Save the Dates for December

November 9, 2015 at 1:10 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.

Tom GjeltenThen 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.

Book Launch and LCNV Benefit Event

October 26, 2015 at 2:49 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This Tuesday is the official release of the second book in new LCNV board member Martina Boone’s trilogy, Persuasion. We are looking forward to celebrating with her this Friday, October 30, and hope you can join us at this free event!

boone_flyer2An accomplished author and literacy advocate, you may also remember Martina as the keynote speaker for our Annual Recognition Event in June. Born in Prague, she spoke several languages before learning English and experienced firsthand many of the issues facing our community. Her family moved to the United States when she was a child, so she saw the sacrifices her parents made in learning a second language as an adult.

Come out and meet Martina and support LCNV at the Tyson’s Corner Barnes and Noble on Friday from 5-9pm. She will be signing copies of her new book and leading story writing activities. There will be fun for the whole family, including costume contests, arts and crafts, storytelling, and more.

This event will also help benefit LCNV, as a percentage of all purchases made on October 30 at the Tyson’s store or online at will be donated to LCNV (as long as customers mention our name or the event ID number – #11709870).

Martina’s first book in the trilogy, Compulsion, was SIBA Book Award nominated, an Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Bookstores Alliance, a Kansas State Reading Circle selection, a Goodreads Best Book of the Month and YA Best Book of the Month, and an RT Magazine Best of 2014 Editor’s Pick. Many of LCNV’s staff have read her first book and are eagerly awaiting the release of her second!

We could still use some help from volunteers at this event, so please contact Tony Hopkins if interested.

We can’t wait to kick off the festivities on Friday at 5pm and hope to see you there!

Late Registration: October 3

October 1, 2015 at 8:39 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Late registration for our adult English classes will be held this Saturday, October 3 from 3-6pm at the James Lee Community Center. We still have openings for the Fall semester at Korean Community Service Center, James Lee, Woodrow Wilson Library, and Lorton Senior Center. Classes are full at Crestwood, Herndon, and Mental Health America. See the full class schedule.

Please share with anyone who might be interested in taking adult English classes!

First Day of Class

September 30, 2015 at 9:43 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Students in our Family Learning Program at Crestwood on the first day of class. Wishing our learners and instructors a successful semester!

Mo Kam’s Story: “My knowledge became wider, and I became more generous”

September 16, 2015 at 3:59 PM | Posted in Student Stories | Leave a comment


My dream for my future is to speak English fluently, to read a lot of books, and to take some special classes such as computer or sewing. They will affect my decisions for the future.

In the past, I learned English to help myself to live with my family in the USA. I didn’t know how to improve my English for many years. But now I know, after studying the books… at LCNV, I feel as though my English is not the same as before. Through stories I have learned a lot about different countries and cultures. My knowledge became wider, and I became more generous.

Right now I hope my English will help me take some computer and sewing specialty classes. I’m suggesting more people to join the LCNV programs, and they’ll have a chance to fulfill their dreams like mine.

– Mo Kam

Please consider purchasing an item off of our wish list from September 21-25 through Fall into Giving, an online donation drive, to help learners like Mo Kam achieve her dreams! Thank you.

LCNV Fall 2015 Adult English Class Registration Starts September 8

September 3, 2015 at 2:41 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The fall session for The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia’s (LCNV) Adult ELL classes starts September 21, and student registration runs from September 8 – September 16. Please help us spread the word by letting any current or potential students know! See more info on the types of classes offered and our Fall 2015 class schedule.

Please note that:

  • Students must register prior to class.
  • Students can go to any registration site to sign up for any class.
  • During registration, students pay a $60 registration fee and take an oral placement exam.
  • Partial and full scholarships are available.
  • Classes are in the Fall, Spring, and Summer.

For more information see our class schedule or contact the Literacy Council at (703) 237-0866.

Volunteers Needed

August 23, 2015 at 8:22 PM | Posted in Volunteers | 1 Comment

LCNV is so grateful to our dedicated corps of volunteers to help us advance our mission. Whether you are an active volunteer or still on the fence about whether or not to volunteer with us, please read on to learn about more ways to get involved.

Outreach Volunteers:
We are looking for volunteers to contribute to our student, volunteer, and public relations efforts. Outreach volunteer options include:

  • Manning an LCNV table at various events, such as at festivals sponsored by community centers and Back to School Resource Fairs.
  • Posting flyers for volunteer/student recruitment and for general promotion at targeted locations, including libraries, supermarkets, and community centers.
  • Representing LCNV as a speaker at various donor or volunteer outreach activities. Examples include:
    • LCNV Volunteer Orientation, where you would talk about your volunteer experience, and maybe even bring a learner you work with along;
    • Foreign Service Institute Job Search program Volunteer Fair;
    • RSVP volunteer meet & greet where prospective volunteers meet with representatives of service organizations.

For our student recruitment efforts in particular, we would like to have volunteers who are interested in using their skills with other languages, in order to ease communication between prospective students and the LCNV representative.

