One of our most important goals as an organization is to facilitate improvement in our students’ employability skills. Some of our students come to us with very specific work-related goals. Teresita, for example, is a registered nurse in Costa Rica, and she wants to continue that career as she makes her life in the United States. When she came to us looking for a tutor, we talked about this goal. We were able to find a tutor who retired from nursing and was happy to work with Teresita using health-related texts. Please click here to watch a brief and inspiring video from Sheila and Teresita.

Maria de Lourdes and her daughter, Geraldina, participated in Blue Ridge Literacy Council’s September 2018 Family Literacy class. The following paragraphs are excerpts from her evaluation of the class:

The most informative thing we’ve learned in our Family Literacy classes was to read daily with our children and to sing to them. The information about healthy food for children was new to me. I learned about resources available in the community that can help my family. There are places I didn’t know about. I am going to be better prepared for the time when my child enters school.

My daughter is more social with the other children and less timid now that she has participated in the class. She has started asking me to read to her during the day. She plays more with books and pretends to be reading. The children are very well cared for and they have learned a lot in this class.

I would like the class to last longer. I would like to attend an English class, but I can’t now because I don’t have anyone to watch my daughter.

Additionally, Maria de Lourdes reported that she feels she can more effectively make plans for her family’s goals. She feels more prepared to teach her child the basic skills needed for her to enter kindergarten, like counting and learning colors and letters. She understands more about what the school will expect from her daughter, and she feels more confident in being able to advocate for her daughter when she enters school.


This is a course taught over 4 sessions to help those enrolled or preparing to enroll in Medicare, or those providing care to a loved one who utilizes Medicare, understand how to navigate today’s increasingly complex healthcare system. Each session builds upon the previous session.Topics will include Healthcare Access Points, Insurance/Medicare, Billing and Explanation of Benefits. Call the Etowah Library to to sign up! 828.891.6577. View the flyer!

The sessions are from 10:00 am - 11:30 am on the following dates:

August 28
September 11
September 25
October 9

*This FREE program is made possible with funds provided by the Community
Foundation of Henderson County through the Richard J. and Betty A. Scott Estate.

United Way JanAnd Autumn

The donation was used to fund a required training for Jan Lanier, our staff person who facilitates the Family Literacy classes. Abriendo Puertas, the curriculum we use for Family Literacy, published a new edition and is requiring facilitators to receive the update certification. Jan attended the excellent training in late June, and will be implementing the new edition in our next session.

Here is an article from Times News.

Autumn Weil

Blue Ridge Literacy Council

Executive Director


For Immediate Release

Blue Ridge Literacy Council Introduces Alphabetta Bear Quest

Hendersonville, NC June 20, 2019 – The Alphabetta Bear Quest is a fun way to involve our community in a search of this beautiful hand-painted bear located on Third Avenue in Downtown Hendersonville. Search high and low on the bear’s coat to try and find the hidden tribute. All correct entries will be placed in a drawing to receive a gift basket with an autographed "Miss Julia inherits A Mess" by Ann B. Ross, A New York Times Best Seller, items from Gaia Herbs, and a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card. The winner will be notified on 10/3/19. Two generous philanthropists sponsored the bear and the brilliant artist used her talent to bring Alphabetta to life.

Alphabetta Bear was painted by Wendy Brusick in memory of Theodore and Lillian Brusick, lovers of literacy and life-long learning. “We are grateful for the generous gift of Alphabetta Bear, and want to have some fun with the community exploring her alphabet coat and mountain scene. After all, we learn to read so that we can read to learn,” shared Autumn Weil, Executive Director. Visit to enter your guess or email

The Blue Ridge Literacy Council is the only 501©3 dedicated to transforming lives through improved literacy and English communication skills in Henderson County.