Destination Workforce®: Working Towards Literacy

July 7, 2017 at 1:09 PM | Posted in Destination Workforce, ESOL, Teaching | Leave a comment

Nationwide, 24% of the educated immigrant and refugee workforce is underemployed or unemployed [i], while over half of all immigrants in Fairfax County have limited English proficiency [ii]. LCNV’s Destination Workforce® is a response to these demographic and workforce demands. Developed as a fast-track language program for on-the-job or job readiness English language learning, each Destination Workforce® course is created in partnership with a local business or community organization. The class is customized to the specific needs of the partner, to cover industry or job specific vocabulary as well as U.S. work culture and professional etiquette. In the last few months, LCNV launched two unique Destination Workforce® programs in collaboration with different industry partners. Each is oriented towards helping individuals advance in their careers and job prospects.

The City of Alexandria’s Workforce Development Center VIEW Program sought LCNV’s expertise with beginning level English language and literacy learners to develop an intensive course to help newly arrived refugees – unable to read or write in their native languages and lacking any English proficiency – gain basic English literacy. As recipients of TANF funding, these clients are expected to assimilate and begin working within 90 days. With this 90-day deadline in mind, LCNV developed its most intensive beginning level Destination Workforce® program to date. The four week pilot class met four times a week for four hours at a time in Alexandria and was led by one teacher and three class aides, keeping the student-instructor ratio around 3:1. The course curriculum covered the very basics of workforce-English readiness to enable new immigrants to assimilate into the world of U.S. employment.

In the classroom, the students started tentatively but made great strides in a short period of time. The students’ initial fears of learning a new language – for some, this was their first formal classroom experience –evaporated quickly, and they readily made introductions and spoke about their newfound English skills by the end of the course. One of the key achievements that the students reported was their ability to speak about their personal information (such as their address, name and phone number) and their improved comfort and confidence while speaking English. The testing results also demonstrate just how far these students have come in a short period of time: all but one of the post-tested students made gains in their Best-Plus 2.0 scores. In fact, a majority of these students jumped one or even two Educational Functioning Levels! The husband of one of the students recently wrote, “Although the duration of this course was short and its content was very basic, [my wife] has learnt a lot. She is so happy the way she was [taught] and treated by her class teacher and class aides. According to some of her classmates who have been to other similar classes, this was the best class they have ever been [in].”  LCNV is thrilled to provide these students with the first steps toward the path to workforce readiness, and is already planning a follow-up class for the same cohort focused on their speaking skills and how to approach the job application process.

One of the core competencies in Destination Workforce® programs is to improve the learners’ understanding of formal speech. Success is measured when formal requests by supervisors are understood correctly the first time, leading to higher levels of productivity and better communications. In industries where formal requests come from customers such as hospitality, this improves levels of customer service and satisfaction.  An example of Destination Workforce® in the hospitality industry is LCNV’s partnership with B.F. Saul’s Crowne Plaza in Tysons Corner, VA.

LCNV began its partnership with B.F. Saul with the help of Tysons Partnership, a nonprofit collaborative of Tysons Corner Stakeholders. B.F. Saul had previously tried on-site ESL instruction for hospitality staff that was met with limited success, and sought a partnership with LCNV to increase employee successes in learning English. With 12 different employees participating, the Crowne Plaza-Tysons Corner class is off to a great start. Curriculum is focused on the day-to-day service provided by these employees, all of whom are housekeeping or banquet staff. One of the goals outlined by B.F. Saul is for their employees to “Know Your Hotel”. This means that employees will be able to answer standard job-related questions such as “where is the pool?” On an average day in the classroom, employees can be seen practicing dialogues about special requests for room preparation, or learning how to answer questions from customers about food options. During the development of this program, Crowne Plaza-Tysons Corner has been an outstanding partner. Employees meet twice a week for two hours while on the clock, and receive free lunch during class time. LCNV applauds Crowne Plaza-Tysons Corner for making this investment in the professional development of its dedicated employees.

LCNV will be expanding its Destination Workforce® programs with the help of new and committed partners during the 2018 fiscal year. The Literacy Council looks forward to expanding access to employee literacy programs with even more partners in the coming months.


[i] McHugh, Margie and Madeleine Morawski. 2015. Immigrants and WIOA Services: Comparison of Sociodemographic Characteristics of Native- and Foreign-Born Adults in the United States. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute.

[ii] PolicyLink and The USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity. 2015. Equitable Growth Profile of Fairfax County. Oakland, CA: PolicyLink.

