Tags: student stories
Do you know what struck me on the first day of arrival in America? The willingness of people to help, good will, openness. These qualities do not cease to surprise me still.
The second discovery for me is the volunteer movement. In Ukraine, it has just begun, and I hope it becomes large like in America.
For you, the concept of freedom and democracy are not empty words. You have fought decades for them. The same thing is happening in my country which is struggling for its freedom and independence.
My dream is a strong, independent and democratic Ukraine – the same as America.
– Olga, LCNV learner
We invite you to join LCNV in the Giving Tuesday movement and help learners like Olga! We couldn’t do what we do without the help and generosity of so many others, and during this season of thanks we are especially grateful for our all of our volunteers, supporters and community. On December 1, 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.
We are pleased to announce the following new volunteer opportunities for instructors and non-instructors alike!
LCNV has recently launched a Classroom Tutoring Program! We are looking for tutors to provide the additional support and instruction to students enrolled in an LCNV class to help them succeed. At this time, we are offering this program to students attending classes at the James Lee Community Center. Details on needs for the remainder of the Fall 2015 semester are below.
Location: James Lee Community Center 2855 Annandale Road, Falls Church, VA 22042
Dates: November 24, 2015 – December 17, 2015
5:30pm – 6:30 pm – Tuesdays and Thursdays
This is an ongoing program targeting the classroom curriculum, and more opportunities will arise throughout the year. For an update on these activities next semester, look out for a posting on our website or email Tutoring@lcnv.org.
- Student Retention Assistants
Are you interested in communicating with LCNV students to help them stay on track to achieve their English language and literacy goals? Student Retention Assistants will call students who have missed a couple of classes to find out why they missed class and to encourage attendance at future sessions. Through these informal phone calls, we anticipate Student Retention Assistants will be able to provide encouragement students may need as well as deliver student feedback to LCNV’s program. To serve in this capacity, volunteers will need to have verbal fluency in one of LCNV’s major languages (Spanish, Arabic, Korean, Vietnamese) and the ability to come to the office for 2-3 hours per week throughout the course of a semester. For more information or to express your interest, contact Ashley King, Student Admissions Manager.
LCNV would like to create student recruitment materials in our learners’ key languages. This would include translating LCNV flyers, class schedules, and other outreach materials into the Arabic, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The ability to write at near-native or advanced fluency in one of these languages is essential. For more information or to express your interest, contact Ruba Marshood Afzal, Associate Director of Community Engagement.
Lastly, LCNV has just a few Holiday Gift Wrapping shifts remaining! If you would like to support LCNV by wrapping customer purchases for donations at nearby Barnes & Noble locations, visit this website to find out more and to sign up!
In September LCNV held its first integrated LCNV Instructor Training, designed to prepare teachers, tutors, and aides to work with LCNV learners in various capacities. LCNV is grateful to its dedicated training team volunteers who collaborated with staff to develop and deliver the new training modules under a tight timeframe. Now an LCNV-trained instructor can move seamlessly between roles and in the process offer our students more learning opportunities than ever before.
Historically the classroom, ESOL tutoring and BAL tutoring programs operated in three separate silos, each with its own unique training program. Volunteers prepared within one division were only qualified to deliver instruction in that division. Fewer volunteer opportunities resulted in waiting lists of students and volunteers. Unifying all academic programs under one umbrella around one core training program has opened up opportunities, and is expected to shorten the time that volunteers wait to work with students as well as reduce how long students wait for much needed services.
As a class aide, a volunteer can help individualize instruction by working with small groups under the teacher’s supervision or enable a struggling student to succeed by offering assistance during class. An aide can also provide continuity in the classroom by substituting for the teacher during an absence.
As a tutor, a volunteer can work with a classroom student before or after class to offer an academic boost or help a student who is unable to enroll in a class attain a personal learning goal such as passing the citizenship exam.
As an LCNV teacher, a volunteer with previous teaching experience can apply to teach or co-teach a beginning English class or work on English with either parents or children during a Family Learning class. More teaching opportunities will open up as we begin to expand our offerings in skills-based classes such as pronunciation and writing, and workforce-based language and literacy classes through our new track Destination Workforce™.
Merging training exposes all instructors to the same pedagogical concepts based on best practices in teaching English language learners. This new training program is research-driven while retaining the best elements from the past. Volunteers trained under the old program are encouraged to complete the new face-to-face program to refresh their skills.
Most important, the new reorganization of academic programs around an integrated, unified training allows a student to receive more intensive instruction through multiple avenues (classroom and tutorial); increases our instructor–to–student ratio; and results in greater academic gains over a shorter time period.
LCNV continues to expand our broad-based professional development program that begins at orientation and includes face-to-face and 24/7 online learning opportunities. More to come in future newsletters about this program as it develops.
It was great to see everyone who came out for the Martina Boone Book Launch and Benefit celebration at Barnes and Noble last week! We appreciate your support. LCNV has some more exciting events coming up that we want to make sure you get on your calendar.
On Tuesday, December 8, you’re all invited to LCNV’s annual Holiday Potluck Party here at the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church from 6-8pm. As in years past it will include a delicious potluck dinner, photo opportunities with Santa, and a chance for students, volunteers, supporters and staff to get together at the end of a busy semester. More details to come.
Then on Thursday, December 10, LCNV presents a conversation and book signing with author and NPR correspondent Tom Gjelten. Gjelten will be discussing his new book, A Nation of Nations: A Great American Immigration Story, which describes the dramatic and compelling story of the transformation of America during the last fifty years, told through a handful of families in Fairfax County. One More Page Books will be selling copies of A Nation of Nations, with 10% of all sales benefiting LCNV. The event will take place from 7-8:30pm at the Arlington Central Library, and we hope to see you there!
p.s. After the Thanksgiving Holiday, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday comes Giving Tuesday! On December 1 please consider giving back to your community through #GivingTuesday.