Requiring English Language on the Pathway to Citizenship

May 17, 2013 at 1:31 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Web_Candelario_StumpLong awaited comprehensive immigration reform is finally becoming a reality. While the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia supports immigration reform, it is a bit daunting. It is likely that any piece of legislation around immigration reform or a pathway to citizenship will include an English language requirement. There are thousands of adults living in Northern Virginia who will suddenly be very interested in learning English. And LCNV is very happy to teach them! Can our 15-member staff and 700 volunteers meet this demand? No. Even today we cannot meet the demand for adults seeking beginning-level English. There are over 80 adults on our waiting list. LCNV has the experience and the desire to teach everyone who wants to learn, but what we lack are resources. LCNV needs financial resources to grow its programs to meet the existing need and what could become a staggering need for adult English language instruction. With the hope of comprehensive immigration reform, comes a greater hope for increased funding, awareness, and support for beginning-level adult English language instruction.

Literacy Means Business, LCNV’s April 18 conference, drew together a distinguished group of panelists from business, government, and policy. Our tutors and students know full well that the work of literacy is serious business. Illiteracy, as the business community knows all too well, affects the ability of workers with low-level language skills to perform adequately and to advance on the job. Experts agree that the solutions will require the collaboration of the business, government, and education sectors. LCNV is eager to find more ways to partner with business. Our new Workforce Literacy Project will work with representatives from business, our board of directors, and staff to promote effective partnerships. Our primary focus will be to create a campaign to interest more companies to support literacy education for their employees, to promote tutoring opportunities for employees, and to obtain more corporate funding. Please contact us if you are interested in getting involved!

Patricia M. Donnelly, Executive Director,
and Carol Ashworth, LCNV Volunteer Basic Adult Literacy Tutoring Placement Advisor
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Rd., Falls Church, VA 22042
www.lcnv.org

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