Chef José Andrés Celebrates Literacy with LCNV

April 24, 2012 at 1:04 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | 1 Comment
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Chef Jose Andrés is featured in Time magazine. Photo by Peter Hapak

The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia is celebrating its 50th year in a really big way! We’ve planned three events: The Golden Reunion (July 1, 2012); One for the Books (October 3, 2012); and Literacy Means Business (April 2012).

Celebrity Chef José Andrés will be a special guest at our gala event, One for the Books! One for the Books will be hosted at the Masonic Temple in Alexandria. Special guests also include award-winning author David Baldacci, and prominent financier Ric Edelman. Robert Egger, President of D.C. Central Kitchen, will be serving as Master of Ceremonies, highlighting the importance of literacy in all aspects of life.

Recently, Chef Jose Andrés was featured in Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the World. In addition to being a phenomenal chef, Andrés is an advocate and fundraiser for D.C. Central Kitchen, whose Fresh Start Catering will be catering One for the Books. Take a moment to read the feature and find out why Andrés is so influential and inspiring.

Mark your Calendars. One for the Books takes place on October 3rd of this year, but LCNV will be hosting its Golden Reunion this July 1st, at the Ernst Community Cultural Center in Annandale. See old and new LCNV faces. Hear from LCNV volunteers and students, whose stories will inspire you. For more information: 703-237-0866 or info@lcnv.org.

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Highlight: BEST Plus Training is a Success

April 23, 2012 at 2:19 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | 1 Comment
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The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia had a busy week of training for LCNV’s classroom programs; we held two trainings for our Student Assessment Specialists (SAS) Team on Saturday, April 14, 2012 and Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Saturday’s six-hour BEST Plus Oral Proficiency Administrator training hosted twenty trainees from five different literacy programs across Virginia.  The Best Plus test is an oral question and answer interview, so there is no reading or writing components.  A tester’s task is to listen to how well the learner uses the English language to express themselves and respond to the questions.

The three-hour training on April 17, 2012, focused just on scoring the test.  Not only did the new volunteers commit to attending these two days of trainings, but several SAS have made time to visit the class sites to get to know our students.  We’re so grateful for their time commitment and I can’t tell you how important this is for our classroom students!

As a SAS, volunteers take their passion for LCNV’s mission and use their BEST Plus certification to test classroom students. Our Student Assessment Specialists get a very special opportunity to exchange with our students, and we hope they feel a sense of community with the class sites where they volunteer.  During our registration days, LCNV administers the test. We also administer the test during the last two class days at the following sites: Herndon, Falls Church, Springfield, Lorton, and several areas of Alexandria.   The test scores are used to place students into their class levels or help redirect them to more appropriate literacy programs.

Big kudos to Ruba Afzal, our Director of Volunteers, for recruiting six of the BEST Plus trainees to be LCNV volunteers!

If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering as a Student Assessment Specialist, please refer them to Ruba (volunteers@lcnv.org) or myself (kbeckman@lcnv.org) with questions!

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

Dinner & Movie Night – Celebrate National Volunteer Week

April 17, 2012 at 12:39 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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In honor of National Volunteer Week, the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia will be hosting a screening of Lost Boys of Sudan, followed by a group discussion with Staff and Volunteers. Pizza and refreshments will be provided. Details follow:

WHEN: April 20, 2012 at 6:30 PM

WHERE: James Lee Community Center
2855 Annandale Rd.
Falls Church, VA 22042

MOVIE SYNOPSIS: Lost Boys of Sudan is an award-winning documentary that follows two Sudanese refugees through their intense journey to the United States. The immigrant experience – whether by choice or by force – is shared by a majority of LCNV learners. As volunteers, you serve a critical role in helping your students to not only learn English, but to familiarize them with American culture and norms that will enable them to participate more freely and openly in their new home. Join us and your fellow volunteers to see how this experience played out for two young men facing the daunting challenges of starting a new life in suburban America. Then share your experiences and ideas to better support your students who are dealing with similar challenges.

RSVP: volunteers@lcnv.org

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

“At 98, Once-Illiterate Lobsterman Is Now An Author”

April 2, 2012 at 1:36 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia considers “At 98, Once-Illiterate Lobsterman Is Now An Author,” a must read! Friends at the Ionia County Literacy Council recently shared the article, which was published by the Associated Press at the Hartford Courant.

The article “At 98, Once-Illiterate Lobsterman Is Now An Author,” charters the life of James Arruda Henry, a lobster boat captain who learned how to read in his late 90s. Henry found inspiration in “Life is So Good,” by George Dawson, a slave’s grandson who learned to read at 98 years old. Driven by Dawson’s narrative and supported by his family, Henry labored over words until he could compose whole essays. Now, Henry’s essays have been compiled in the book “In a Fisherman’s Language: An Autobiography,” available as a Kindle Edition.

An excerpt of article written on James Arruda Henry follows:

Henry said he was taken out of school around the third grade to go to work making concrete blocks, baking bread and doing other jobs. He recalls getting a dollar from his father on the Fourth of July.

“I was so happy that I went straight to the ice cream parlor,” he writes in his book. “I got a glass of milk, a piece of apple pie, a dish of ice cream. After I finished eating I had just enough money to buy a small pack of firecrackers. I lit one and they all went off!!”

His granddaughter had read him an excerpt of the book, “Life is So Good” by George Dawson.

“I said if he can do it, I can do it,” Henry said. “That’s when I started to learn…”

Take a moment to read the article “At 98, Once-Illiterate Lobsterman Is Now An Author.”

Consider reading James Arruda Henry’s collection of autobiographical essays:In A Fisherman’s Language: An Autobiography.”

Lastly, consider reading the story that motivated Henry to learn how to read and write at 98:Life is So Good,” by George Dawson.

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

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