Four Reasons to Give Today!

December 27, 2011 at 3:17 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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Did you know that your donations to LCNV may be eligible for a 40% state tax credit? But that’s only one reason to take action today. Here are three more:

1. The median family income of an LCNV learner is less than $20,000, yet the median family income in the Washington Metro Area is $103,500.[1] We need to act now to ensure that LCNV’s adult learners have the economic security they need to improve their lives and the lives of their families.

2. Our students struggle to pay their $50 class fee. During the fall semester, 37% of LCNV learners requested scholarships – an increase of 7% over last fall. We need your help now to ensure that our scholarship fund has enough money to help the students who will come to us for class in January.

3. Improving a mother’s educational level is one of the best ways to improve a child’s own success in school.[2] Over 70% of LCNV’s 1,500 learners are women, and they report 1,100 dependent children in their homes. We need your support so that our learners can feel confident in being their children’s first teachers.

I need you to be part of our movement. It’s going to take all of us working together to ensure that all of the adults in our community have the education they need to be on the path to prosperity. We can’t do it without you.

Please make a tax-deductible donation today.

After you donate, I need you to spread the word. Follow LCNV’s Facebook and Twitter, to see the profound difference that your investment makes in the lives of LCNV learners. Pass this message on to someone who you want to invite to join our movement. In doing so, you not only double your own impact, you give someone else the opportunity to double theirs, too.

Thank you,
Patricia M. Donnelly
Executive Director

P.S.  I am grateful for a gift of any amount that you can contribute to help our learners gain the literacy skills needed to strengthen our community’s workforce. You can use LCNV’s secure online giving portal at https://www.lcnv.org/donate.

[1] http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/CPHD/housing/hpp/CPHDHousingHppHsgData.aspx
[1] http://www.nationalcommissiononadultliteracy.org/ReachHigherAmerica/ReachHigher.pdf

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Thank You LCNV Students & Supporters for a Great 2011!

December 22, 2011 at 12:02 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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LCNV held its annual Holiday Potluck Party this past December 6, 2011. Over 250 staff, students, and supporters came together in the spirit of the holiday season, and shared a meal and conversation.

An array of mouthwatering foods adorned the serving tables; their aromas drew large crowds, which devoured the eclectic mix of home-cooked dishes. Santa and his AmeriCorps-elf helpers entertained children and passed out gifts. Many children and their parents gathered around the crafts table, cutting and folding brightly colored fans. Mary Ann Nocerino, President of the LCNV Board of Directors, led a mystery prize giveaway; twenty individuals walked away with a LCNV t-shirt, or bookmark and other goodies.

A particularly moving moment of the evening included volunteers sharing their experiences as LCNV tutors and talking about the bonds they have formed with their students. The event ended joyously with full bellies, and children sent home with a book.

LCNV would like to thank Joe’s Place Pizza and Pasta in Arlington for the discounted pizzas, as well as Single Volunteers of DC. The LCNV Annual Holiday Potluck Party would not have been a success without Mary Tack, LCNV’s Development Assistant, who organized and managed the event. Thank you so much, Mary, for all your hard work!

To view more pictures taken at the 2011 LCNV Holiday Potluck Party, please visit: LCNV Holiday Potluck.  

If you missed this event, come see us at Reading: A Family Affair (RAFA) in March of 2012!

Literary Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Rd.
Falls Church VA 2204
(703) 237-0866
www.lcnv.org

LCNV has a gift for YOU this holiday season – a 40% state tax credit for donors in Virginia! Make your donation by December 31.

December 20, 2011 at 2:51 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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Maribel came to LCNV because she wanted to get a job, and needed to improve her reading and writing in English. Even though LCNV offers classes and one-to-one tutoring at one of the lowest costs in the region – just $50 – Maribel needed a scholarship. She was then matched with a LCNV-trained volunteer tutor, Philip, and quickly obtained a job as a hospital aide. Now, three years later, Maribel is off and running. She and Philip just ended their match this December, so that Maribel could continue to more intermediate and advanced education with Fairfax County Public Schools Adult and Community Education.

Philip proudly reports: “One of her new tutors [at Fairfax County] is a LPN and teaches nursing, so she is really perfect for taking Maribel to the next level of learning and moving towards her certification as a Lactation Consultant.  Her other tutor is working with her specifically on the NOVA entrance exam.”