Current volunteers interested in serving in this capacity are asked to please contact Ruba Afzal and indicate the opportunities that appeal to you. If you are not yet a volunteer, please attend one of our upcoming Volunteer Orientations to get started.

Join LCNV’s Instructor Training Team:
If you have experience delivering instruction or training, and credentials in education, please consider joining the LCNV volunteer Training Team. This collaborative group of professionals trains LCNV volunteers to be teachers, class aides, and tutors for our learners. Interested individuals should be available a few Saturdays a year to participate in group training sessions and attend meetings. If you are a current volunteer and would like to find out more, please contact Carole Bausell. Otherwise, please attend one of our upcoming Volunteer Orientations to get started.

Huong’s Story: “I’ll Try and Try”

August 21, 2015 at 3:31 PM | Posted in Student Stories | Leave a comment

My name is Huong. I’ve lived in the U.S. for four and a half years. My parents, my brothers and my sisters have lived here for twenty five years. They have succeeded in their lives. Before, I didn’t go with them, because I got married with a good man. We have two children. My son is 24 years old. He’s studying IT (Information Technology). He’s in his second year at NOVA. He’ll enter George Mason University next year. My daughter is 22 years old. She’s studying electrical engineering. She’s in her third year at George Mason University. I hope my children will be successful and happy in their lives in this free country.

When I was in my country, I had my own business cutting and selling glass and mirrors. I also made aluminum doors, cabinets, and wardrobes. My business was growing and I had a lot of customers. One day, my husband and I changed our minds. We decided to move to the U.S. for my children to have a better future.

When I was in my country, I had almost many things. Such as, I had a good job, a few homes and several vehicles. When I came here, I didn’t have anything. It was too hard for me. But I didn’t get discouraged. I kept trying to make my hopes and dreams become true.

At first, I studied, I got a driver’s license. I bought an old car later two and a half months I came here. And then I looked for job and I studied, I got a cosmetologist license. After I lived here three years, I bought a small townhouse. Now, I’m learning one hundred questions for the citizenship test. I hope I’ll pass citizenship this year. Then, I’ll go back to my country to visit my family in law and my friends.

I continue to study English even though I’m so busy. I hope my English improves. I’ll enter NOVA Community College. If I can, I’ll get a medical assistant’s license. I hope I’ll have a good job and good benefits future. I hope my dreams to come true. I’ll try and try.

– Huong

Annual Recognition Event Keynote Speaker Martina Boone featured in Falls Church News-Press

July 9, 2015 at 1:18 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
LCNV Board President Kitty Porterfield, ARE Keynote Speaker Martina Boone, and LCNV Executive Director Patti Donnelly

LCNV Board President Kitty Porterfield, ARE Keynote Speaker Martina Boone, and LCNV Executive Director Patti Donnelly

The Falls Church News-Press recently published an article, “Young Adult Lit Author Martina Boone Visits F.C.,” featuring Martina Boone – local author and the keynote speaker from LCNV’s Annual Recognition Event. The article describes Boone’s personal experience with learning the English language, and why she started writing novels for young adults.

Her first novel, Compulsion, was published in 2014. Her second book in the series, Persuasion, will be published this fall.

LCNV Needs AmeriCorps Instructors for the Fall – Can You Help?

July 8, 2015 at 1:24 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
L to R: C. Renato Jaramillo-Villa, Tristen Mimiaga, Xavier Munoz, Shani Brown

LCNV AmeriCorps Instructors

As a member of the LCNV community, we know that you are dedicated to helping us teach adult English language and literacy learners. If you, or anyone you know, would like to become more involved with our program – receiving further ESOL instructor training, learning about classroom management, tracking student progress, and getting hands on experience working directly with learners – please consider applying to become an AmeriCorps ESOL Instructor with LCNV!

If you know of anyone who might be interested, please forward them this email. This is a great opportunity for recently graduated college students, anyone looking for a career change, or for those seeking to make a difference in the lives of others.

americorpsAmeriCorps AmeriCorps is a federal service program that provides members with a living allowance, as well as an education award upon completion of service. LCNV’s AmeriCorps members are an integral part of our organization, teaching ESOL classes during a one-year term beginning in early September.

Our AmeriCorps members have gone on to become full time ESOL instructors, found jobs at local nonprofit organizations, advanced their education, and more! We’ve also had numerous AmeriCorps members who have enjoyed the experience so much here at LCNV that they’ve signed on for additional service years with us. Here are one LCNV AmeriCorps member’s thoughts on his experience:

Throughout this service year I have met many incredibly resilient students from all kinds of backgrounds that have lived truly unimaginable lives. From those undocumented living in fear of deportation, to those seeking asylum from politically war-torn countries, to the many who have transcended cultural and religious barriers in order to become “more American,” these are the students with whom I am honored to have met. I’m going to miss their smiles, their laughter, and the fun and fearless energy they brought to class.

See more stories by or about our amazing AmeriCorps members here on our blog to learn more about this opportunity.

If you have any questions or need more information please don’t hesitate to contact us. Thank you for all that you do!

Ruba Marshood Afzal, Associate Director of Community Engagement
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia

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