Exciting Events This Week

December 7, 2015 at 3:18 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thanks to everyone who participated in Giving Tuesday last week, showing their support to the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia (LCNV) and the charitable giving movement. Along with continuing to raise awareness about the importance of adult literacy, we received over $4,400 in donations! As the holidays approach, if you haven’t made your end of the year gift yet please consider a donation to LCNV.

AmCorpsandSantaWe’d also like to remind you about two exciting events coming up this week – our annual Holiday Potluck Party on Tuesday December 8 from 6-8pm at the James Lee Community Center and a Conversation and Book Signing with Tom Gjelten on Thursday December 10 from 7-8:30pm at the Arlington Central Library. All are welcome and we hope to see you at one or both free events!

LCNV’s Holiday Potluck Party on Tuesday evening is a chance for students to take part in a holiday tradition from this country, with fun for the whole family. There will be pictures with Santa, arts and crafts, and new this year – the opportunity to win Target gift cards as door prizes. There will also be a video game station with games like FIFA! The party is a nice continuation of class and further educational experience, as we are providing conversation starters to help students practice their English.

Tom GjeltenThen on Thursday, hear author and NPR correspondent Tom Gjelten discuss his latest book, A Nation of Nations: A Great American Immigration Story. The book 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. With special guest, Delegate Mark Keam, whose story is featured in the book. One More Page Books will be there selling copies of A Nation of Nations, with 10% of all sales benefiting LCNV.

p.s. Holiday shopping on Amazon? Support LCNV by making purchases through AmazonSmile. Go to smile.amazon.com and use your same Amazon.com login. Select the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia to ensure that 0.5% of all eligible purchases that you make goes to LCNV. Thank you!

Join the movement to help learners like Olga

November 30, 2015 at 11:34 AM | Posted in Student Stories | Leave a comment


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.

Current Volunteer Needs

November 18, 2015 at 6:42 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

We are pleased to announce the following new volunteer opportunities for instructors and non-instructors alike!

  • Classroom Tutoring

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

If you have completed LCNV’s Instructor Training and are interested in being a part of this program between now and December, please sign up here. Contact Kate Chu with any questions.

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.
  • Translators
    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!

Integrated LCNV Instructor Training Yields Multiple Benefits

November 17, 2015 at 9:51 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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.

Newsletter Training Diagram

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 http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ 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.

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