The White House Selects LCNV AmeriCorps Classroom Instructor Xavier A. Munoz as a Cesar E. Chavez “Champion of Change”

March 28, 2014 at 4:15 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps | 2 Comments

LCNV Cesar Chavez Champion of Change 2014 Press Release

Click on image for larger downloadable pdf file.

LCNV AmeriCorps teachers volunteer at George Mason University’s Alternative Break Program

December 17, 2013 at 4:56 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Community, Teaching | Comments Off on LCNV AmeriCorps teachers volunteer at George Mason University’s Alternative Break Program
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Recently, LCNV AmeriCorps teachers,  Tristen Mimiaga, Xavier Munoz, and Shani Brown, agreed to voluntarily host a teaching workshop for the Alternative Break Program at George Mason University.  Here is the back-story from new AmeriCorps teacher, Tristen Mimiaga, on how this came to be:

“I was a member of the Alternative Break Program (AB Program) for two years; one year I only served as a member and the following year as a trip leader. The trips within the AB Program are designed and led by students. The theme/focus of the trip vary – not all trips do the same thing. For my trip in particular our focus was, and still is, education. So, I thought of the idea of providing a workshop for them because during both years there was little guidance available on teaching English at the school with whom we were working.  I got in contact with a friend of mine – who happens to be a leader for a trip leaving in January about possibly providing a workshop related to teaching methods/how to teach. So, this is how it came to be.

It ended up being a small workshop with three participants, but they were all very eager to learn and highly engaged.  We spoke about the qualities of good and bad teaching (and how to avoid bad teaching), the importance of modeling, how to use different types of dialogues within the classroom especially with various learning levels, and how catering to different learning styles can motivate students and prevent boredom from the sense of repetition.”

Click here to see more photos from the workshop.

Interested in finding out more, email or call the office at 703-237-0866.

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

Appreciation, Opportunity, Reinvigorated

August 28, 2013 at 11:55 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
AmeriCorps 2012 members farewell_8Aug2013_4

2012 AmeriCorps Instructors (l to r)
Katherine Lee, Xavier Munoz, Rachel Conn Martin and Katie Trizna

It’s been a privilege for me to serve as an AmeriCorps member at the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia the past eleven months. But my work here is not done. There is still so much more than I can gain and contribute, which is why I will be serving a second year as an LCNV AmeriCorps member! But looking back on my first service year, I can sum up my experience so far in three words –appreciation, opportunity, and reinvigorated.


LCNV’s volunteers are downright amazing. At our class sites, I’ve gotten to work alongside retired public school teachers with an undying passion for teaching, individuals that work full time, and lifelong volunteers who have volunteered with LCNV for over a decade. But there are other volunteers with whom I’ve also interacted:

  • Volunteer Placement Advisors in the Basic Adult Literacy and ESOL Tutoring Programs test new students, match students with tutors, and provide ongoing support to the tutor-student pairs. If one thinks of tutors programs as neighbors helping neighbors. Then the PAs are neighbors helping neighbors helping neighbors.
  • Outreach volunteers go to events like the recent Annandale High School Pyramid Back to School Resource Fair to raise awareness of LCNV as a quality place that supports parents and adults in the community.
  • Office volunteers come in on a weekly basis to help with IT, run the library, and offer other departmental support.
  • Susan Kral was the AmeriCorps Program Coordinator the past three years for LCNV, Loudoun Literacy Council, and BEACON for Adult Literacy. As if managing the AmeriCorps federal grant wasn’t enough of a task for a volunteer, she also acted as a “mama bear” for me and the other AmeriCorps members.

I’m left inspired by how committed to service these volunteers are. And I have a new understanding of how invaluable a robust core of volunteers is to the longevity and success of a nonprofit organization.


My one expectation for the year was to gain experience teaching ESOL to adults. LCNV has given me teaching experience and then some. I’ve been able to represent LCNV in a number of ways beyond my primary role as an ESOL classroom instructor: co-presenting on behalf of LCNV at the 2013 Virginia Literacy Leadership Council conference, playing a small role in LCNV’s The Washington Post award honorable mention, and doing a TV spot on LCNV’s classes and learners.

With immigration reform coming to a head, there is an opportunity for adult education to become a larger part of the national discussion. LCNV and other adult education providers will be called upon to play a crucial role in helping adults participate more fully in their communities and workplaces. As a second-year AmeriCorps member, I will be able to help LCNV lead that discussion.


