Congratulations to LCNV’s Waddah Kittab!

October 31, 2013 at 4:59 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Congratulations to LCNV’s Waddah Kittab!

Waddah's Naturalization Ceremony

LCNV’s own I.T. Specialist, Waddah M. Kittab, attained U.S. Citizenship on Tuesday, Oct. 29.  Congratulations, Waddah on this important milestone!

“I was surprised by how emotional the ceremony was.  I went expecting a mere protocol, a formality but I was incredibly moved by the stories of the other people obtaining citizenship and the struggles that they overcame to get here—for some of them, attaining U.S. citizenship was the biggest accomplishment of their lives.   I was also pleased to see the faces of supportive LCNV colleagues in the audience.  It all made me feel included as a part of this country, now my country.”

Last year, LCNV teachers and tutors helped 30 adult learners attain citizenship as a goal and another 77 to achieve citizenship skills on the path toward citizenship.

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042

In Tribute to Kay Habeger

October 31, 2013 at 3:42 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on In Tribute to Kay Habeger

Kay Habeger
passed away on October 16, 2013 after her valiant fight with cancer.  Kay and her family deeply appreciate the care provided by the doctors and staff of the Cancer Center at Virginia Hospital Center, especially Doctors Robert Hong and Neelima Denduluri.

Kay was a 1966 graduate of Bishop Denis J. O’Connell high school in Arlington, VA.  Kay’s work experience consisted of extensive work with Safeway District offices and the American History Museum of the Smithsonian Institution where she served as a Management Support Assistant.

Kay was an avid reader and she passionately supported the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia for many years.  In 2004 Kay was recognized as a “Literacy Cares” award winner for her outstanding dedication.

Former LCNV staff member Rebekah Bundang says, “Kay enjoyed meeting new students, not just gauging their reading levels but also getting to know them, and did whatever she could to support successful matches for her tutors and students.  She was dedicated to her volunteering and took it seriously, but she was also very witty and would check in frequently if she had something she thought would make you laugh. “

At the end, the good people of VITAS Hospice assuaged her pain and gave her comfort as she left this life.

In accordance with her request, there will be no funeral or memorial service.

Kay was predeceased by her parents, Richard and Georgette Habeger of Arlington, VA.  Kay is survived by two brothers, Steven (with spouse Cathleen) of Ocean Pines, MD and David (with spouse Karen Barker) of Arlington, VA.  Kay leaves a nephew; Scott Habeger with spouse Amy and sons Jacob and Noah of Bishopville, MD and two nieces Kelly Bald with partner Sheryl Bald and son Spencer of Somerdale, NJ and Gillian Hammond with spouse Josh Hammond of Camden, NC.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Kay made be made to the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, 2855 Annandale Rd, Falls Church, VA 22042

LCNV to Host USCIS Naturalization Ceremonies on November 7

October 29, 2013 at 12:13 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on LCNV to Host USCIS Naturalization Ceremonies on November 7

LCNV will host USCIS naturalization ceremonies at the  James Lee Community Theater at 1pm on Thursday, November 7.  These ceremonies, where new citizens are sworn in, sometimes start before the scheduled time and parking fills up quickly –  so please come early!  RSVP by emailing or calling Natalie at or 703-237-0866 .

LCNV Will Be Well-Represented at USCAL 2013

October 29, 2013 at 12:12 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on LCNV Will Be Well-Represented at USCAL 2013

USCAL 2013 LogoLCNV will be well-represented at the upcoming U.S. Conference on Adult Literacy (USCAL) this week (Oct. 31-Nov. 2). E.D. Patti Donnelly is an invited panelist on “Public Policy Debate: It’s Time to Move the Needle” and the Director of Tutoring, Elise Bruml, and the Director of Classroom Programs, Erin Finn, will be co-hosting a workshop on EL Civics (teaching Civics to ESL students).  It’s still not too late to register:

Tutor’s Corner: “Sheer Bravery and Guts”

October 16, 2013 at 12:34 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tutor’s Corner: “Sheer Bravery and Guts”

“I am very happy to tutor and have gained a unique understanding of the issues involved with not  being fluent in a language in a foreign country.  I also gained a tremendous amount of respect for the sheer bravery and guts shown by immigrant families in their struggle to settle and assimilate into the culture.  With limited resources they make the best of circumstances.  They work hard, are very involved with their kids, and are extremely happy to be here.  They are grateful for all the help given by the Council.”

