Join the Literacy Council Team in 2017/18

successes-2014-june2
successes-2014-june2Are 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 next Recruitment and Awareness Coordinator through AmeriCorps.
 

Position Description

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 recruitment and management. The LiteracyCorps member working with the Literacy Council of Buncombe County will have the opportunity to:

  • provide direct service tutoring,
  • recruit and orient volunteers,
  • recruit and support students,
  • develop and enhance community partnerships,
  • conduct visibility campaigns,
  • manage a book gifting program, and
  • participate in national days of service.

The Literacy Council’s NC LiteracyCorps member will begin in August 2017 and complete their service year in July 2018. Over the course of the year, the member will become an integral part of the Literacy Council’s full-time team, providing 1,700 hours of service.

The application period begins now and closes May 10.

AmeriCorps LogoBenefits to the Member

NC LiteracyCorps members receive a living allowance of up to $12,630 and qualify for limited health insurance reimbursements. Upon completion of requirements, they are eligible to receive an educational award of $5,815. 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 and seminars throughout the service year.

Qualifications

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:

  • a deep commitment to providing educational opportunities to economically disadvantaged adults and youth and/or 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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Two Calls to Make This Week in Support of Literacy Council Operations

AmeriCorps Logo

Call #1: Support AmeriCorps

The Literacy Council of Buncombe County has hosted four AmeriCorps members through the NC LiteracyCorps. These four members have:

  • AmeriCorps LogoContributed over 60,000 hours to the Literacy Council’s programs
  • Tutored 11 ESOL, Adult Education, and Augustine Project students
  • Oriented over 450 new volunteer tutors
  • Updated our website (twice!)
  • Managed our social media accounts
  • Launched and managed Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
  • Taught early literacy workshops for 75 families

We hope that anyone who appreciates this worthwhile program will contact Congress and ask them to protect the federal investment in our national service programs like AmeriCorps. This nonpartisan program means so much to our tutors, students and community. Call or contact your congressional representatives online. Click here for a resource to make it easy for you.

Call #2: Oppose the Repeal of the “Johnson Amendment”

The “Johnson Amendment,” in place since 1954, lays out the ground rules that help insulate 501(c)(3) organizations from partisan politics. The law provides that charitable nonprofits:

  • Tutor and Adult Education studentcan’t endorse or oppose candidates for office;
  • can’t coordinate their activities with candidates, political parties, or PACs; and
  • must refrain from making political campaign contributions. 

“Eliminating the law would mean that individual 501(c)(3) nonprofits could come to be regarded as Democratic charities or Republican charities instead of the nonpartisan problem solvers they are,” said David Heinen from the NC Center for Nonprofits. “…this would diminish the public’s overall trust in the nonprofit sector and consequently would limit nonprofits’ effectiveness in carrying out their mission-related programs and activities. The law also ensures that donors’ charitable contributions are used for the charitable, religious, and educational purposes for which they are intended rather than being diverted to political parties or candidates.” Click here to read more.

Please consider calling your congressional representatives and ask them to protect our nation’s nonprofits by preserving current federal tax law protections that prohibit 501(c)(3) organizations from endorsing, opposing, or contributing to political candidates.

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Spellbound Children’s Bookshop Event with author Marcus Sedgwick to Benefit the Literacy Council

Marcus Sedgwick event poster

Marcus Sedgwick event posterTickets are on sale now: Spellbound Children’s Bookshop presents internationally award-winning author Marcus Segdwick on the publication day of Saint Death, his newest novel for young adults. This special event benefits the Literacy Council of Buncombe County and will take place at Twisted Laurel in downtown Asheville on Tuesday April 25th at 5:30pm. 

Guests are asked to arrive at 5:30 to eat and mingle. Marcus will be speaking from 6:00 to approximately 7:00 and will sign books directly afterward. The event will be emceed by fellow young adult author Allan Wolf.

Each $45 ticket includes appetizers and a non-alcoholic beverage plus a copy of Saint Death to be signed by the author. Event details and online ticket sales at www.spellboundbookshop.com. (Direct link to order page is http://bit.ly/MSLCOBC.)

Sedgwick’s unflinching narrative is timely and guaranteed to incite discussion, if not debate.”– Booklist, starred review

About the author

Marcus Sedgwick was born and raised in East Kent in the South-east of England. He now lives in the French Alps. Alongside a 16 year career in publishing he established himself as a widely-admired writer of Young Adult fiction; he is the winner of many prizes, most notably the Michael L. Printz Award for 2014, for his novel Midwinterblood. Marcus has also received two Printz Honors, for Revolver in 2011 and The Ghosts of Heaven in 2016, giving him the most citations to date for this prize. His books have been shortlisted for over forty other awards, including the Carnegie Medal (six times), the Edgar Allan Poe Award (twice) and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize (four times).

About the book

Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick
US hardcover edition available April 25, 2017

A propulsive, compelling, and unsparing novel set in the grimly violent world of the human and drug trade on the US-Mexican border. On the outskirts of Juarez, Arturo scrapes together a living working odd jobs and staying out of sight. But his friend Faustino is in trouble: he’s stolen money from the narcos to smuggle his girlfriend and her baby into the US, and needs Arturo’s help to get it back. To help his friend, Arturo must face the remorseless world of drug and human traffickers that surrounds him, and contend with a murky past. Hovering over his story is the unsparing divinity Santa Muerte, Saint Death–and the relentless economic and social inequalities that haunt the border between Mexico and its rich northern neighbor. Crafted with poetry and cinematic pace and narrated with cold fury, Saint Death is a provocative tour de force from three-time Printz Award honoree Marcus Sedgwick.