Setting aside community service that was required in high school, I started to volunteer only a year or two ago. As a college graduate with no job, I volunteered in an attempt to make my academic background useful. I also volunteered with the hopes that it would improve my chances of being admitted to grad school.

In the winter of 2012, I became an adult literacy tutor with I CAN Community Education Coalition which is a nonprofit based in Hillsborough County, Florida. I worked one-on-one with a gentleman from Jamaica. Every tutoring session left me with new questions. How could I help him master this-or-that syllable structure? What activities could we do to make two-digit multiplication come alive for him? I was challenged to become a better educator as much as, if not more than, he was challenged to learn.

And, through tutoring him, all of my coursework in psychology, linguistics, and speech-language pathology suddenly became more relevant. What I was doing became meaningful. And that fulfillment has only increased over this past AmeriCorps service year. In college, I studied for myself. At I CAN before and with LCNV now, I study for the adults I serve. I’ve stopped thinking about expanding my resume and beefing up my grad school applications. Instead, I’m thinking about what I need to do to make each class better than the last.

In truth, I never dreamed of becoming a teacher when I was younger. But serving in adult education has jumpstarted my interests and motivated me to improve myself for the sake of those I serve. Working in adult education just feels right. And so, I plan to start an M.A. in TESOL in the fall of 2014. Until then, I’m continuing on as a second-year AmeriCorps member because I want to be a part of LCNV’s continued growth and success. I’m continuing on for a second year because I want to be there with LCNV’s learners as they continue to “participate more fully and confidently in their communities” and in their lives.

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Xavier Munoz, AmeriCorps Instructor
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Rd., Falls Church, VA 22042

LCNV Office Closed on 10/26/2012

October 24, 2012 at 2:37 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, ESOL, Tutoring, Volunteers | Comments Off on LCNV Office Closed on 10/26/2012

On Friday, October 26, 2012, LCNV’s main office will be closed all day due to the installation of a new HVAC system at the James Lee Community Center. Staff will be working from home and will be accessible by email. The AmeriCorps Launch is not affected by this closure and will take place as planned. This closure is unexpected, and we apologize for any inconvenience.

Last Chance to Register for RACE FOR A CAUSE!

October 9, 2012 at 10:30 AM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Comments Off on Last Chance to Register for RACE FOR A CAUSE!
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Don’t miss your chance to sign up to support the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia for the Acumen Solutions™ Race for a Cause 8K and 1 Mile Fun Run, which takes place this Sunday, October 14, 2012, in Arlington.  

This a great event with a “super” post race event, which includes  yummy food from Anita’s, Chidogo’s, and Whole Foods, as well as fun kids activities AND awesome raffle prizes for “big” kids (must be present to win)! Come support our local Superheroes. We encourage you to sport your favorite “superhero” attire!  Don’t have a cape? Acumen Solutions will also be providing capes to all youth registrants!

We still need 40 registrants to be eligible for race proceeds.  YOU can help us reach our goal!  Join our walking literacy team? 

Not in town? Sponsor a friend or family member as a runner! Every donation – big or small – helps support our cause. Please call or email Suzie Eaton ( with any questions and go to to sign up!

Registration Costs

  • 8k: $35 through October 13
  • $40 Race Day
  • 1 Mile Fun Run: $20 Youth (no shirt; gift will be provided!);$35 Adult (8k technical T-shirt)

Registration Packet Pickup @ Potomac River Running Store, Arlington:

  • Friday October 12, 4-8 pm
  • Saturday October 13, 11 am – 4 pm
  • Sunday October 14 (Race Day), 6:30 am – 7:30 am

Course Map

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

Thank You for Making One for the Books a Success!

October 5, 2012 at 1:51 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Comments Off on Thank You for Making One for the Books a Success!
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On October 3, the Northern Virginia community came together to honor LCNV’s 50th year of providing much needed literacy services. The evening was filled with a festive and energizing spirit. LCNV held a raffle  for a week-long stay in St. John, which raised nearly $10,000 to help our students. Steve Beggs was the lucky winner!  Attendees also had the unique opportunity to hear from a LCNV student, Fatima, and learn how literacy has changed her and her children’s lives.

The Literacy Council extends a big thank you to Robert Egger who served as Master of Ceremonies, and José Andrés, David Baldacci, and Ric Edelman for sharing how  literacy has impacted their lives. State Senator Barbara Favola presented a proclamation to LCNV, and Congressman Jim Moran and Delegate Mark Keam shared their support.

