June 2011 Newsletter
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June 2011 Newsletter

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This is an example of one of the newsletters I completed for Literacy Volunteers while serving as an Americorps*VISTA.

This is an example of one of the newsletters I completed for Literacy Volunteers while serving as an Americorps*VISTA.

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  • 1. Volume 4, Issue 2 Literacy Volunteers’ Red Cross Change June 2011 Drive and Americorps Week The March 11, 2011 earthquake and Literacy Volunteers has had either an Scott, along with fellow VISTAs tsunami in Americorps State Amanda Poggenburg (Upshur northern Japan Volunteer or Ameri- FRN) and Sarah Wilkinson was an immense corps*VISTA for the (Stockert Youth Center), made tragedy, with a past seven years, and this year’s Americorps Week one loss of life and through the com- to remember. After petitioning the property that will bined efforts of these Upshur County Commission to never be fully dedicated volunteers officially declare Americorps recovered. In the in conjunction with Week for the county, the three wake of this VISTA Jennifer Scott presenting Red Cross the hard work of the VISTAs held a tree-planting cere- representative Robin Moore with the jar. disaster, Literacy director and other mony at Stockert Youth Center on Between the Lines Volunteers decided to hold a volunteers at the center, we have been Monday, May 16th to commemo- change drive here at the center to able to grow our literacy program to new rate the work that Upshur County benefit the Red Cross’ relief effort and record-breaking Americorps for Japan. Initially, we thought it heights. volunteers, would be a simple penny drive, but both past and our students, tutors, board mem- Americorps Week, a present, have bers and volunteers came through week set aside to honor put into the big time, bringing in change, bills, those who serve as Upshur County and even checks! We raised $241.oo Americorps volunteers community andLiteracy Volunteers of Upshur County for the Red Cross, which we pre- and to recognize their to provide a sented to Robin Moore at B-U High accomplishments, was lasting symbol School on Friday, May 27, 2011. May 14th through the VISTAs Jennifer Scott, Sarah Wilkinson, and of the fine work The Japanese relief effort will be an 21st of this year, and Amanda Poggenburg stand around their yet to be done ongoing campaign, and Literacy the theme this year was freshly planted red dogwood tree. by future Volunteers is proud to have been “My Americorps Story.” Americorps volunteers. able to contribute to this cause. Literacy Volunteers’ VISTA Jennifer Spring Book Sale Success Literacy Volun- Literacy Volun- volunteers, it’s safe to say that this teers is gaining a teers made a year’s was a huge success! reputation for record-smashing Additionally, this year we partnered putting on quality, profit! Between a with Brenda Richardson of Silpada bi-annual book large number of Jewelry. Her generous fundraiser sales Though the high quality provided an extra $200 for the center! work is hard, the books given by Silpada is now an ongoing fundraiser rewards and visi- generous donors, for Literacy Volunteers—if you are bility are great, a healthy amount looking for sterling silver jewelry as a and this year’s of media public- gift (or a treat) contact Literacy Vol- spring book sale was no exception: ity, and the solid efforts of all of our unteers for more information! Inside this issue: Bookworm’s May Reading List Spotlight: Computer Classes 2 Classic: “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott Student Spotlight: Debra Haney 2 Contemporary: “Portnoy’s Complaint” by Philip Board Member Spotlight: Jay Bryant 2 Roth Popular: “Water for Elephants” by Tutor Spotlight: Ben Crutchfield 2 Sara Gruen EQT Grant Update 3 Easy Reading: “Living Sunlight: How Annual Appreciation Banquet 3 Plants Bring the Earth to Life” by Got Junk? Annual Yard Sale 3 Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm
  • 2. Spotlight: Computer ClassesLiteracy Volunteers is pleased to finally be able to members of the community who tutoring and recruit-put the spotlight on our computer tutoring ses- may wish to learn more about com- ing community mem-sions! After months of trying to find a suitable tutor puters. In an era defined by web bers who may have anfor the position, we went and found two! Leon connectivity, we are proud to be interest. If you knowLucas, who also works one-on-one as a literacy able to offer these free computer anyone who may liketutor, is in charge of the beginners computer tutor- tutoring services to those who most more informationing course, and Bryan Stewart is the tutor in charge need it. about free computerof our more advanced course, covering everything tutoring, contact the Our plans for the future includefrom E-Bay to Excel. Literacy Center using shifting our present office arrange- the information on theWe’re very pleased to be able to open these services ment to allow for a more dedicated back of this newsletter.up not only to interested students, but interested space for computer classes andStudent Spotlight: Debra HaneyOur student spotlight this month is on Debra since. When asked, Debra says that her fourth on the way) as well asHaney, a two-year student of Literacy Volunteers favorite part of being a student here at the five guinea pigs and two chin-with a baby boy on the way in August! We sat center is the learning, but she also really chillas! She says she likes todown to learn a little bit more about Debra, or enjoys being with the people here, and take her kids to the parkDebbie as she is also called, and how she came to going on the EQT student outings! (although her 14 year-old sonbe at Literacy