 

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Local Assistance for LCBC Students Seeking Employment

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NC Works Logo

Many Adult Education and ESOL students are looking for a new job because they are either unemployed or under-employed. In an effort to learn about what resources exist to help these students, the Literacy Council invited an NCWorks Career Center representative to speak to staff and tutors on Jan. 25. We learned that connecting with the NCWorks Career Center may help your student find, apply for, and get the job they’re looking for.

Career Advising

Each time a job seeker comes to the career center, they can choose to meet one-on-one with a career adviser who will help them:

  • informally assess job seeking skills, work skills and work interests
  • create or update a resume
  • learn how to use the NCWorks Online website and create a NCWorks Online profile
  • learn about center services, such as workshops, the Career Lab, on-site tutorials and computer class, career counseling, and financial aid for training
  • as appropriate, obtain a referral for center services that require one
  • discuss skill gaps and skill development opportunities
  • find available jobs

Job seekers who want to receive this personalized assistance should come to the NCWorks office between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm Monday through Friday for same day service.

Computer Resource Area

The NCWorks Career Center also offers a Computer Resource Area for job seekers. This area has twelve computers and is available for job search activities such as preparing a resume and completing an online job application. Job seekers do not have to meet with a career adviser before using the Resource Area, but they do need to check in at the front desk. This service is available from 8:30 am-4:55 pm Monday through Friday.  Career advisers are available to provide general assistance in this area as needed.

Job Seeking Workshops

The NCWorks Career Center offers regularly scheduled workshops that focus on career planning and job seeking skills. Here are some workshop topic examples:

  • Identifying Career Interests
  • Mastering Online Applications
  • Write a Winning Resume
  • Networking – the Most Effective Way to Find a Job
  • Computer Basics for Job Seekers

Workshops are free to job seekers. Click here to see a list of upcoming workshops. Sign up by calling (828) 251-6200 or visiting the NCWorks office.

Financial Assistance for Job Training

The NCWorks Career Center has access to federal funds to assist job seekers in paying for short-term (and some long-term) training programs. Short-term training programs take an average of 10-15 weeks and include: CNA, Hospitality, and Advanced Manufacturing courses. Job seekers should meet with an NC Works career adviser to learn more about this opportunity and eligibility requirements.

NC Works Online

NCWorks Online is a website with available jobs, job seeking tips and labor market information. Job seekers can create a NCWorks Online profile so employers can find their resume. They can also look for jobs in their desired field and geographic area. NCWorks career advisers can help job seekers start this process, as well as upload or create an online resume that employers can find when looking for new employees.

Requirements for Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in NC Works programs, a job seeker must have a valid Social Security number, ie: be a U.S. citizen or a non-U.S. citizen with authorization to work in the U.S.

To be eligible for financial assistance in approved training, a job seeker will either 1) need to meet certain income eligibility requirements or 2) be classified as a “Dislocated Worker” (click here for description). Because the NCWorks Career Center wants to provide training assistance to job seekers whenever appropriate, job seekers are encouraged to come to the center to find out if they qualify.

Contact Information

NCWorks Career Center
(828) 251-6200
48 Grove Street
Asheville, NC 28801

Hours of Operation
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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Resources to Help your Students Cope with Racial Intimidation and Bias

fight hate

adl blogThe Literacy Council staff attended a presentation on Jan. 27 by the Anti-Defamation League. The organization was founded in 1913 “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Now the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency, ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all.

The Anti-Defamation League, Buncombe County’s Sheriff Van Duncan, and Asheville’s Chief of Police Tammy Hooper provided information at the meeting about how to a) report an anti-Semitic, racist or bigoted incident and receive victim support and b) educate children at school and home to reject bias.

Please use these resources with your Literacy Council students, at home, and in the community.

Reporting an Incident & Seeking Victim Support

If one of your students or someone you know is the victim of a hate incident, these resources will help them report the incident and receive victim support.

First, in addition to hate crimes, “racial intimidation” (unprovoked hate speech aimed at intimidation, including racial slurs) is also prosecutable offense that should be reported to law enforcement. It is best reported by the victim, but can be reported by a witness.

  • In an emergency, always call 911
  • For non-emergencies in Asheville city limits, report to: 828-252-1110 (any language)
  • For non-emergencies in Buncombe County, report to: 828-250-6670 (English) or 828-250-4542 (Spanish)

Additionally, any form of hate incident should be reported to the Anti-Defamation League, who reports data on hate incidents nationally and regionally. They will provide optional support to victims who report hate incidents.

  • Click here or call 212-885-7700 to report an incident with ADL and receive victim support 
  • Click here if you would like to also report the incident to the Southern Poverty Law Center to aid in their work monitoring incidents in our region

Educating Children to Reject Bias

The Anti-Defamation League has online resources for educators, parents, and caregivers to teach children and youth to reject bias and embrace diversity.

K-12 Educators and Administrators

The anti-bias curriculum helps students develop an understanding of diverse perspectives, strengthen critical thinking skills, challenge the development of emerging biases, and build skills and motivation to take action against injustice. Resources include:

Parents and Caregivers

These resources help parents and caregivers “create a home life that recognizes the diversity of our world, addresses bullying, opposes bias, and in small and large ways, challenges those injustices.” Resources include:

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