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The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia’s headquarters are at the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church, Virginia. This past February 1, 2012, the Center hosted a very special guest – none other than President Barack Obama! LCNV staff and volunteers had the opportunity to see the President in the flesh, and hear his speech on the housing market, which built upon his State of the Union and promised to help homeowners who are struggling with their mortgages.
President Obama called on Congress to make it easier for millions of additional homeowners to refinance their mortgages at lower interest rates. The President stated: “This housing crisis struck right at the heart of what it means to be middle class in America: our homes,” where residents build their families and “plant roots.” Obama’s proposal would give “responsible homeowners a chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage by refinancing at a historically lower rate.” The President also announced new industry standards for mortgage servicers: a “bill of rights” to protect borrowers in their transactions, which would include a simpler, three-page loan document.
LCNV encourages learners to become more civically engaged. LCNV Instructors teach students about paying bills, looking for employment, the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, procedures for U.S. naturalization, and U.S. history and government. A number of our students will be voting for the first time in the upcoming Presidential Election, and some are studying to take the citizenship exam. Moreover, command of the English language enables learners to have the confidence to be active in their communities – whether that’s voting for the first time or obtaining citizenship; reading a map to take public transportation to work; communicating with a child’s teacher; or voicing one’s opinion at a school or town meeting. Civic engagement for the majority of our students begins with literacy.