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Literacy Connections of Wayne County

Listing Last Update: June 18, 2018

Location

2001-D East Ash Street
Goldsboro, NC 27530
literacyconnectionsofwaynecounty.org

Primary Contact

Suzie Acree

(919) 735-1990

suzie.acree@waynegov.com

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Educational services

  • Reading and writing
  • Find a family literacy program
  • To help my child learn
  • To study for high school equivalency
  • English language
  • Math
  • How to use Computers/Technology
  • Volunteer at a Program
  • Information about the GED Test
  • Other

Instruction Type

  • Classroom
  • Computer
  • Family literacy program
  • Instruction in Spanish

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Program Overview

Literacy Connections of Wayne County is a non-profit dedicated to developing skills in reading, math, computer and simple finance for adult learners in Wayne County, North Carolina in order that they may achieve success at home, at work and in the community.Our programs focus on a one-on-one partnership between an adult literacy student and a committed, consistent, responsible tutor.

Mission Statement

Our Mission is to provide and promote free literacy services in Wayne County.

Our Vision is that all adults in Wayne County have the literacy skills to succeed at home and in the community.

Hours of operation: M-T, 0830-2000, F 0830 - 1230

Cost info: Free services.

Student and Volunteer Success Stories

Originally from Mexico, Mrs. Garcia-Fernandez came to Literacy Connections to improve her English language skills. As a program participant, she was partnered with tutor Debbie Brantham, a former librarian. As tutor and student bonded and time passed, Margarita made the decision to increase her education, as well as her employment opportunities. Once she felt comfortable that her English language ability would allow her to do well in a classroom, Mrs. Garcia-Fernandez decided to apply to Wayne Community College to start the process that would culminate with her being awarded her High School Equivalency. Not only was Margarita handed her High School Equivalency, she did so while her former tutor and friend Debbie Brantham watched and cheered her on from the crowd. Now that she has achieved this goal, Margarita plans on taking yet another step forward in her education at Wayne Community College, with an eye on career options in the healthcare field. Literacy Connections of Wayne County congratulates Mrs. Garcia-Fernandez in her immense accomplishment starting from her journey in 2012 at Literacy Connections to her graduation from Wayne Community College on May 12, 2017 with her High School Equivalency Diploma.

Ronnie Singleton's childhood began and ended in Charleston, South Carolina. Out of necessity to support his mother and siblings, Ronnie dropped out of school at nine years old to work in the fields and grocery stores. His father was an abusive man, and a lot of responsibility fell on Ronnie's young shoulders. After a particularly bad fight with his father, Ronnie's mother quietly slipped him twenty dollars to get as far away as he could to keep him safe from his father. Eleven year old Ronnie went to the bus station and asked how far twenty dollars would get him and was told Goldsboro, NC.

Not knowing anyone in this new city, Ronnie slept on the streets under bridges from age eleven to eighteen while working for a company making manhole covers. His life changed when a Good Samaritan found him and took him to a halfway house where he could live for $25 a week. Ronnie was able to get a second job and met the girl who would become his wife of 38 years now, Della. Doors opened for work at Lenoir County Public Schools and eventually at Wayne Community College, where he stayed until he retired. All the while, Ronnie could not read, but very few people knew that.

His wife, Della, did. She helped him through the years and also helped their children with their lessons. Reflecting back, Ronnie comments, "I always wanted to learn to read, but no one offered it to me. My father took my education from me." Unfortunately, his work did not allow time for school. He was more focused on making money to support his family, and he could hear news from the television.

Four years ago, Ronnie walked through the doors of Literacy Connections and began working with a tutor so he could learn to read. Ronnie remarks, "I love Connor's ability to teach me and I understand more with his help. The key is open communication and having a great relationship." Connor is using his English degree to become a teacher, and he is regularly here in the center working with Ronnie.

Ronnie's optimism is amazing after all he has been through. He gives encouragement to the other students in the center telling them, "Do not waste any time. Failure is not an option. You fail because you gave up. Now, I love to read!" Ronnie has focused on reading the Bible during his time at Literacy Connections and is working on completing his eighteenth book, the book of Job. Ronnie's wife, children, friends, and church are very proud of him, and so is the staff of Literacy Connections. He inspires us to never give up! His message is one we carry to others in the community who may be caught in the private struggle of illiteracy. In the words of Ronnie Singleton, "once you come through the Literacy Connections doors, there are people waiting with open arms to help."

Billie Jo came to Bank On Wayne (BOW) through the Housing Authority of Goldsboro's ROSS (Resident Opportunity for Self-Sufficiency) program. She is a single mom currently living in public housing, but Billie Jo is highly motivated to transition to an independent lifestyle. At the time she started BOW, Billie Jo was employed part-time, but after completing the training on budgeting she began to recognize that she was going to need full-time employment in order to come up with a balanced budget. The company she worked for offered her additional hours, however public transportation was her only option at that time, and the bus schedule would not accommodate the available work schedule. One of her financial goals was to buy a car and eliminate this barrier. Bank On Wayne Program Manager, Lee Hulse provided one-on-one coaching to help Billie Jo use the information she had learned to create a plan to achieve her goals. Following the plan, saving her money, Billie Jo was able to successfully purchase a car and take on the additional hours at work. She felt empowered. The plan worked! One of the important lessons taught through Bank On Wayne is to plan for the unexpected, however that cushion takes time to build, and Billie Jo was faced with a major car repair before her budget was able to handle it. She again, used the information she was taught, and pulled out her budget to see what she could juggle to get the car repaired and get back on the plan as soon as possible, but the cost of the repair was too high. It threatened to derail all her hard work. She was referred to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul for assistance with the car repair. As she presented her case to the representative at SSVDP, she pulled out her budget that she had developed through the Bank On Wayne program. The representative asked her where she learned to do that, and Billie Jo told them about the BOW program and how the program had helped her to develop a workable plan to assist her in transitioning to an independent life. SSVDP was so impressed with Billie Jo's knowledge and dedication to improving her situation by utilizing the tools she had learned, that they provided the one-time funds to cover the car repair that would get Billie Jo back to work, and back on her plan. Billie Jo has made great progress in a short period of time, and she has not allowed a set-back to deter her from her goals.

Program’s Demographics/Metrics

Literacy Connections provided 125 people with financial literacy education on budgeting, banking and credit in 2017.

Two adults graduated from the local community college and are pursuing higher education in nursing. One of them has received her certificate in home health and is seeking employment in her field.

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Program Status:
Active