As we quickly approach voter registration deadline, the Literacy Council of Buncombe County urges tutors and students to register to vote in these very important midterm elections. If you have moved, changed your name, or changed your party affiliation, you are required to update your voter registration by Oct. 12. If you are unable to vote on Nov. 6, the last day to request an absentee-by-mail ballot is Oct. 30. You may also choose to register and participate in early voting at the same time with same-day registration, from Oct. 17 through Nov. 3. To find your polling site to vote on Nov. 6 election day, click here.
Legislation is complex and often uses target language to appeal to certain audiences, and many of us can find political jargon difficult to digest. This may be especially true for speakers of other languages and people with fewer literacy skills. Furthermore, there is much controversy surrounding the transparency of the six proposed North Carolina constitutional amendments that will grace the bottoms of our ballots. We strongly encourage tutors to provide non-partisan guidance to help legally-able students register to vote, familiarize themselves with candidates, and seek clarification about the proposed amendments. Click here for a comprehensive guide to candidates, or here for a sample ballot for your district.
Registration Deadline for November Election
One-Stop (Early Voting) Begins
Deadline to Request Absentee Ballot for November Election
One-Stop (Early Voting) Ends
As a nonprofit, we are nonpartisan and do not endorse or oppose any political candidates.
The Literacy Council’s 27th Annual Spelling Bee crowned Malaprop’s Buzz Killz as this year’s winners.
The Imagination Librarians judged the event with aplomb despite the weight of their wigs.
It was a fierce competition that came down to the final three teams: The Words & The Bees (Soomo Learning), The Phonetix (ESOL Tutor Team), and The Buzz Killz (Malaprop’s). After The Words & The Bees were eliminated, The Phonetix and The Buzz Killz went head to head to the finish.
HUGE thanks you to all the teams that competed this year!
Bee Magic—Lily Stejskal
Beenut Butter Spelly Time—Buncombe Partnership for Children & Spellbound Bookshop
The Buzz Kills—Malaprop’s Book Store
The Phonetix – ESOL Tutor Team led by Ben Fehsenfeld
The Stone Cold Jane Austens—Pack Memorial Library
Tremendous Tutors—ESOL Tutor Team 2 led by Sarah Oram
Scattered & Smothered—Jasper Adams
The Words & The Bees – Soomo Learning
BIG bee hugs and thanks to all our in kind donors!
Asheville Bee Charmer
Nantahala Outdoor Center
The Gorge/ Green River Adventures
Southern Highland Craft Guild
The Literacy Council staff is investing time in learning about building equity and social justice within the Literacy Council, in the nonprofit sector, and in our local community. Here are some resources that we are using to equip ourselves with knowledge and educated opinions. Volunteer tutors may be interested in learning through these same resources, and possibly even sharing what they learn with students in lessons, as they see appropriate.
Ending Racial Inequity in Our Schools: What Actually Works? featuring Nikole Hannah-Jones (lecture): Wednesday, February 28, 7pm at UNC-A. This is a ticketed event. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.acsf.org/nhj There are a limited number of remote streaming tickets available for free.
“Nikole Hannah-Jones is a National Magazine Award-winning Journalist, writing on modern day civil rights for the New York Times Magazine. Her widely read articles on segregated housing and schools, as well as her deeply personal reports on the black experience in America, expose how racial inequality is maintained through official policy. They also offer a compelling case for greater equity.”
Promoting Equity Today (community conversation): Thursday, March 22, 6pm at the Asheville City Schools Central Office Board Room.
Becoming an Equity Advocate (community conversation): Thursday, April 19, 6pm at the Arthur R. Edington Education and Career Center.
Personal Self-Assessment of Anti-Bias Behavior (worksheet): Published by the Anti-Defamation League, this worksheet encourages anti-bias self-reflection and goal creation.
Project Implicit: Social Attitudes Associations Test (online test): Developed by researchers interested in implicit social cognition, this tool helps identify personal “blind spots” in an effort to become aware of one’s own implicit biases.
Impact > Intention: Understanding Implicit Bias (recorded webinar): Webinar hosted by the NC Center for Nonprofits. “Are we practicing what we preach? Or is our implicit bias negatively affecting our decisions in spite of our good intentions?” Presented by Ivan Canada and Michael Robinson of the National Conference for Community and Justice of the Piedmont Triad
When Racial Equity Gets Real: Moving Beyond Theory to Daily Practice (recorded webinar): Webinar hosted by WNC Nonprofit Pathways. “Tamiko Ambrose Murray, a community-based researcher, cultural organizer, facilitator and consultant and Marisol Jiménez, founder and lead consultant for Tepeyac Consulting, dive into some ‘real talk’ about racial equity and hear the experiences and perspectives of other nonprofit leaders in their efforts to move from theory to practice.”
Rain in a Dry Land (documentary): Screened in the Literacy Council office on 2/7/18, available to rent from YouTube Video. “An intimate portrait of two families who leave behind a legacy of slavery in Africa to discover new challenges in 21st-century America.”
The Waters & Harvey Show (podcast): “The Waters & Harvey Show, co-hosted by Dr. Waters and Dr. Marcus Harvey, is produced by Dr. Waters at Blue Ridge Public Radio. The show offers listeners informed conversations and interviews about history, culture and their impact on current affairs. According to Waters, ‘Our series is committed to giving voice to historically marginalized people and communities. Through our lively conversations, we hope to encourage a deeper understanding of our vibrant community.'”
How to Think Differently about Diversity in Nonprofit Leadership: Get Comfortable with Discomfort (article): Article published by Nonprofit Quarterly. “This article is part of an ongoing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Project by the publication [and it] addresses ways of thinking differently about a variety of issues affecting the nonprofit sector.”
Boards in Motion: Moving from Diversity to Equity (recorded webinar): Webinar hosted by WNC Nonprofit Pathways. “Tamiko Ambrose Murray (Center for Participatory Change) and Kate Pett (Asheville City Schools Foundation) explore the role of racial equity at the board level and delve into one board’s story on the road toward achieving greater equity.”
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
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 email@example.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
- 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.
I had So! Much! Fun! participating in last year’s Spelling Bee. My husband came to watch the competition, heard about the Literacy Council, and was really moved by the video. He had been looking for an opportunity to volunteer and felt tutoring with the Literacy Council was so important he signed right up! It’s been great to watch his passion and commitment for it grow over the past year. (He calls his lesson preparation “homework” and that always makes me smile.)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-254-3442 ext. 206.