Tutor a child, change a life.

An unmet need and a substantial waiting list

The Literacy Council of Buncombe County’s biggest current need is additional volunteer tutors for the Augustine Project. This program serves low-income children who read, write, and/or spell below grade level.  The current waiting list has more than 50 children seeking tutoring. Tutoring is one-on-one and every new tutor we train will be matched with a student from our waiting list who desperately needs literacy tutoring to catch up with their classmates.

New training model makes it easier to become an Augustine tutor

We have made the training commitment easier, working with current and potential volunteers to restructure the timing, content, and delivery of the volunteer training. 

Augustine Project volunteer tutor training will take place Jan. 14-18, 9am-4pm. After training, tutors will spend two hours per week with their student. New tutors can typically be matched with students at schools of their choice.

Contact Rebecca to sign up today! rebecca@litcouncil.com or 828-254-3442 x202

Create the impact of a lifetime

“The Augustine Project and Mary Fraser (my son’s tutor) have been an answer to our prayers…  This program has helped Graham’s reading  immensely, and his self esteem has also improved. Our family is truly blessed by this program and by the help that Mary has provided.” 

Barbara, an Augustine Project student’s mother

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Reaching Children Who Need Books the Most

A program designed for all children

The Literacy Council of Buncombe County currently has the capacity to enroll 1,905 children in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library thanks to funding from Buncombe Partnership for Children and the NC state legislature. This book gifting program mails a free, age-appropriate book to enrolled children every month from birth until they turn five years old. The program is designed to be open to all children under the age of five in a service area. 

Partners are key to enrolling
hard-to-reach children

At the Literacy Council of Buncombe County, we know that more literate and middle-to-high income families tend to hear about the program more frequently through social media and the internet; have access to computers, printers, and postage stamps to submit the enrollment form; and have the literacy skills needed to fill out the enrollment form.

In order to ensure that we are also reaching children who live in households without these resources, we have developed partnerships with organizations that can assist families in high-needs, low-income, and/or low-literate homes in filling out the enrollment paperwork. By doing so, we are working to ensure that children from homes with few books can start receiving free books in the mail each month.

A new partnership reaches recently-homed families

Local nonprofit Homeward Bound has two programs that offer housing to individuals and families currently living in shelters, their cars, or on the streets. To welcome formerly homeless people into their new homes, Rezaz is donating a “first meal,” and the Literacy Council is enrolling any children under the age of five in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.  Together, these partners are providing housing, food, and children’s books to families as they enter the safety and comfort of permanent housing.

Other referral partners

Nonprofits that meet a variety of needs in Buncombe County are enrolling their clients in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. These organizations include:

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2018 Spelling Bee is a Happy Success

The Literacy Council’s 27th Annual Spelling Bee crowned Malaprop’s Buzz Killz as this year’s winners.

The Buzz Killz in all their crowned glory.

The Imagination Librarians judged the event with aplomb despite the weight of their wigs.

JB Media provided the entire judges panel this year, The Imagination Librarians, left to right: Sarah Yerkey, Tara Mele, Dolly Parton, Leah Shapiro, and Mandy Gardner.

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.

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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 Asheville Tourists Barbara Swell Chestnut Cosmic Groove Grail Moviehouse Harvest Records The Hop JCC Kilwin’s LaZoom Moog Nantahala Outdoor Center The Gorge/ Green River Adventures Southern Highland Craft Guild YWCA

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Learning About Building Equity and Social Justice

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.

More resources here >>

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