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Friends of Literacy

Together we are growing a literacy rich community.


Memberships are good for one year, beginning when the membership is purchased and lasting 12 consecutive months.

Your contribution provides teaching material, volunteer and staff training, financial workshops, technology and other learning resources and support to adult learners in your community. 


Individual Friend ............................................................... $10 - $49

Family Friend .......................................................................... $50 - $99

Contributing Friend ...................................................... $100 - $499

Supporting Friend ........................................................... $500 - $999

Sustaining Friend .............................................................. $1,000 Plus

Literacy Journeys

Family Economics for Victims of

Domestic Violence Program


We are also grateful for support from our community, and we wanted to share some good news with you. Literacy Connections has received a grant from PNC Foundation to work in partnership with Wayne Uplift Domestic Violence Program developing a pilot program designed for women and children who stay at our local shelter. The PNC Foundation grant will enable us to do research, obtain training, and deliver financial education specific to the needs of people in crisis.

Financial control is a common element in abusive relationships, with up to 99% of domestic violence survivors experiencing financial abuse in some form.

Literacy Connections has been educating and empowering people in our community by providing practical information on budgeting, banking, healthy use of credit, preparing for homeownership, and avoiding costly scams since 2014. 


Think for a minute how overwhelming budgeting would be for a person going through a crisis with no income, no savings, and only the clothes on their back. This can be the experience of victims of domestic violence.The question is, “How do you budget when you do not have income?” This both challenged and motivated us to find an answer that would help people in this difficult position. We had to look at things from another perspective entirely. 

People in crisis must rebuild their financial security from the foundation up. They need help building a plan for starting over. In this situation, a budgeting plan must start with setting goals and researching the expenses to reach those goals. The final step is to address the amount of money needed to make their plan work and where that money will come from. It sounds so simple, but in times of crisis when someone is struggling psychologically, it can hamper their ability to connect to the confidence, creativity and resilience that are crucial aspects to building financial security. 

While the staff at our local domestic violence shelter work with women and families to obtain protective orders, provide counseling and case management, and work towards establishing basic needs for these women, Literacy Connections will work alongside them to address their unique financial needs. 

Our goal through the new Family Economics for Victims of Domestic Violence Program is to empower low-moderate income women who are rebuilding their financial security by providing concrete steps to financial independence and self-sufficiency. 

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As the time flies and our homes are full of blessings, let our lives be full of Thanks and Giving as we get swept up in this beautiful time of year. We know that there are many requests for your support, especially at this time of year, and we thank you for giving generously to ensure a literacy rich community.

Wellness for Wayne

Health Literacy is defined as an individual’s ability to 
find, understand, and use health information to make informed
health related decisions about themselves.  

My name is Jamie Stephens, and I am a nurse (RN) with over ten years of experience. Currently, I am attending East Carolina University for my Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), with a focus on becoming an adult-gerontology nurse practitioner. I live, love and work here in Wayne County and want to improve my education to serve my community better. I also volunteer as a tutor at Literacy Connections and see first-hand how low literacy impacts a person’s health. Through my work as a nurse, I have recognized the barriers to patient compliance with doctor’s medical orders. A combination of not enough time between patients and doctors, along with the low rates of literacy in Eastern North Carolina, leaves patients repeatedly failing to manage their health conditions. My goal is to ENGAGE, EDUCATE, and EMPOWER people through a new pilot program hosted by Literacy Connections. 

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Pictured: Interns Jamie & Zoe

Wellness for Wayne is part of my doctorate DNP project, which is an 18-month educational study with the intent of creating a new program that will address and improve health literacy in our community. In 2014, the University of North Carolina partnered with other institutions to map a predictive health literacy model.

This predictive model approximates that 37% of Wayne County, North Carolina adults have basic or below basic health literacy skills.

Studies clearly show that limited health literacy negatively impacts health outcomes including decreased use of primary prevention, mismanagement of chronic conditions, misunderstanding of nutrition labels, medication errors, and increased healthcare costs. Additionally, individuals with low health literacy have a higher risk of hospitalizations.

To help people navigate the confusing medical world of health literacy, I created five videos with the assistance of intern Zoe MacDonald, a student attending the School of Math and Science. 

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During the implementation stage of my project, staff, students and volunteers at Literacy Connections are asked to watch the videos and complete an anonymous survey about their ability to understand, process, and find usefulness from the videos. I will compile the data and write a thesis to complete my DNP program at ECU. I have been very pleased to see that people are willing to participate, and early results show that participants are asking for even more health topics. These videos and future health literacy videos will provide a source of reliable information by a nurse or doctor that can be accessed in the privacy of an individual’s home away from the fast-paced doctor’s office. 

Literacy Connections is honored to have Jamie in our learning center this year to bring awareness and explore possible solutions to low health literacy in Wayne County. Literacy is so much more than reading and writing. It is providing education that empowers people to move confidently to a healthier, more prosperous future. 

If you are already supporting our life-changing work through a membership donation, THANK YOU!  If you are not a Friends of Literacy member yet, we hope that you will consider joining us today through your donation.

Thank you for stopping by! 

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