Jessica Raines: My AmeriCorps Year

July 27, 2012 at 12:10 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Comments Off on Jessica Raines: My AmeriCorps Year
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I came to the Literacy Council with practically no teaching experience. My background is in psychology and political science, but I wanted to try something new. I did not really know what to expect from this upcoming year of teaching, but I knew it would be hard and rewarding.

The first semester, my fellow AmeriCorps members and I hit the ground running. I had to learn to teach through trial and error. Quickly, I discovered that teaching is not an easy task. Often, there are so many available resources that you can feel like you are drowning in textbooks, websites, and advice. Plus, actually being responsible for someone else’s learning felt incredibly overwhelming. Part of me expected teaching to come naturally, but I found myself spending substantial amounts of time lesson planning and feeling incredibly nervous before each class.

Teaching is an art AND science; skill and practice are required if you want to hone your craft. As time went on, I became more comfortable with it.  I took advantage of trainings, sifted through resources and articles, and practiced five times a week in front of my own class. Eventually, lesson planning and teaching became easier.  I also stopped stressing about being responsible for someone’s education and focused on enjoying my time with my students; as the saying goes “showing up is half the battle.” Students are ecstatic that someone is willing to take time out of her day to show up to class with a smile on her face and talk to them. I really enjoyed conversing with my students, even though it was extremely difficult at times given their limited language skills. While working with my students to accomplish their goals,  I learned about their lives and cultures, and this was incredibly rewarding – more rewarding than words can express.

Jessica Raines
AmeriCorps Member
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 237-0866 x 104

Supporting LCNV: BeanTree’s Love of Literacy

July 25, 2012 at 1:24 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Uncategorized, Volunteers | Comments Off on Supporting LCNV: BeanTree’s Love of Literacy
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This past spring, Carisa Pineda and Serife Turkol attended the 7th Annual BeanTree Learning Family Picnic at Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg. More than 400 new books were donated by families of students attending BeanTree Learning as part of the school’s 4th Annual “Love of Literacy” Campaign to benefit families served by the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia,  and the Loudoun Literacy Council. The 200 books received by the Literacy Council are very high quality titles that included many board books which are often expensive for our program to purchase. The Family Learning Program will give these books away to the families we serve.

This is the second time the Literacy Council has received such a generous donation from BeanTree. Many thanks are due the BeanTree families who provided the books and a special thanks to Jennifer Bower, the owner of BeanTree, as well as Tracy Gilliam for coordinating the donation.

Founded in 2003, BeanTree Learning is a privately owned and operated Creative Campus for Children developed by Jennifer Bower.




Carisa Coburn Pineda
Family Learning Specialist
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 237-0866

Golden Reunion Rescheduled!

July 10, 2012 at 7:35 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Golden Reunion Rescheduled!

THANK YOU for your patience as LCNV worked during this last week to reschedule our 50th anniversary Golden Reunion, which was cancelled due to the widespread power outage in Northern Virginia. We hope that all of you have regained power and that you did not sustain much damage from the storm. We are so fortunate in that we are able to reschedule our celebration!

 SUNDAY, AUGUST 26, 2012  │ 4 PM to 7PM 

Northern Virginia Community College │ Ernst Community Cultural Center
8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22003

Please join the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia to
celebrate 50 years of promoting literacy!

 Reconnect with old friends, students, tutors, teachers, and supporters.
Hear about the impact the Council has had on the lives of both instructors and learners.
Learn how the Council has evolved to support the changing needs of the community.
Program begins at 4 PM and will be followed by a reception.

 Complimentary Program and Reception │ Dress Casual │ Free Parking

RSVP to 703-237-0866 or

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