Anjana D., Volunteer ESOL tutor
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042

U.S. lags most other countries in adult literacy skills

October 8, 2013 at 1:06 PM | Posted in Advocacy | Comments Off on U.S. lags most other countries in adult literacy skills

In the first-ever international survey of adult skills,when it comes to adult literacy the U.S. trailed 12 countries and only outperformed 5 other countries. This first OECD Skills Outlook presents the initial results of the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), which evaluates the skills of adults in 24 countries.

In a recent Washington Post article by Lindsay Layton, which examines the survey, the results were cause for concern:  “These findings should concern us all,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a written statement. “They show our education system hasn’t done enough to help Americans compete — or position our country to lead — in a global economy that demands increasingly higher skills.”

Duncan said the study highlights a group that has been “overlooked and underserved: the large number of adults with very low basic skills, most of whom are working.”

“Adults who have trouble reading, doing math, solving problems and using technology will find the doors of the 21st century workforce closed to them,” Duncan said. “We need to find ways to challenge and reach more adults to upgrade their skills.”

At present, LCNV serves around 1500 adult learners, with long waiting lists for many more adults seeking instruction. The mission of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia remains the same since it started 50  years ago:  to teach adults the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, and understanding English in order to empower them to participate more fully and confidently in their communities.  The recent findings only underscore the unique position and importance of the service that LCNV provides adult learners in the region, the state, and the nation.

Download the full report and interactive tools.

Read The Washington Post article by Lindsay Layton discussing the findings.

Check out LCNV’s Literacy Means Business event, which examines the economic toil on society when a proportion of the adult population is illiterate or semi-literate.

Be proactive about the issue of adult literacy and consider donating or volunteering with LCNV.

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042

October Closings

October 7, 2013 at 12:29 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on October Closings

The James Lee Community Center will be closed October 12-14, 2013 for Columbus Day weekend, so the LCNV offices will be closed too. Happy Holiday!

The Affordable Care Act Continued:

October 4, 2013 at 4:08 PM | Posted in Tutoring | Comments Off on The Affordable Care Act Continued:

Be assured, the government shutdown does not affect the roll-out of the new Health Insurance exchanges that opened yesterday, October, 1st.  Hear more from Monday’s Diane Rehm Show.

Also, for those seeking guidance on healthcare choices, local agencies are equipping volunteers and staff to act as “Navigators” for the public seeking health coverage.  A navigator is “An individual or organization that’s trained and able to help consumers, small businesses, and their employees as they look for health coverage options through the Marketplace, including completing eligibility and enrollment forms. These individuals and organizations are required to be unbiased. Their services are free to consumers.” From the glossary on 

Area navigators can be found through:

Northern Virginia Family Services at 571.748.2500 or their Director of Health and Mental Health Programs, Cyndy Dailey []

Legal Services of Northern Virginia at 703-778-6800 or send an email to

For material designed for students, October 4th’s issue of Elizabeth Claire’s Easy English News will feature an article on the Affordable Care Act.

Tutoring Specialist
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042

LCNV Librarian’s Latest Recommendation: From Home to School

October 3, 2013 at 3:39 PM | Posted in Family Learning, Uncategorized | Comments Off on LCNV Librarian’s Latest Recommendation: From Home to School
From Home to School

From Home to School series

Looking to help your student gain language skills to be more actively involved in the lives of school-age children? The LCNV library now has books in a series from New Readers Press called From Home to School – books with engaging stories about the everyday lives of parents and children.

The books in this series have short theme-based readings and life skill activities as well as stories set against a backdrop of school culture, covering topics such as health, nutrition, and academic performance. They also include exercises to check comprehension, expand vocabulary, and strengthen listening, speaking, and writing skills.

The LCNV library now has the literacy level, first- and second-level books of this series. Learners who are able to read simple sentences with good comprehension could benefit from the literacy level book, while the first and second level books require slightly higher reading skills.. The series is shelved in the IV.I (Family Relations) section.

The Library is located at the LCNV offices, 2855 Annandale Road in Falls Church, and is open from 9:00 – 5:00 Monday through Friday. Tutors and other members of the Literacy Council can browse the selections and check out books and other items. Students are not eligible to check out library materials.

LCNV Librarian’s Recommended Reading
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042

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