Literacy Council Executive Director Position Announcement

Our Vision

A community in which literacy is highly valued and achievable for all.

Our Mission

To increase comprehensive literacy and English language skills through
one-on-one and small group instruction by trained volunteers and access to literacy resources.

The Organization

The Literacy Council of Buncombe County is seeking an experienced and passionate candidate to lead the organization as executive director and add to its exceptional 30+ year history.

The Literacy Council of Buncombe County teaches individuals of all ages basic reading, writing, and English language skills through specialized instruction provided by trained volunteer tutors. Students gain self-confidence and develop self-sufficiency to transform their lives as individuals, parents, workers, and citizens. 

The Literacy Council, a non-profit organization accredited by ProLiteracy and serving the community since 1987, provides highly individualized tutoring to fit the needs of over 300 students annually through the skilled instruction of over 250 volunteer tutors. The Literacy Council is governed by a 17-member board of directors and staffed by five highly skilled professionals and one AmeriCorps member. The organization has an annual budget of $355,000. The organizational culture is collaborative, hardworking, mission-driven, and service-oriented. 

The Region

The Asheville area’s prime location in the spectacular mountains of Western North Carolina and the high quality of life enjoyed in the region makes it attractive as a place where lifestyle complements business opportunity. The area’s consistent and steady growth is the result of the collaborative vision of economic development and strong community partnerships. Health services are known to be the best in the region. In addition to being Western North Carolina’s business hub, the Asheville area is world-renowned as a bustling tourist destination, named one of “15 Coolest Places to Go” in the world by Forbes Magazine. Western North Carolina offers an eclectic arts and music scene and a wide variety of year-round outdoor activities.

The Position

The Literacy Council is poised to move to the next level of growth effectiveness with the inspired leadership of the right individual. The incoming ED, in partnership with Board and staff leadership, will be focused on long-range planning, strengthening and diversifying fundraising efforts, and growing the capacity of the organization. The ED is also the public face of the organization and is instrumental in recruiting new volunteers, tutors, donors, board members, and community partners.

The new ED must have proven, significant, and successful organizational development, fundraising, and nonprofit leadership experience, the ability to oversee day-to-day operations, and the skill to work collaboratively with the board to guide the organization. The ED must also possess the talent to communicate effectively and build relationships with multiple constituencies, including the board, staff, donors, government officials and community leaders.

Organizational Priorities

The Board of Directors of the Literacy Council of Buncombe County has identified the following as the highest priorities for the new executive, the board, and the staff over the next 12 to 18 months:

  • Conduct a financial sustainability assessment
  • Develop a 3-5 year strategic plan for growth
  • Continue to diversify fundraising efforts
  • Improve engagement and effectiveness of the board
  • Maintain the high level of organizational culture

Ongoing Responsibilities

  • Vision, Mission, and Strategies – Work closely with the board and staff to translate the Literacy Council’s mission and vision into clear strategic directions, goals, and initiatives.
  • Accomplishment of Management Objectives – Oversee operational and program objectives that support the organization’s strategic goals and lead the staff in their implementation.
  • Fund Raising and Resource Development – In partnership with the board and staff, develop and implement appropriate and diversified fund-raising and financial development strategies.
  • Fiscal Management – Ensure that solid planning and budgeting systems continue so that income is managed wisely and that the organization’s goals serve as the basis for sound financial planning. Ensure that systems and staff are in place to accurately monitor, assess, and manage the financial health of the organization.
  • Human Resources Management – Foster and maintain a strong staff built on teamwork and collaborative decision-making in a positive and empowering environment. Oversee staff development activities that build leadership skills and motivate performance. Ensure adherence to the personnel policies in all hiring and employment practices.
  • External Liaison and Public Image – Serve as primary spokesperson and public face for the Literacy Council, representing it locally and regionally. Develop dynamic working relationships with diverse constituencies, including government, education and nonprofit groups that support the work of the Literacy Council.

