Midterm election resources for tutors and students

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.

Important Dates:

October 12,
5:00 PM

Registration Deadline for November Election

October 17

One-Stop (Early Voting) Begins

October 30,
5:00 PM

Deadline to Request Absentee Ballot for November Election

November 3,
1:00 PM

One-Stop (Early Voting) Ends

November 6

Election Day

As a nonprofit, we are nonpartisan and do not endorse or oppose any political candidates.

Continue Reading No Comments

Learning About Building Equity and Social Justice

equality vs equity smaller

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.

Upcoming Opportunities:

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.

Standing Opportunities:

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 bDr. 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.”

Continue Reading No Comments

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

 

Continue Reading No Comments

New Training Model for Augustine Project Tutors

circle

circleThe Literacy Council trains Augustine Project volunteers to tutor low-income children who read, write or spell below grade level. In the past, tutors have been required to complete two weeks of face-to-face training, which created a barrier for many interested volunteers.

To make the tutoring experience more accessible, we are piloting a Hybrid Training Model. This new training only requires 16 hours of face-to-face pre-service training. To ensure that Hybrid Training Model volunteers are still fully prepared to tutor struggling young readers, the additional training content is delivered online and through follow-up lesson observations.

Training Dates

The Hybrid Training Model will be offered for the first time November 11-12 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at the Literacy Council. Approximately 10 hours of online instruction will be required before attending.

Training Content

Augustine Project volunteer tutors in the Hybrid Training will learn about:
  • the essential elements of reading instruction
  • current brain research on dyslexia
  • the impact of poverty on literacy
  • syllable types in the English language
  • multisensory learning and the Wilson Reading System
Tutors will learn to use Orton-Gillingham methodologies and Wilson Reading System materials. The program provides the curriculum and lesson plans needed to be successful in teaching a child to read. New tutors will also practice their new skills by delivering their first lessons to a student under the supervision of an experienced mentor.

Qualities of a Great Tutor

It is not necessary to have a background in teaching or education to be a successful Augustine Project tutor! We look for tutors that: 
  • can make a school-year commitment of providing two 50-minute lessons per week
  • have patience and an open mind
  • are sensitive to cultural and learning differences
  • have a GED or high school diploma
  • are willing to undergo a background check

Learn More and Sign Up

Contact Niki Paganelli at niki@litcouncil.com or 828-254-3442 x202 to learn more and sign up for the upcoming tutor training. Click here to read more about the Augustine Project program. 

Continue Reading No Comments

Free Passes Available to Local Attractions

Buncombe County Public Libraries recently launched a new program to give library card holders access to free passes for local museums and attractions. It’s called a ZOOM pass, and anyone with a library card has access to the program.

zoomThis creates an opportunity for Literacy Council tutors to take their students on field trips to museums and hubs of community life–at no cost. Consider using a ZOOM pass to accompany your ESOL student to a place they have never been and practice their English skills in a new environment. Or take your Adult Education student to a museum and practice reading the venue map, signs, or exhibit descriptions together. Or just take your student somewhere new in celebration of achieving a personal literacy goal!

Click here to make your reservation with your library card number, then pick up your pass at Pack Library and enjoy your day

Current ZOOM Passes Available:

How does it work?

1) Request the pass online:

  • Have your library card handy and click here
  • Search for the location and date that you would like to reserve.
  • Click on the museum/attraction name to see how many adults and children gain entry with each pass.
  • Click “Request Pass” for the location and date that you would like to reserve. 
  • Enter your library card number.
  • Confirm your request details.
  • Check your email for a confirmation of your reservation.

2) Pick up your pass:

Take your library card to the Youth Services Desk downstairs at Pack Library (downtown Asheville) to pick up your pass up to 48 hours before your visit.

3) Use your ZOOM pass:

Take your ZOOM pass to the museum or attraction for FREE admission. 

Special notes

  • Reservations can be made up to 30 days in advance and you may visit each attraction once every 30 days. Reservations are made online only.
  • The pass will be good for your reservation day only and can only be used by you and your guest(s).
  • Your reservation may be canceled up to one day in advance. You can use the “My Passes” link on the web page to manage and cancel your reservations. 

 

This program was funded by the Buncombe County Friends of the Library.

Continue Reading No Comments