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LCNV ESOL Classroom Student Essay

July 10, 2014 at 2:33 PM | Posted in Class, ESOL, Student Stories | Leave a comment
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One ESOL Classroom teacher kindly shared one student’s essay (with approval and with the teacher’s corrections).  The mission of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia is 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. LCNV students are beginning English language learners who read at or below a sixth grade level.

This student essay serves as a great reminder of why LCNV is here to serve its learners. (Click on each page below to enlarge it.)

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
www.lcnv.org

LCNV ESOL Student Essay 2_Page_1 LCNV ESOL Student Essay 2_Page_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LCNV ESOL Classroom Student Essay

April 8, 2014 at 2:53 PM | Posted in Class, ESOL, Student Stories | Leave a comment
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One ESOL Classroom teacher kindly shared one student’s essay (with approval and with the teacher’s corrections).  The mission of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia is 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. LCNV students are beginning English language learners who read at or below a sixth grade level.

This student essay serves as a great reminder of why LCNV is here to serve its learners. (Click on each page below to enlarge it.)

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
www.lcnv.org

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Upcoming ESOL Parent Meeting

November 9, 2012 at 8:00 AM | Posted in ESOL, Family Learning, Uncategorized, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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Fairfax County Public Schools will be hosting its last ESOL Parent Meeting on November 13, 2012

(Tuesday) from 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at Woodson High School in Fairfax.  Dinner and childcare are  provided, as well as interpreters for Arabic, Farsi, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese.  Fairfax County Public Schools holds these meetings for parents to learn about ESOL services available to their children, the new elementary progress report, advanced academic offerings, preparing for college and career, and other services to support families.

Samantha Poyta, Parent Education Coordinator for SCAN of Northern Virginia & Carisa Pineda, LCNV’s Family Learning Specialist at Hayfield Secondary  ESOL Parent Meeting

The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia was present at the first two meetings.  The first meeting was held at Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria on October 10 and the second was at Chantilly High School in Chantilly on October 22.  Parents were very interested in LCNV’s offerings and filled out forms to receive information about classes for next semester; they also showed interest in ongoing conversation classes.  LCNV will also be attending the Parent Meeting at Woodson.  A special thank you goes to volunteer Julia Zurkovsky who attended the Chantilly meeting on LCNV’s behalf and will be attending the Woodson meeting.

To learn more about the FCPS ESOL Parent Meetings, go to http://www.fcps.edu/is/esol/parents.shtml.

Photo: Samantha Poyta, Parent Education Coordinator for SCAN of Northern Virginia
and Carisa Pineda, Family Learning Specialist LCNV
at Hayfield Secondary ESOL Parent Meeting on October 10

Carisa C. Pineda
Family Learning Specialist
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Rd., Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 237-0866 x 108
www.lcnv.org

LCNV Office Closed on 10/26/2012

October 24, 2012 at 2:37 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, ESOL, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment

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.

POSTPONED – Volunteer Open House in Lorton

October 23, 2012 at 8:29 PM | Posted in Class, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Uncategorized, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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* Due to the expected severe weather, this event is postponed. We will announce a new date soon!

Open House: Learn about Adult Literacy & ESOL Volunteer Opportunities!
Monday, October 29, 2012, 7:00 pm
Lorton Library, 9520 Richmond Hwy, Lorton, VA

Come hear about how you can make a difference as a Literacy Council volunteer!

LCNV’s mission is to teach adults the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, and understanding English, so they are empowered to participate more fully and confidently in their communities. LCNV’s approach is to involve volunteers as the English instructors for our adult learners. With LCNV training and support, volunteers help their neighbors directly. The Council has a dire need for more volunteers in and around Lorton.

Volunteers can serve as tutors, who work one-on-one with a learner, or as classroom teachers or aides who work with groups of 10-15 adults at a time. The Council also offers many non-teaching opportunities, from helping out in our office, to supporting special events and outreach. If you are interested in promoting adult literacy in Lorton, we’ll find something that fits your interests!

Join us on the evening of the 29th to learn about the Council’s work and how you can help someone in your neighborhood develop the English skills necessary to succeed!

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Ruba Afzal, LCNV’s Director of Volunteers, at 703-237-0866 x 111 or volunteers@lcnv.org.

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 | Leave a comment
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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 (seaton@lcnv.org) with any questions and go to www.theraceforacause.com 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
(703)237-0866
www.LCNV.org

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 | Leave a comment
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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
(703)237-0866
www.LCNV.org

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