Required Qualifications

  • A history of leadership or management success in the nonprofit sector
  • Strong fundraising and relationship building skills with proven experience in foundation, government, corporate and individual giving
  • A high degree of financial literacy and management experience
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, strong interpersonal and public speaking skills, and experience with diverse populations and multiple constituencies
  • Collaborative leader with an exceptional ability to foster a spirit of cooperation with external partners and among board members and staff
  • Demonstrated ability to work with and facilitate strong board development and leadership
  • An innovative problem solver, flexible, and capable of adapting to changing priorities
  • A visionary leader with strong strategic thinking, organizational development, and planning skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • A working knowledge of office technology including Microsoft Office suites, Quick Books, Gmail suite, and other technology-based systems
  • A demonstrated commitment to a strong culture of teamwork and staff development
  • A selfless and inclusive leader with a bias for action

Preferred Qualifications

  • Background in human services, childhood or adult literacy, or nonprofit organization leadership
  • Leadership and coordination of a volunteer, service-based workforce
  • Program evaluation experience
  • Marketing and PR experience
  • Experience in working with diverse communities and cultures
  • Bilingual skills
  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher

Compensation

The salary for this full-time position is $55,000.  The Literacy Council offers a flexible work environment and a generous time-off package.

Application Process

To apply, please send a letter of interest, resume, and salary history via email only to: edsearch@litcouncil.com. Please, no phone calls.

Submissions have now closed.  August 18, 2019

Download Position Description PDF

The Literacy Council of Buncombe County is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to recruiting a diverse pool of qualified candidates for the position.

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Become an AmeriCorps member at the Literacy Council in 2019/20

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 next Recruitment and Awareness Coordinator through AmeriCorps. Please follow the link below to fill out your application.

 

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.

The Literacy Council of Buncombe County will host one full-time NC LiteracyCorps (an AmeriCorps Project) member beginning September 2019. The application period is now open and closes August 1.

The NC LiteracyCorps places members at literacy organizations, providing literacy tutoring to youth and adults while building program capacity through volunteer management. The Literacy Council of Buncombe County’s member will: 

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

The Literacy Council’s full-time member will provide 1,700 hours of service with a 10-month commitment, receiving a living allowance of up to $13,992. Upon successful completion of requirements, the member will be eligible to receive an additional educational award.

Requirements to serve with the NC LiteracyCorps are that 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

The Literacy Council is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Please follow the link for more details and to apply online: http://nclc.web.unc.edu/join-nclc/americorps-member/ You may also contact Nureena Faruqi (faruqi@email.unc.edu) or Ashley Lasher (ashley@litcouncil.com).

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2019 Spelling Bee Exceeds Goals

Literacy Council’s 28th Annual Spelling Bee, Beauty and the Bee, was an incredible success! We set a goal to raise $7,000 to help us to continue to provide free literacy tutoring and resources to children and adults in our community, with actual fundraising exceeding $11,000. This is an all-time record for our spelling bee events — way to go everyone!

 

This year’s crowned champions, Soomo Learning’s Spelling Beasts

 

First runner up went to team Extended Metaphors

 

Second runner up went to team SpellCheckYourselfBeforeYouWreckYourself

 

Best team costume awarded to The Queen Bees

 

The intense (and hilarious) competition finally found a winner after four or five (we lost count) championship spell-off rounds, with Soomo Learning’s Spelling Beasts crowned as the victors!

See the action on WLOS!

First Prize Winner The Spelling Beasts won four tickets to see David Sedaris live at the US Cellular Center on April 14.

First Runner Up Extended Metaphors won three fun passes to Nantahala Outdoor Center and travel coffee mugs from The 828 Asheville Radio Group.

Second Runner Up SpellCheckYourselfBeforeYouWreckYourself received a Hi-Wire Brewing group tour for up to 20 people.

Best Team Costume awarded to The Queen Bees received gift certificates to Mr. K’s Used Books, Music and More.

Highest Fundraiser Spellbound by Food received three Spirit Airlines tickets.

Second Highest Fundraiser The Queen Bees received a 10-visit pass to the JCC Aquatic Center.

A huge thank-you to all the teams who competed this year: Bees’ Knees (Janet Jennings & friends); Bees Louise (Buncombe Partnership for Children); Extended Metaphors (Flatiron Writer’s Room & Gold Leaf Literary Agency); The Southern Spelles (Malaprop’s Bookstore and Cafe); SpellBinders (ESOL tutor team); Spellbound by Food (Chestnut/Corner Kitchen/Chupacabra Latin Cafe); SpellCheckYourselfBeforeYouWreckYourself (Ben Fehsenfeld & friends); Spelling Beasts (Soomo Learning); Team Chai Pani (Chai Pani Restaurant); The Queen Bees (Adult Education tutor team); Those Who Spelt It Dealt It (Hobbit Hawes & friends); Word Buzzards (John Huie & friends)

Thank you to our wonderful emcee David Ostergaard; judges Peter Elgie, Robin Corden Payne, Tom Chalmers, and Emily Spies; and pronouncer Ken from the Mix 96.5 Afternoon Drive!