This is exactly why LCNV is here: to help members of our community, who have beginning-level literacy and English language skills, reach the next level. Without the support from people like you, Maribel would have been left behind, unable to obtain the skills she needed to enter even the intermediate classes in the public schools’ adult education program.

Two-thirds of LCNV’s learners fall below 150% of the national poverty level ($33,525 for a family of four), and the median household income of learners is $20,000. That is why LCNV is an approved organization under the Virginia Department of Education’s Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP), which only accepts nonprofit organizations that provide education assistance that benefits a majority of learners with incomes at or below 150% of the poverty level.

Under NAP, business and individuals that donate to LCNV may receive tax credits in Virginia equal to 40% of the donation. Individuals or married couples who donate a minimum of $500 in the form of cash or marketable securities (maximum of $50,000) during the tax year will receive a 40% tax credit on their Virginia State Taxes. Businesses that donate a minimum of $1,000 in cash, stock, merchandise, or real estate (maximum of $437,500) during the tax year will also receive a 40% tax credit on their Virginia State Taxes.

LCNV specially applied to be part of this program for the first time, starting on July 1, 2010, as a way to thank its loyal donors. Make your donation online now using our secure processing system or by mailing a check payable to “Literacy Council of Northern Virginia” and this form to 2855 Annandale Rd, Falls Church, VA 22042. You may also contact me at 703-237-0866 x 109 or seaton@lcnv.org for more information.

Suzie Eaton
Senior Director of Development
Literary Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Rd Falls Church VA 22042
(703) 237-0866
www.lcnv.org

Finding Inspiration in Students

December 16, 2011 at 3:23 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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Typically graduations for me are solemn events that signify an ending, and I’m not good with endings. However, this past week with the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia Fall Graduations, I wasn’t filled with my usual sense of dread at an ending; rather I felt overwhelming pride at my students’ accomplishments. As I scored students’ post tests, I was almost as nervous as if they were my own tests because in a way they were! I felt that if they didn’t improve, I failed as a teacher. However, by the end of this week I realized that scores are not the only way to measure a student’s success. I have several students, who despite the fact that they did not increase their test score,  have increased their confidence and willingness to try and fail before they get it right. I am so proud of all of them, and had a wonderful time celebrating all of their accomplishments at our multiple graduation parties. I think my favorite memory, however, will be salsa dancing with Josefina, a 98 year old student who  inspires me to have a more positive outlook on life and learning, as well as the belief that – to quote my favorite movie – “Tomorrow is another day!”

Catherine K. Ludwig
AmeriCorps Instructor
Literary Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Rd Falls Church VA 22042
(703) 237-0866
www.lcnv.org

Literacy Empowers LCNV Learners

December 14, 2011 at 2:59 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Student Stories, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia aims to empower individuals through the gift of literacy. Read how literacy has empowered these LCNV learners:

When I started living in the United States for America two years ago I saw a lot of changes in my life. For example, the day I started studying English I was not able to even read ABCs, and now I can even read and write. I have come a long way. I’m very happy that I learned English. I really enjoyed studying here and hope to continue my education. I remember a smart saying of Ludwig Wittgenstein, The limits of your language are the limits of your world. So, I am trying to be better every day.”  – Saleha, LCNV Learner 

“Everywhere I see changes in my life. Last year I didn’t speak any English. I couldn’t speak to people. I could not use a bus. I didn’t understand people’s words. It was very difficult. Now I can speak English words. Yesterday I went to the bank to tell them I lost my ATM card and I need a new one. They told me that after two weeks they will send the new one. I understood them! When I go to Safeway I go to the cashier by myself. I got a library card so I can borrow books. Now I can do many things by myself!”   – Florence, LCNV Learner

“My English has been very, very poor and initially I was very, very scared learning English. But her [my tutor’s] methods made this learning experience a great milestone. Her tutoring made learning very interesting and all my fears were gone. I developed self-confidence and it made me pass the challenging citizenship test on my first attempt.”  – Indra, LCNV Learner

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 237-0866
www.lcnv.org

LCNV: 2011 Literacy Champion of Virginia

December 9, 2011 at 1:29 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Uncategorized, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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Recently, the Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Poinsettia Festival Awards Dinner and Dance, which honored the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia with the 2011 Literacy Champion of Virginia award.  The theme of the gala “English Literacy:  Pathway to the American Dream,” spoke to the heart of LCNV’s work, which aims to open doors of opportunities by giving adults in Northern Virginia the gift of literacy.

