Tags: alexandria branch library, alumni, AmeriCorps, americorps partners, Amharic, announcement, Basic Adult Literacy, best practices, community, Ethiopia, ethiopian, family, family fun, Family Learning, James Lee Community Center, LCNV, lcnv learners, lesson plans, Library, Lisbeth Goldberg, literacy, literacy council, Loudon Literacy, northern virginia, one-on-one, student story, student testimonial, students, teaching, teaching strategies, training, tutoring, Volunteer, volunteer story, volunteer testimonial, volunteers, Writing
By. Lisbeth Goldberg
There was an announcement by the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia regarding their next volunteer tutor training for ESOL; it’s a structured training program on three consecutive Saturdays, and they assign you a specific student.
I immediately phoned and signed up because I’d been wasting my Saturdays, and I always liked training classes. The three Saturdays were really excellent, with about 35 people in the class. I was assigned an Ethiopian lady who’d completed eight years of school in her home country. She knew a few English words and some of the letters, but couldn’t write her name in English and could not converse in English.
Yesterday, at 4:00 pm, I met with my student, and two of her daughters at an Alexandria Branch Library. The eldest daughter is a college student. Her sister is a senior in high school, and there is another sister who is a junior in high school. The girls were delightful, with an easy laugh. Mom had a solemn face, and she just looked down and sighed. The girls were doing all the talking.
The Literacy Council sends you off to your first meeting well prepared. There are three flyers on a) what to do in your first session; b ) needs assessment and goal setting, and c) a form to be signed by the student, an agreement to study and practice. The eldest daughter read the student agreement to her mom. When they got to the sentence, “Promise to do my homework,” the girls started giggling and laughing at the idea of Mother doing homework. When the daughters got to the statement, “If the student doesn’t do her homework, the teacher might not teach her anymore,” they couldn’t stop laughing. Mom remained rather somber, sighing, and with no eye contact.
Then we began the lesson introducing ourselves by name. I asked the student how I should pronounce her name, and practiced it several times. She listened and practiced pronouncing my name. We did lots of repeats. Needless to say, Amharic and English have very different sounds to some letters and vowels. When Mom got it right, I gave a big smile and clapped my hands — very good. She clapped back and looked me in the eye, even smiled. I had explained to her, she may be a beginning student, but I was certainly a beginning teacher.
I was about to give her a homework assignment, to practice copying her name in English and then write it next class, but she was a step ahead of me. [She] told her daughter to tell me she would practice for next class, and proudly said my name with a big smile.
After the first meeting, the class is one-on-one. But the eldest daughter said that her mom really needed help, so the three daughters will rotate accompanying Mom to class. I’m extra lucky. I have these beautiful, enthusiastic daughters to work with me and to help their Mother learn English. They each thanked me with a handshake, a smile, and a bow on their way out.
I was on a high; it was the best of times!
Please consider becoming a Volunteer Tutor like Lisbeth. Visit Tutoring or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tags: 685.00 Literacy Council of Northern Virginia $1, active, active.com, alumni, AmeriCorps, americorps partners, Basic Adult Literacy, Connections for Hope, Family Learning, footprints for hope, Free Clinic Warriors, Free Clinic Warriors $1, friends, giving, Grumman Team's Fundraising, helping children worldwide, herndon, Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic, Just Neighbors, LCNV, lcnv learners, leave your footprint, literacy council, literacy council of northern virginia, literacy services, make an impact, May 19, northern virginia, NOVA ScriptsCentral, partnership of nonprofit organizations, Reston Interfaith, run for a cause, run for LCNV, run for literacy, set someone on the path to empowerment, show support, thank you!, Vecinos Unidos, Volunteer, volunteers, walk for a cause, walk for hope, walk for literacy
Footprints for Hope is an opportunity to have fun while helping our neighbors in need. Volunteer, run or walk, or donate to LCNV on Saturday, May 19, 2012. Footprints for Hope will be held at Connections for Hope, a partnership of nonprofit organizations and service providers. Registration begins at 8 AM.
As one of the six beneficiary charities, the Literacy Council needs the support of volunteers. Examples of tasks you might be doing include registering walkers, setting up the course, distributing water, cleaning up the course and helping with entertainment and hospitality. Sign up for a shift today!
Unable to volunteer? Run or Walk at Footprints for Hope. With your registration form, pick the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia so that your registration counts towards our team. Click here to register: http://www.active.com/donate/footprintsforhope.
Not in town or have other plans? Support the Literacy Council by donating to our Walk for Hope team: http://www.active.com/donate/footprintsforhope/lcnv. Help us provide adult learners with one-on-one tutoring and English language instruction right in their own neighborhood.
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Join us for Footprints for Hope and you CAN set someone on the path to empowerment!
- Volunteer – Help is needed with set up, hospitality, and course directions. Sign up for a shift today!
- Run or Walk – get out in the community to show your support! Click here to register: http://www.active.com/donate/footprintsforhope.
- Donate – can’t join us? Support LCNV’s team: http://www.active.com/donate/footprintsforhope/lcnv
Connections for Hope is a partnership of nonprofit organizations and other service providers that operate under one roof in Herndon to provide individuals and families in need with access to an integrated array of services. From medical care to job skills training, homework assistance to legal counseling, English classes to homelessness prevention, these and other services at Connections for Hope foster the self-sufficiency, good health and education that people of all ages and cultures need so that they can participate constructively in their communities.
Your gift toward our Walk for Hope team will help LCNV provide adult learners with the English language and literacy instruction that they desperately need, right in their own neighborhood.
Support LCNV on May 19th and leave your footprint.
Tags: 24 hours of giving, 24 hours of giving today, act for alexandria, alexandria charities, alexandria non-profits, alexandria nonprofits, alexandria services, alumni, AmeriCorps, americorps partners, an act for alexandria initiative, announcement, Basic Adult Literacy, be generous be alexandria, community, give, giving, LCNV, literacy, literacy council, literacy council of northern virginia, may 2, Spring 2 ACTion, spring for alexandria, Spring to action, Spring2ACTion, support literacy, thank you!, what if we all gave on one day
Today is the day – Spring2ACTion is here! For the next 24 hours, our community will come together to support Alexandria non-profits. Will you help us? If you give today, the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia could win up to $30,000 in grants and prizes!
Go online today and support the Literacy Council on Spring2ACTion day: http://spring2action.razoo.com/story/Lcnv
While helping LCNV become eligible for $30,000 in grants and prizes, your donation can also:
- enable LCNV to bring much needed literacy services to adults in Northern Virginia;
- fund a scholarship for one adult learner;
- train two tutors to work one-to-one with adult learners;
- support a mother and her two children through a 12-week Family Learning class;
- sponsor a class of 30 adult learners.
Help us spread the word and let everyone you know that today is the day to give to Alexandria nonprofits! Tell your friends! Forward this blog! Share it on Facebook and Twitter! Follow the leader board and help the Literacy Council get to the top! Visit the live leader board at Spring2ACTion.Razoo.com and cheer us on!
Ready, Set, Give! Support literacy in Alexandria today – Spring2ACTion day! Thank you for your support!
Be Generous. Be Alexandria.