Literacy Together (formerly Literacy Council of Buncombe County)
The mission of Literacy Together is to transform lives and communities through the power of literacy. Our vision is for a just and equitable community in which literacy is accessible and achievable by all.
Equity underlies everything we do. We serve immigrants, low-wealth, and disadvantaged individuals of every age, race, and gender. Literacy is a primary determinant of health, employment, income levels, and constructive self-expression. Without intervention children who do not read proficiently become adults with low literacy and the cycle continues. Our one-on-one and small group tutoring is free and based on students’ schedules, making it accessible to those who would otherwise be unable to afford or attend traditional classroom settings.
Literacy Together has been a vital resource in the community for 35 years, promoting comprehensive literacy and English language skills. A lack of basic literacy is a relatively hidden yet pervasive challenge in our community: 10% of adults read, write, or spell below a third-grade level (National Assessment of Adult Literacy). Low literacy skills keep talented individuals from finding living-wage jobs and limits their ability to help their children in school. Research shows that children of parents with low literacy skills have a 72% chance of being at the lowest reading levels themselves, making low literacy and poverty an interconnected, generational cycle.
Our four programs meet a critical need in the community:
The Adult Literacy program teaches reading, writing, and math to English-speaking adults who read at or below a basic skills level. This program typically serves 50 students per year. Adult Literacy students come to us because they want to improve their job prospects, help their children in school, earn a High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma, and/or improve their ability to thrive in today’s world.
The Youth Literacy program improves the academic achievement of children and teens from low-income families who struggle with literacy skills. The project trains volunteer tutors who provide free, one-on-one, long-term instruction in reading, writing, and spelling. This program serves 40 students per year and has a 100% success rate.
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
The ESOL program teaches oral English, reading, and writing to adults who have immigrated to the U.S. from around the world. With 250 adult students enrolled each year, the ESOL program serves approximately 80% of all Literacy Together students. Our students’ most common goals in learning English are to improve their employment prospects, get help studying for the U.S. Naturalization exam, and help their children in school.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library®
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library seeks to positively impact the pre-literacy skills and school readiness of children under the age of five in Buncombe County by mailing a free, age-appropriate book to registered children each month. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library creates a home library of up to 60 books, instilling a love of books and reading from an early age. This Literacy Together program will serve over 4,200 children during the 2020/21 fiscal year.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions!
Service Areas: Buncombe
BRPC Supporter: Donor