Tags: Family Learning, thank you!
This FLP academic year was full of changes for me. Change, even when it’s positive, can be very stressful and I’d like to take this time to reflect on this past year and thank all of you who have been involved in the Family Learning Program. In July of last year I embarked on the adventure of parenthood. I left work on a Thursday afternoon, thinking my task list for Monday. Monday arrived and instead of tackling work tasks, I delivered a baby boy, Alexander. I didn’t return to the LCNV office until mid-October and during my maternity leave whatever was on my task list and other work-related items were long-forgotten. I returned to work having missed the intense back-to-school frenzy that I’d grown so accustomed to experiencing: a new group of AmeriCorps members arrived and were trained and FLP registrations happened. I can say with certainty that the Family Learning Program was different for me this year which meant it was probably different for others too. In addition to missing the beginning of our FLP “school year” I spent the remainder adapting and adjusting. Although I believe (at least I hope) that I provided appropriate support to the parents we serve prior to becoming one, now that I am a parent I can relate even more. Now that I have done my fair share settling back in, I hope this coming school year will be dedicated to program improvement and I am very much looking forward to it.
Thank you to everyone that supported me and the program this part year: Minta Trivette, for filling in for me during my maternity leave and doing such an amazing job; Erin Finn, for working closely with and guiding Minta; the lead FLP teachers, for their exceptional teaching and their flexibility (Elizabeth Magee, Serife Turkol, Sanem Cardin, Sheila Weiss); the children’s teachers (Beverly, Virginia, Nancy at Crestwood, Mirna, Nancy at Woodlawn, Josephine, Ysabel, and Shahida); the FLP volunteers, for their time and talent (Jessica, Marla, Jeff, Fred, Veronica, Judy, Vicki, Stephen, Maria, Kristen, Samantha, Judy, Amy) and a very special thank you to this year’s AmeriCorps members (Alicia, Jose, Kerrin and Sara) who all taught FLP classes, managed paperwork, participated in projects and did so in such a professional way. And thank you to anyone else who I may have left out.
-Carisa Pineda, Family Learning Specialist
I started my time with the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia in February 2007 as many do, by training to become a tutor in the Basic Literacy Program. Since that time, I have been assigned three students, and my current student is on his way to becoming a United States citizen. Tutoring is very gratifying, and I have enjoyed all of my students.
In October 2007, I also began volunteering in the LCNV office. This is work that I also find gratifying and interesting. The tasks that are assigned are varied and range from entering data from the tutors’ Quarterly Reports and information on new students and tutors to assisting in the preparation for tutor training sessions.
One of the most interesting tasks that I have been assigned is typing the students’ essays as a part of the publication for the LCNV Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony. Each year, the theme for the student essay contest differs. For 2010, the theme was “We Help Each Other.” The students’ essays were heart warming and instructive, and it was a pleasure to be able to read them all. Take a look at the latest LCNV report on the 2010 Annual Meeting and you will see what I mean.
The LCNV office is a pleasant place to volunteer, and the staff is very helpful. If this is the type of volunteer work that you find interesting, I urge you to come in and help out in the LCNV office. There is a lot of work to do, and I am sure that you will find it a rewarding time.
~Lynn Gallagher, LCNV Volunteer
LCNV’s Annual Meeting is 7-9pm this Thursday, June 17th at the James Lee Community Center! All volunteers and students are invited and welcome to bring their families and friends. All evening classes on June 17th will be canceled for the meeting. We hope to see everyone there!
I am attending two high school graduations in the next two weeks, and the Literacy Council is hosting its own version of a Commencement Ceremony on June 17th. June is an exciting time for transitions and celebrations. I often compare The Literacy Council’s Annual Meeting and Award Ceremony to a high school graduation because there are definite similarities and yet, distinct differences between the two as well.
High school graduation ceremonies celebrate the successful completion of 12 years of education and the beginning of life as an adult with choices about continuing education. The event is filled with emotions of excitement, anticipation, and finality as young people face the new reality of days not filled with school, homework, and a built-in social network. The young graduates are finished with one chapter of their lives and now will choose a path to advance to the next, whether it’s for work, travel, college, or family-a world of opportunities to grow and learn. It’s definitely a cause for celebration any way you look at it.
The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia’s event celebrates success but not necessarily completion. More often, for Literacy Council learners it’s only the beginning of their educational journey. The same emotions of excitement and anticipation fill the space but not the finality of a required education. The excitement and anticipation speaks to how much they have accomplished to date and how eager they are to learn more. Education is choice. Most of our adult learners are making tremendous sacrifices to attend class or weekly tutoring sessions. And it is not days filled with school, but days filled with work pressures, family obligations, and balancing time constraints; school is squeezed in as a luxury.
LCNV’s Annual Meeting and Award Ceremony is a big celebration, too. Literacy Council learners have made an important and life-changing choice. We celebrate their progress, their sacrifices, their persistence, and hopefully provide the encouragement they need to keep learning and growing.
Congratulations to successful learners of all ages.
~ Patricia M. Donnelly, Executive Director