Literacy and Social Justice

February 10, 2021 at 9:30 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Literacy and Social Justice

Marwa joined LCNV as a Beginning English student last year during the pandemic. After learning English with LCNV, she is now able to address her concerns and hopes in this newly acquired language. In the essay below, Marwa addresses issues that are unique to her and those who migrated to the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the vaccine is now starting to become available, we would like to share her essay as a flashback to the difficulties LCNV and our students have been through during the pandemic. We really went through a lot together! Read her essay below:

“The coronavirus pandemic is having a profound impact on the personal and professional lives of people all over the world in a variety of ways. It has turned our lives upside down, desperate for a sense of normalcy. Even in our dreams we couldn’t have imagined ourselves confined in our homes, with no outings and ability to meet our friends and relatives. This pandemic has affected thousands of people who are either sick or have died, due to the spread of COVID-19. We are feeling helpless and vaccines are not yet available. The healthcare sector is just recommending for us to practice social distancing to avoid spreading the disease. This is a universal challenge which impacts the mental and physical situation of humans.

In addition to this, relocating to a new country itself is a big challenge for everyone. I have moved here during the COVID-19 outbreak, about four months ago. At first, we kept a strict quarantine. During the first months in quarantine, I started my English lessons online. I kept studying my English language. I made efforts to be productive due to quarantine days. I would have hoped to attend in person English classes. I have made new friends here. This way I could see more of the city, communicate with new people and become familiar with a new culture. One of the most important things we are concerned about is finding a job to support our family. During the lockdown period, closure of most workplaces, it’s not easy finding a job. Nevertheless, this situation has given us a new chance to look at things differently, and it has made us realize the value of everything – health, family, friends, food… I hope for god’s blessing on us and remove disease, inshallah.”

At LCNV, we are dedicated to helping our students become more involved in their community via the power of English literacy. On March 25th, LCNV will be holding our annual fundraising event, A Taste of Literacy, featuring stories from our learners sharing their victories and challenges as English language learners during a pandemic. Guests will be able to follow along at your own pace, as you receive videos and messages via email throughout the day. Join us!

“I am taking advantage of my time to improve my English”

January 24, 2021 at 9:30 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on “I am taking advantage of my time to improve my English”
To better support our learners, LCNV holds instructor trainings and BEST Plus Trainings to measure and aid students’ learning process.

Today is International Day of Education, a special day observed by the United Nations to address the importance of education. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a global learning disruption, which, according to the UN, has affected the lives of 1.6 billion students in over 190 countries due to the closure of schools, universities, and many literacy and lifelong learning programs.

During this crisis, LCNV has been fortunate in being able to support a group of truly committed learners in continuing their education through various distance learning channels, such as online education. Marlon is one of our students in these programs. Because of COVID-19, he went back to his home country to be with his family, but continued to attend classes with LCNV virtually. From his essay, we can sense his dedication, positivity, and belief in his future. Read his essay below:

“Since I returned to my country, Guatemala, I have felt better. Now I can spend time with my family and fight for my goals and dreams. I am aware that I have the opportunity to look for better jobs and better opportunities because I speak English. However, it has not been enough to get a job right now. COVID-19 has stopped almost everything in my country. Learning and practicing English has helped me during this moment because I am taking advantage of my time to improve my English and I am lucky to keep in touch with all the amazing people that I met at the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia through online Zoom classes.”

At LCNV, we are dedicated in helping our students become more involved in their community via the power of English literacy. If you believe in our cause, please consider volunteering with us or making a donation.

Well Wishes for New Year 2021

December 23, 2020 at 9:30 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Well Wishes for New Year 2021

Happy holiday season! When COVID-19 first hit this area in March, who would have expected that at the end of this year, we are still not able to see each other. Despite of the physical distance we had with each other, we have been through an extraordinary year and achieved so much together.

Eileen started to volunteer with us in 2017, and is one of our 2020 Volunteer of the Year awardees. “When I first found out about LCNV’s mission and volunteer opportunities,” shared Eileen, “I felt the calling as I love teaching and am eager to help those in need of a ‘foot up’ in their ability to communicate functionally and effectively.” At LCNV, Eileen enjoys her conversations with students, and is always amazed at the students’ determination and warmth. During this  time of the holiday season of love, and togetherness, she shares her thoughts and hopes for the upcoming year:

As we quickly come to the end of a quite unusual year, I would like to share a few well wishes and expectations for both students, staff, teachers, and aides as we move forward.

  • Health – Above all, my hope is that we remain safe and healthy as we celebrate our culture and our holidays.  Share the joy of being alive!  Too many of us, myself included, have experienced the death of one or more loved ones this year.
  • Connection – I look forward to that first hug with one of my brothers, sisters, grandchildren, children, and friends.  In the meantime, it’s always good to hear a voice on the phone or even better, Zoom or Facetime.  I know we all look forward to having our in-person classes with fewer blips from inconsistent technology!
  • School – Just as all the adults anticipate being person-to-person, we look forward to having our children return to in-person learning.  I look forward to seeing the FLP program up and running with children benefitting along with their parents from this vibrant LCNV program.
  • Hope – This, above all, we can all hold on to, as the anticipation of a vaccine looms large on the horizon.  We have hope for even better days!  And with those better days, LCNV carries on enthusiastically and joyously!

