for Literacy guests will find something to pique their interest at the 2016 silent auction. 

Bonaventure CemeteryTRAVEL

A Savannah Getaway package including a hotel stay, passes to Savannah College of Art & Design Museum of Art, and Mercer House Museum passes.



Sunday Supper for Four at Rhubarb



Asheville Lyric OperaENTERTAINMENT

Two tickets to Asheville Lyric Opera





Four one-day Walt Disney World Park-Hopper Passes









Staff Picks: A collection of favorite books hand picked by each Literacy Council staff member



Moon Over Pisgah - Mary CostelloFINE ART

“Moon Over Pisgah”  by Mary Costello




Fiber Visions Joanna WhiteWEARABLE ART

Fiber Visions…Art to Wear by Joanna White








Kim Thompson Jewelry


Rainforest Collection: Sterling Silver earrings by Kim Thompson






For more information or to purchase tickets by phone, contact LuAnn Arena at 828-254-3442 x206 or email:

Purchase tickets online

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9/11 National Day of Service & Remembrance

Image result for 9/11 national day of service and remembrance

Each year, the Corporation for National & Community Service spearheads the effort to encourage Americans to volunteer in their communities during national days of service. The September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance is a time where we can pay tribute to 9/11 victims, survivors, emergency responders, and others who were impacted by the attack. 

The Literacy Council of Buncombe County will be observing this national day of service during the week of September 12th – September 16th by encouraging tutors and their students to incorporate reading passages and learning exercises relevant to the following themes:

  • People coming together to rebuild community
  • Being aware of difference and understanding diversity (for example: discrimination and stereotypes)
  • Being linked to a global community
  • Immigrant experiences
  • Random acts of kindness and goodwill
  • Responding to emergencies 

Supplemental texts have been provided to our ESOL tutors to use in tutoring sessions this week, based on skill level. For curriculum resources that the Literacy Council of Buncombe County has available, see below:

Calling 911 Calling 911 (Beginner)

The lesson on “Calling 911” in the Health Stories text by Ann Gianola is perfect for teaching beginning learners important vocabulary related to emergency situations. Activities with this lesson might include having a dialogue with a 911 operator, identifying different medical emergencies, providing contact information to a first responder, or learning how to communicate needs.

A Country of Immigrants (Intermediate)A Country of Immigrants

The chapter on “A Country of Immigrants” in the Contact USA text by Paul Abraham and Daphne Mackey will allow intermediate learners to explore the experience of immigrants while practicing reading comprehension. Activities with this lesson might include a dialogue about where immigrants come from, what cultural differences exist, and how communities respond to newcomers. 

New Land, New Language

Fitting In (Advanced)

The lesson on “Fitting In” in the New land, New Language text by Maxine Berger and Martha Siegel provides advanced learners with an opportunity to learn about discrimination and stereotyping while practicing writing skills. Activities with this lesson might include using adjectives to describe people, using adjectives to compare people, and writing about individual experiences with discrimination. 

The supplemental texts that were selected for tutors to use during the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance will help tutors and students have meaningful conversations around the lasting impact of this tragedy. 

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