WALDORF, Md. — 2018 saw our first Adult Spelling Bee in Charles County with our second Bee in January 2020. We are excited to be able to bring it back.

(You can visit our website at https://www.charlescountyliteracy.org/adultspellingbee/ to see pictures and news of the 2020 Bee.)  

Why the Bee:  Fundraising is an important avenue of raising funds for an organization.  CCLC is no exception to this need.  Recently we were denied a grant from the National Book Foundation.

This grant would have purchased instruction books needed, especially ESOL books.  We received a grant from the Charles County Charitable Trust of $10,000. While grateful for an award, it does represent $2,000 less from last year’s award and $5,000 from the previous years. 

While CCLC must raise funds to meet our small 2022 budget of approximately $38,000, this reduction and loss of the NBF grant adds to “make-up” of revenue.  Fundraising goal:  $10,000.

What can you do:  Support – we need your continued support to have a successful Bee fundraising campaign. 

–Bee a Sponsor/Donor. A sponsorship form is attached detailing the different levels and what each level provides and, importantly, what it supports.

–Bee a Speller.  Within a sponsorship, form a team. Teams are and make the event.  Gather 3-4 and have a fun night out. How about a challenge?  Challenge another business, school or church. (A Team form is attached.)
–Bee a Guest.  Come on out and enjoy a fun evening cheering on the teams.  (An Individual ticket form is attached.)

–Spread the word: Spread the word about the Bee.  A Fall-Bee Flyer is attached. 

We are looking forward to growing the Adult Spelling Bee and making it a true signature event for CCLC.  With your help we can do this.

At a presentation, I was asked, “If they graduated from high school, how can they not read?” While there are many explanations the Literacy Council has heard, here is one, eye-opening explanation directly from a potential adult learner during his initial intake interview. He stated that he grew up in the inner-city DC drug culture, became a dealer and started providing drugs to his teachers. “They knew I couldn’t read well but they kept promoting me to the next grade because I was providing them drugs.” Days before graduation he opted out of graduation since he did not feel that he deserved the diploma.

It is estimated that 18 to 20 percent of adult Americans are functionally illiterate.  (See the attached U.S. Adult Literacy Facts published by ProLiteracy) This means they can’t read directions on medications, figure out a bus schedule, fill out an employment application or read to their children. 

How about to vote? 

We had an adult learner who reached his initial reading goal and then went out and registered to vote for the very first time.  Can they and do they work?  Answer is Yes. One knows their job and what to do, they may have a confidant who reads to them a work order. Adults cope and hide the fact of their low literacy skills.  They fake it!

For 55 years CCLC has been working diligently to train tutors who will then teach essential literacy skills to those who request our assistance. 

Our successes are many.  Since opening our doors in 1964, CCLC has provided all its instructional materials for the tutors and students free of charge.

We rely on donors, our Literacy Supporters, to help us continue forward in the future of outreach and providing Teacher’s Manuals, Student Workbooks, and supplemental readers at no cost to our tutors and students.

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