We cannot emphasis enough that we are truly grateful for the resilience, support, and courage shown by our community this year. During the classes, one of our students commented that, “you light our path of darkness”. But we’d like to say that it is the diligence of our students, dedication of our volunteers and instructors, and support of our donors that formed the light, and lit our path through this special year. As we set sail into the up-coming year, we look forward to being able to see everyone in-person soon, and create more memories with you.

Happy Holidays, LCNV community!

“The most important thing to me is success. English helps me to achieve success.”

November 11, 2020 at 9:30 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on “The most important thing to me is success. English helps me to achieve success.”

It’s been a while since we shared an essay from one of our students! If you didn’t already know, LCNV’s 2020 Annual Recognition Ceremony Program Book has been published – in this document, we shout out our biggest achievements and give thanks to the community, recognize excellent teachers and students, and most importantly, we share essays written by our students! Here is a sample, you can read the first essay in the book, written by Sajida about success:

The most important thing to me is success. It’s a thing I must have. Success can mean a lot of things to different people.

English language plays an important role in our lives because it makes possible communication between different countries as the only common language across the globe.

English helps us to have more opportunities in life – first of all our careers.

It is most widely used in communicating around the world. Also it is spoken as the first language in many countries. English is playing a major role in many [sectors] like education, medicine, engineering and business. There are many reasons that make English the most important language in the world.

The light of the world, the beacon in the dark and the hope that gives us strength to survive is our teacher. A good teacher helps us to become good human beings in society.

I am very lucky to have been with LCNV. Now I feel very happy because I am improving my pronunciation skills.

LCNV is a place of inclusiveness and improvements. There are many kinds of teachers and workers. Everyone is very nice.

At LCNV, we are dedicated in helping our students to get involved in their community via the power of English literacy. If you believe in our cause, please consider volunteering with us or make a donation. For more essays written by our students, please read LCNV’s 2020 Annual Recognition Ceremony Program Book!

Join Us for the Annual Recognition Ceremony!

October 20, 2020 at 9:30 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Join Us for the Annual Recognition Ceremony!

Join us for

the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia’s

Annual Recognition Ceremony,

an evening celebrating the incredible work of LCNV’s students,

community partners, volunteers, and instructors.

This will be a FREE virtual event

on Thursday, October 29, from 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM.

You won’t want to miss hearing the powerful stories of our learners.


My Teachers Really Helped Me During the Quarantine Order

September 8, 2020 at 9:30 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on My Teachers Really Helped Me During the Quarantine Order


Stan’s class

September 8th was declared international literacy day by UNESCO in 1996, to remind the public of the importance of literacy education for individuals and the society as a whole. This year, International Literacy Day focuses on “Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond,” and we especially would like to address the stark disadvantages our community faces during this time and what we can do for them. According to United Nations, “during COVID-19, in many countries, adult literacy programs were absent in the initial education response plans, so most adult literacy programs that did exist were suspended, with just a few courses continuing virtually, through TV and radio, or in open air spaces.” However, at LCNV, thanks to the help, creativity, and contributions we have received from donors, volunteers, and teachers, we made it possible to keep adult literacy education going through this difficult time via virtual platforms, and to support dedicated learners like Chang:

“On an early Friday morning in March, I heard news about the stay at home order from the Virginia government until further notice. At that time, the medical workers and the government were fighting the coronavirus pandemic all over the world. Meanwhile, my company closed too. Also, I learned that my English class will not open at the library. I thought the library would reopen in about two or three weeks. But this is May 12th and it has not returned. Therefore, I have been staying home all day except grocery shopping. It is not easy, boring and sometimes depressing.

After around one week, Mr. Stan who is my English teacher texted us that he will continue teaching English at the Zoom meeting. That made me so happy and excited. Stan and the other teachers went above and beyond [what anybody] expected teaching ONLINE in this Spring term. At the end of my class, I took a test which was good. Now, I am used to speaking English more fluently with my colleagues and classmates who have different cultures.

Thank you Stan, Mike, Karlene and LCNV. They gave it their all to us during the pandemic. I hope you are all safe and will see you all at the library soon. Thank you.”

At LCNV, we are dedicated in helping our students become more involved in their community via the power of English literacy. If you believe in our cause, please consider volunteering with us or make a donation.


Insight from an LCNV Teacher: How LCNV Enhances Reading as a Family Activity

August 26, 2020 at 11:48 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Insight from an LCNV Teacher: How LCNV Enhances Reading as a Family Activity


Students choosing books from the library

Earlier this month we celebrated International Book Lovers’ Day on August 9, a day dedicated to reading and literature. In LCNV classrooms, teachers always put a strong emphasis on the importance of books and the habit of reading, as it is not only an integral part for literacy development, but also opens doors towards independent learning and enjoyment. Especially in our Family Learning Program (FLP) classrooms, we make a point to emphasize the significance of reading as a part of family education – for this month’s blogpost, we would like to share more with you about how LCNV tries to emphasis reading as a family activity from the aspect of one of our Family Learning Program Teachers, Elizabeth:

“As a teacher at LCNV Family Learning Program, I want our students to experience the warm welcome public librarians show every person who comes to their community library. Ever student can have a library card and use all the facilities the library has to offer. It doesn’t matter whether or not you can read. Babies can come to the library with their parents for play time and story time. Older children and adults can come to the library for computer class or to use the computers for their personal study. Members of the community can come to the library to be in a place to have some quiet time with themselves. Learners who attend the Crestwood Families Learning  Program participate in a field trip to the Richard Byrd Library every semester because we want our students to experience the community library and to see it as a resource they can use to continue to work toward their personal goals.