As president of LCNV’s Board of Directors, I was invited to attend the dinner and award ceremony. The event was held at the Kellog Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University.  Salsa music greeted us as we walked through the doors to the ballroom.   Delicious aromas, emanating from platters of food, enticed our appetites.   Over 100 people filled the room – all dressed in festive attire and ready to celebrate the MAHCC’s Annual Awards Dinner and Dance.

Dr. Jorge Ribas, President and CEO of the Chamber presented the 2011 Literacy Champion of Virginia award with a personal story emphasizing the importance of knowing how to read, write, and speak English.  He spoke of the Council’s valuable work in promoting literacy, emphasizing its important role in the pathway to the American dream.   I was honored to accept the award for the Council.   In accepting the award, I spoke about LCNV’s mission, and the work of Literacy Council’s staff and 1200+ volunteers.  This occasion hallmarked the excitement of the budding partnership between the Literacy Council and MAHCC; working together we will reach and serve more learners and volunteers.

Mary Ann Nocerino, President of the LCNV Board of Directors
Educational Consultant, Reading Specialist

Library Resource Highlight: Vocabulary Teaching Handbook

December 7, 2011 at 2:32 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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The scene is familiar.  You are reviewing material from your last class with your student or students.  After spending two full hours last week drilling new vocabulary and using it in as many creative and memory-burning ways you could think of, you mention the words again and all you get are blank faces.  How is it possible that they don’t remember this word?  You were sure they had it by the end of the class meeting.  What happened?

If this has ever happened to you, don’t worry – you aren’t alone!  Thankfully, we have a multitude of wonderful resources in our LCNV library to help you target what the problem might be and great strategies to avoid it happening again in the future.  One of these resources is the Vocabulary Teaching Handbook by Jayme Adelson-Goldstein.  Published in tandem with the Oxford Picture Dictionary series, the Vocabulary Teaching Handbook is a 40 page resource meant for teachers just like you – working with adult ESOL learners.

According to Oxford University Press’ website, the Handbook is:

A self-directed professional development resource which reviews research into vocabulary learning strategies, lesson techniques and activities.”

I highly recommend this resource as a way to get some professional development while at home in your pjs.  Check it out from our library today!

Jayme Adelson-Goldstein
Author of Vocabulary Teaching Handbook
from the Oxford Picture Dictionary Series

Making Mistakes: An Integral Part of Learning

December 5, 2011 at 3:08 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | 1 Comment
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We all make mistakes.  It’s an unavoidable fact of life and language learning. The important thing is to push past those mistakes – learn from them and enjoy them.  Looking back at my first semester of teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), I’ve certainly made mistakes but I’m a better teacher because of them.

Raymond Chow, AmeriCorps Instructor

I’ve made quite a few spelling mistakes. My favorite spelling errors include accross and umberella.   I am so proud of my students when they don’t let my misspellings stay up on the board.  I haven’t found a more effective way to get my students involved in their learning process than getting them to correct me.

As a teacher, I feel it’s important to show my knowledge is fallible, that I am still learning.  Language learning is an ongoing process.  Except perhaps E.B. White, we all make mistakes and we keep growing from them.

Raymond Chow
AmeriCorps Instructor
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, Va 22042
(703)237-0866 ext 112
www.LCNV.org

You’re Invited to LCNV’s Holiday Potluck Party!

December 2, 2011 at 11:58 AM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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It’s only been a week since Thanksgiving and at LCNV we are ready for another party.   This is the Holiday Season, and we want to make sure all of our friends and family have a wonderfully happy holiday season.

Please plan on joining us on Tuesday, December 6th at the James Lee Community Center.
Bring your whole family and a favorite dish to share with 6 – 10 people.

The holidays are a time to recognize and remember the generous people who give so much of  their time, talent, and treasure to support the work of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia. This season is also a time to thank the hard-working adult learners who help promote the success of the Council through their own achievements.  In addition to our supporters and students, the Literacy Council is grateful to the James Lee Community Center who provides not only LCNV’s office space, but their big gymnasium for our big party.  LCNV has a lot to celebrate and we would love to have you there celebrating with us.  Please come.

When : Tuesday, December 6, 2011 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Where : James Lee Community Center, 2855 Annandale Road, Falls Church, VA 22042

Patricia M. Donnelly
Executive Director
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 237-0866
www.lcnv.org

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