Volunteers. is always trying to get her to Debra is originally from Baltimore, Mary- play basketball with him) andDebra says that her and her brother both joined land, but her family moved to Buckhannon she likes to come to school toLiteracy Volunteers a few years ago, and when her when she was in the fourth grade, and she learn with her tutor. Goodbrother backed out, so did she...briefly. But she has been here ever since. She lives here with luck with the new baby,came back and has been with the program ever her mother, her brother, her three kids (and Debra!Board Member Spotlight: Jay BryantJay Bryant has been a member of the and settling into his lifelong profes- students at a state and national level. Whenboard since 2003, and says that it was sion: teaching the automotive trade asked why he helps out so much, both at Liter-Dr. Ramirez, our board president, who to Upshur County students. Forever acy Volunteers and 4AAA, he explained that heeventually convinced him to get more humble, Jay was recently asked to believed them to be worthwhile causes.involved with the center. Jay is a con- serve as a national judge for a 4AAA When Jay isn’t volunteering, he can be seenstant staple of our book and yard sales, student auto skills competition in fishing, taking his granddaughter to twirlingoften working the check-out table Detroit, Michigan. As the WV State practice or parades, reading detective novels, orfrom open to close on each sale day. Competition Manager, Jay has helped collecting stamps: Jay’s stamp collection, which many burgeoning students throughJay was born and raised in Buckhan- was initially started by his father, a post office the competition, which providesnon, leaving only briefly for school in veteran, stretches from 1941 to present! $2.5million dollars in scholarships toDanville, VA before returning homeTutor Spotlight: Ben CrutchfieldAs a former West Virginia Wesleyan College librar- it, but he says that he has stayed on all from UNC-Chapel Hill. He and his wifeian, Ben has seen his share of books. But by volun- of these years because he truly believes decided that Queensboro was no placeteering with Literacy Volunteers, the UMC Annual Literacy Volunteers to be a worthy to raise a family, and on a whim BenConference, and the Lions Club, Ben seems to see activity. He started as a board member decided to apply for a job opening at aeven more books in retirement! We caught up with and went on to become a tutor and college library in a town in West Vir-Ben to ask him a few questions about how he came volunteer, which is what he continues ginia called Buckhannon… Ben got theto be involved with Literacy Volunteers. to do now. job, and the rest is history.Ben has been involved with Literacy Volunteers Ben is originally from North Carolina, When Ben’s not volunteering his time,since its inception in 1985 as a representative from but moved to Queensboro, NY after a he likes to swim, to play chess, to travelthe Lions Club. Carolyn Stotts, our founder and three year stint in the Army and ob- the globe, and, unsurprisingly, to read.original director, was the one who told him about taining his Masters in Library SciencePage 2 Bet ween t h e Lines
  • 3. EQT Grant Update: What Have We Been Up To?Our Student Community Empowerment Pro- The food was pretty tasty, and we had two amaz- dents got a lot of their questions about city gov-gram, funded by a generous grant from the EQT ing tour guides! It was a great experience to see ernment answered!Corporation in Pittsburgh, is in full swing, and the behind the scenes side of the hospital, espe- The April 11 trip to Hinkle Glass was our mostwe have gone so many places in just a few short cially in the lab, where the students got to look spontaneous trip yet! After the tour of Hinkle’smonths! In the last issue, we mentioned trips to at blood through a microscope! Glass, which was shorter than anticipated, wea basketball game, a first aid workshop, and a On March 17th, we took the students to a nice found ourselves with a dearth of free time be-restaurant etiquette course. In this issue, we’d Irish dinner at First United Methodist Church tween the end of the tour and lunch. So ratherlike to talk a little more about the other trips and and to a performance of The Glass Menagerie at than go back to the center and twiddle ouroutings we’ve gone on with our EQT students! West Virginia Wesleyan. To kill time between thumbs, we went to the Sago memorial and toOn March 7th, we took the students to Lam- the dinner and the play, our VISTA Jennifer the WV Wildlife Center before heading back tobert’s Winery for a tour of their wine-making Scott took the students on a brief, informal tour Buckhannon for a Mexican lunch at Michoacan!facilities—complete with a few free samples for of the Wesleyan campus, offering trivia tidbits Finally, on April 13th, we went on a grand tour ofour students over 21! In keeping with the wine and historical facts. Buckhannon media outlets, starting with a tourtheme, lunch followed at Gino’s, an Italian res- Moving into April, we took our students on a by Amanda Hayes at the Record Delta, goingtaurant in Weston. fantastic tour of the Upshur County Courthouse onto the C-92 radio station at WVWC, a breakThe next outing was lunch at and a tour of St. on April 5th. The tour, led by Debbie Thacker- for lunch at CJ Maggies, and finishing with a tourJoseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon on March 14th. Wilfong, was informative and fun, and our stu- of the Channel 3 headquarters.Annual Appreciation Banquet a SuccessThough we make an effort to thank students, volun- yond (and there are many who have) we try to rec- rest of the program commenced, opening with ateers, tutors, donors, and community partners ognize them with a lovely certificate and a free speech by Mary