A big warm hug and thank-you to our in-kind donors: The Mothlight; Mellow Mushroom; Blue Moon Water; Cecilia’s Kitchen; Black Mountain Brewing; Grace Baptist West Asheville

More pictures!

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Reading Tips for Parents and Caregivers with Babies and Young Children

Did you know that reading to your child is one of the single most important things you can do for their educational future? Read on to learn tips for reading to your child from birth until kindergarten.

 

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has lots of experience with reading, and we encourage good reading habits for parents, caregivers, and their children. When your child receives their Imagination Library books, we ask you to do the following:

  • Begin reading to your child immediately
  • Read to your child at least five days per week
  • Read books multiple times
  • Snuggle, ask questions, notice letters, make sounds, have fun!

Birth to 2 Years Old

  • Begin reading to your child immediately. It may seem silly to read to very young children, but it will help you bond with your child and establish an important foundation for future learning. The earlier you start, the better the results!
  • Read to your child every day. Children who are avid readers were read to every day from a very young age. Make reading a regular event in your home.
  • Read books multiple times. Reading the same book over (and over) reinforces language development and encourages children to participate in the reading activity.

Reading = snuggling!

  • Read for short periods with your child on your lap or next to you. Being close to you is likely as important as the reading.

Keep books handy!

  • Set up a space to keep your child’s books where they will be accessible.

Be flexible!

  • Take a break if your child is unhappy or fussy. Read multiple times per day for short periods rather than one longer period if that works better.

2 to 3 Years Old

  • Begin reading to your child immediately. It’s never too early to start reading to your child. Reading to very young children helps develops early literacy skills.
  • Read to your child every day. Children who are avid readers were read to every day from a very young age. Make reading a regular event in your home.
  • Read books multiple times. Reading the same book over (and over) builds vocabulary and encourages children to participate in the reading activity.

Ask questions!

  • Ask your child simple questions about the book
    Examples: What was your favorite part of the book? Where did Corduroy go when he explored the store?

Notice letters!

  • Point out letters in the text. Example: Let’s find the m’s on this page

Flip it!

  • Have your child open the cover and turn the pages of the book while you read.

Name it!

  • Ask your child to name items in the pictures before reading the text.

Chime in!

  • Encourage your child to “read” with you on familiar books and repetitive text.

3 to 5 Years Old

  • Continue reading to your child as he/she ages. Children continue to benefit from being read to in the pre-school years, building essential early literacy skills as they grow into readers.
  • Read to your child every day. Children who have high interest in reading are read to every day, often by multiple people.Make reading a regular event that everyone participates in.
  • Read books multiple times. Reading the same book over (and over) encourages children to participate in the reading activity through contributing to the reading and asking questions.

Think about it!

  • Ask your child questions about the characters or the story that require predicting, imagining, or making inferences.
    Examples: How do you think Madeline feels right now? If you were Peter Rabbit, what would you do?

Make it relevant!

  • Relate books to your child’s life.
    Example: Can you think of a time you were reluctant to try something new like Little Burro?

Begin with sounds!

  • Point out beginning sounds.
    Example: Did you hear a word that started with the same MMMMM sound as your name?

Name it!

  • Practice letter names.
    Example: Name the letters you recognize on the cover of the book.

Read it!

  • Encourage your child to read common words.
    Example: This word, t-h-e, is the. Help me read “the” when you see it in the book

Encourage curiosity!

  • Respond to your child’s questions about letters, numbers, and reading.

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Join the Literacy Council Team in 2018/19

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 next Recruitment and Awareness Coordinator through AmeriCorps. Please follow the link below to fill out your application.

 

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 2018 and complete their service year in July 2019. 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 initial application period closes May 21. 2018 but will be accepting applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Benefits to the Member

NC LiteracyCorps members receive a living allowance of up to $13,732 and qualify for limited health insurance reimbursements. Upon completion of requirements, they are eligible to receive an educational award of $5,920. 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 18 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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