Highlighting the partnership between LCNV and Wish You Well Foundation, Baldacci stated: “I would urge all of you to do as much as you can. Quite frankly, there could be no higher purpose in the nation.”

During the event, LCNV announced that an anonymous donor challenged the Council this year to raise gifts from new donors, as well as increased gifts from existing donors. The challenge will match these gifts dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000. Andrés was the first to answer this call for support by making the first contribution to LCNV’s challenge grant. Will you join him in helping LCNV meet this challenge?   

Lastly, thank you to the following individuals who were instrumental in making this event a huge success: Mark Troppe, One for the Books Chair; Jan Auerbach; Avis Black; Cathleen Donnelly; Sally Jaggar; Misty Jones; Sarah Kenney; and Robin Walker.

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

Tonight: One for the Books Gala!

October 3, 2012 at 1:14 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Comments Off on Tonight: One for the Books Gala!
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Please join the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia this evening for our One for the Books gala!

Join LCNV, celebrity chef José Andrés, award-winning author David Baldacci, top-ranked financial advisor Ric Edelman, and nonprofit leader Robert Egger in celebrating 50 years of improving our community through literacy!

DATE: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2012 │ 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM

LOCATION: George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Dr., Alexandria, VA 22301

ACCESS: Free parking is available. Closest Metro station is King St.

ATTIRE: Business

TICKETS: Event tickets can be purchased in person tonight at the event, starting at 6 pm.


  • A raffle drawing for a week-long stay in St. John! Please consider purchasing a $50 chance in person this evening!  The lucky winner will be announced tonight.
  • Book signing by José Andrés, David Baldacci, Ric Edelman, and Robert Egger at the end of the event. Books will be available for purchase on site that evening.
  • Adding a leaf on LCNV’s Giving Tree. Leaves on the tree can be purchased for various dollar amounts. Each leaf contains an item that will aid the Literacy Council in its effort to enrich the lives of those who wish to understand, speak, read and write English.
  • And, finally, there will be a “bookshelf” where you can write the title of your favorite book and put it on the bookshelf. What an opportunity to reminisce about all the favorite books you have read and try to figure out the best one! And you can get ideas for future reads from books listed by other attendees.

Thank you for your participation! We look forward to seeing you tonight at One for the Books!

2855 Annandale Rd., Falls Church, Va 22042│ (703)237-0866 │

It’s not too Late to Register for Class!

September 28, 2012 at 12:19 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Student Stories, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Comments Off on It’s not too Late to Register for Class!
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DOWNLOAD the Late Registration Flyer

Every LCNV ESOL Learning Centers or Family Learning class turns into its own little community, and every community is like a family.  Lorton Senior Center is one of our healthiest class sites, and I’m certain it’s because of the strong sense of community  among the students.  This past Monday, we had a really great registration, students were lined up outside the door an hour before start time.  Luckily, several of our volunteers arrived a few minutes early to help with forms, testing, and payment.

I believe that sense of community starts with a smile and an inviting gesture to join and share.  One students, who I had taught when I was an AmeriCorps Instructor, arrived at registration with two of her beautiful brown-eyed little boys in tow.  The student’s name is Ceci, and I remember her as the family stone of our class when I taught at Lorton’s former site, Grace Bible Church.  Ceci is an avid smiler, hand-shaker, team-worker, and laugh-sharer.  She constantly stretched her English speaking skills to communicate with classmates from different countries and on many occasions arrived at class with a new student to recruit for classes.

Ceci demonstrates exactly what kind of student our programs work for. Monday was her first time back at class in years, but this is because she took on new opportunities to work, birth a new son, and help her family through some  adjustments.  She still has a complicated life and a limited budget, but we’re still here to help her.  Now, she’s back because she still needs low-level English and LCNV still meets that need.  I know she’ll probably test out of our classes soon and be able to move on to new opportunities, but for now, I’m excited to see her grow and progress and help other students in her class.

You can help us meet the need of other learners and fill all of our other classes, too.  Take a look at our website to share our late-registration information at a grocery store, library, or other community location near you! Late registration will be held at LCNV’s headquarters located in James Lee Community Center, 2855 Annandale Rd, Falls Church, VA 22042 on Saturday September 29nd  from, 3-6pm.

Katie Beckman
Program Assistant
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Rd., Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 237-0866 x 116

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