Kay Bond, the State Director ofthroughout the work year by word, by thank you dinner. Read Aloud WV entitled “It’s Not Just the Inabil-note, and by the occasional gift card, the truth of ity to Read”, about how literacy is the root of This year’s banquet had a color scheme rather thanthe matter is that sometimes, we just can’t say thank many of our present and most taxing social an actual theme, with ivory parchment and corn-you enough. And for that, we have our Annual dilemmas, and with literacy comes hope for a flower blue being the colors of the evening. TheAppreciation Banquet. brighter future. Afterwards, the presentation of banquet started off with an invocation by Father awards commenced with board members, stu-Held in May at the close of the center’s school year, Ron Nikodem and after a few opening remarks by dents, tutors, special volunteers, and selectedthe banquet is our way of recognizing the efforts Dr. Rigoberto Ramirez and Director Linda Feola, the donors. We had many more awards to present,and involvement of our volunteers and tutors, the guests were excused from their tables to join the but in the interest of keeping the evening brief,achievements of our students, and the generosity of buffet line. Dinner that evening was a tasty baked we have opted to present those awards at a laterour donors and other community partners. As a non rigatoni with house salad and delicious homemade date. Dr. Ramirez issued the closing remarks and-profit, we do not always have the means to send a rolls, and dessert was an exciting medley of tutor, the banquet was adjourned.thank you gift to someone who has done something student, and volunteer contributed potluck desserts.wonderful for us, but we always send a thank you This year’s banquet was a lovely success! See you Once everyone was properly fed and watered, thenote. But for those that have gone above and be- next May, Literacy supporters!Got Junk? Literacy Volunteers’ Annual Yard SaleLiteracy Volunteers partnered up with West Virginia kindly passed on their leftover stock from their This year’s sale featured an unprecedentedWesleyan College’s Center for Community Engage- basement sale, and our al- amount of clothing, withment and Office of Residence Life for this year’s ready large stock from the relatively little in the“Got Junk?” drive at the college. As students move Got Junk drive, our dedi- larger furniture or house-out of the dorms, many of them realize that they no cated volunteers, mostly wares department. Evenlonger need that rug, or that mini-fridge, and maybe students, tackled the daunt- so, our successful adver-all of those clothes won’t fit in their car for the ride ing task of opening and tising and prime locationhome. The junk drive invited students to donate sorting every bag of donated at the Episcopal Church oftheir unwanted (but gently used) items to Literacy goods with grace and good the Transfiguration al-Volunteers as they packed up and moved out of the humor. And of course, we’d lowed for loads of footdorms. As three truckloads of clothes, furniture, and be dead in the water if it traffic, and we made a tidyknickknacks would suggest, the drive was a great weren’t for the efforts and profit to keep our centersuccess! manpower of the Opportu- running for another day! nity House, whose volunteers again proved theirAs for the reason for our drive, our annual yard sale, We’d like to say a special thanks to the Clothes mettle once again by helping to load and unload theit also went well! Between receiving a sizeable dona- Closet, who gracefully received the items leftover massive amounts of donated goods.tion from First United Methodist Church, who from our sale. Keep up the fantastic work!V olume 4, Issue 2 Page 3
  • 4. Visit us on the web! Want to help Literacy Volunteers, but don’t have the time? Here are some easy things you can do to help keep our center running strong! http://lvaupco.webs.com -Do you work in an office, or just have a few empty ink cartridges lying around? Literacy Volunteers is always collecting ink cartridges for the Staples New on the Website: Rewards program to exchange for office supplies, so bring yours in today! -Back issues of “Between the Lines” are -Have extra books lying around? We accept donations for our bi-annual book currently being archived on the website in sales year round. Call for pick up, or just drop them by when you’re around! the “Newsletters” section in .PDF form! -Our “Links” section is currently experienc- -Do you shop at Kroger’s? Chances are you could make us some fundraising ing an overhaul. Do you have any helpful money! Don’t forget to use your Kroger’s Organization card every time you links to suggest? Contact Literacy Volun- shop to raise money for Literacy Volunteers at no cost to you! If you don’t teers and suggest your favorite Literacy have a card, but would like one, come by the center and we’ll get you one! links! -We can always use office supplies and paper products (paper towels, toilet -Unsure of when a meeting date or time is? paper, trash bags, etc.). If you have extras, or are thinking about doing a drive Check the Calendar of Events! at your church or civic group, keep us in mind! Literacy Volunteers of Upshur County 34 Franklin Street -Want to buy a gift for a special lady in your life (or get something nice for yourself?). Brenda Richardson of Silpada jewelry has partnered with us to give Buckhannon, WV 26201 Literacy 25% of any order placed on Literacy’s behalf. Check the center for 304-472-2343 more information and a catalog! lvaupco@wirefire.net The Mission of Literacy Volunteers of Upshur County is to foster and promote literacy and life skills among adults in Upshur County, WV who have low level reading and math skills.Literacy Volunteers of Upshur County34 Franklin StreetBuckhannon, WV 26201