Books and other resources at the library come in many varieties.  Some of our English learners need books with a lot of pictures in the beginning. Our community libraries are filled with such appropriate materials, and librarians are eager to help English learners find what they need.

In addition to visiting the Richard Byrd Library and obtaining library cards for all our students, we have a Classroom Library. Our Classroom Library provides students with books students can take home to share with their children and families, books which can help with English practice, and books for relaxation and fun. By borrowing and returning books in our Classroom Library, students get practice in using the library so that they become familiar with the process and can feel comfortable borrowing and returning materials in the community library as well.

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Students holding their own “tiny books”

We also make our own books during class. Right from the beginning of class, even students who know only a few words of English can make tiny books.  Some students in our very beginning class choose to use one word and one illustration per page, using the words they know.  Others tell stories with complete sentences.  Student use what they know of the language.  The tiny book makes this a light-hearted educational activity.  The important thing is that everyone appreciates everyone else’s book and finds enjoyment in using the new language.  Students have much to talk about when they share their tiny books!”

To ensure better quality and variety of communications, LCNV has altered our blog post frequency from weekly to monthly, and created a campaign to share monthly eblasts based on current happenings, special occasions and celebrations of the month. If you would like to receive these messages, join our mailing list!

Way to Go, LCNV Community!

July 10, 2020 at 9:30 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Way to Go, LCNV Community!
Congrats to students
Dear LCNV Community,
What a strange time the last few months have been! With the development of COVID-19, LCNV transformed all of our classes to online platforms and successfully completed our teaching and learning during the spring semester. As pleased as we have been by the effectiveness of this new teaching method, we are more touched by the dedication, devotion, and resilience stirred by the current situation from our staff, instructors, volunteers, and especially our students.
Since we cannot express our heartfelt thanks in person, we prepared the following videos to congratulate our students, say thank you to our instructors, and express our love to all of LCNV’s volunteers and to everyone that supported our community in another successful school year!

Great Job, Students!
Words of congratulations and appreciation to our dedicated students, from Roopal Saran, LCNV’s Executive Director

Thank you, Teachers!
A heartfelt thank you message prepared by Xavier Muñoz, LCNV’s Associate Director of Teaching and Learning

We Love You, Volunteers!
A delightful message from Amy Tristan, LCNV’s Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator

We have also prepared an album with fun moments captured in classrooms, conferences, and in the community in general: see the pictures!

All that is left to say is:
With most sincere gratitude and appreciation,

“I Won’t Give Up”

June 17, 2020 at 9:30 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on “I Won’t Give Up”

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Yeon has been a student with LCNV for  some  time, and we are delighted to see her improve day by day. Read her essay on her journey learning English below:

“I moved to the US the 27th of August, 2018. When I arrived, I couldn’t speak English. I was afraid to live in America. I found a place to learn English. I started to learn English at the library, but now I learn English [with LCNV at the Korean Community Service Center]. It is hard for me to study English, but I won’t give up. I have a dream to study English and go to college. I want to teach English to people who do not know English so I memorize new vocabulary every day.”

At LCNV, we are dedicated in helping our students  get involved in their community via the power of English literacy. If you believe in our cause, please consider volunteering with us or make a donation.

“English Opens a New World for Me”

June 10, 2020 at 9:30 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on “English Opens a New World for Me”

Bin has always been a very diligent student here at  LCNV. With a very positive and tenacious attitude, his English has improved steadily. Through learning English we are happy  that Bin is now  able to have more interaction in his neighborhood, and does not feel so secluded  anymore! Read Bin’s essay below:

“My name is Bin and I was 63 years old when I moved from China. I knew a little English but I could not understand a lot. My understanding was very poor so I could not make new friends and couldn’t do anything. I was feeling lonely. My wife and my daughter decided to find an English school for me. They said that it is important to have guidance from teachers and to meet other students.

I am grateful for the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia and Ms. Valerie. She is my English teacher. By learning English, I can be involved in more conversations. I can state my opinions to my daughter, pay my own bills and make friends. Something I am very grateful for is my teachers and classmates who helped me overcome my initial fears, for making my English better, and for making my life feel happier.

I need to continue to learn English. English opens a new world for me. My plan is to continue studying at the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia. I need to continue to learn English, to write, read, and to practice conversation and to improve my socialization because I know English can change my life in the USA.”

At LCNV, we are dedicated in helping our students be involved in their community via the power of English literacy. If you believe in our cause, please consider volunteering with us or make a donation.

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