Robert Egger – Oprah Angel – Lends LCNV a Hand

September 25, 2012 at 8:00 AM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Comments Off on Robert Egger – Oprah Angel – Lends LCNV a Hand
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On October 3, 2012, non-profit leader Robert Egger will be supporting LCNV at its One for the Books gala. Serving as Master of Ceremonies, Robert will highlight the importance of literacy in all aspects of life. Held at the George Washington Masonic Memorial, One for the Books celebrates LCNV’s 50th year of bringing much needed literacy services to Northern Virginia. Read more to learn about Robert Egger and why he’s received the Oprah ‘Angel’ award.

Robert Egger is the Founder and President of the DC Central Kitchen, the country’s first “community kitchen”, where food donated by hospitality businesses and farms is used to fuel a nationally recognized culinary arts job training program. Since opening in 1989, the Kitchen has produced over 25 million meals and helped 1,000 men and women gain full time employment.

Robert’s book, Begging for Change: The Dollars and Sense of Making Nonprofits Responsive, Efficient and Rewarding For All, was published in 2004 by HarperCollins and awarded the 2005 McAdam Prize for “Best Nonprofit Management Book.”

In Washington, Robert is the founding Chair of both the Mayor’s Commission on Nutrition and Street Sense, Washington’s “homeless” newspaper. In addition to this, he was the Co-Convener of the first Nonprofit Congress, held in Washington DC in 2006.

The Non Profit Times list of the “50 Most Powerful and Influential” nonprofit leaders has recognized Robert from 2006-2009. In 2007, he was honored with the 2007 “Lifetime Achievement” by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington. In 2004, the James Beard Foundation presented him with the “Humanitarian of the Year” award. Among his numerous recognitions, Robert has been named  a Washingtonian of the Year, Point of Light, and an Oprah Angel.

One for the Books is a unique opportunity to meet and mingle with LCNV supporters like Robert Egger. Celebrity chef José Andrés, best-selling novelist David Baldacci, and top-ranked financial advisor Ric Edelman will also be joining the celebration. Catering will be provided by Fresh Start Catering, and the event menu is inspired by José Andrés.

Purchase your tickets today! Join LCNV, Robert Egger, and fellow supporters on October 3, 2012. Let’s celebrate improving our community through literacy.

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Rd., Falls Church, Va 22042
(703)237-0866 │ │

Dinner & Movie Night – Celebrate National Volunteer Week

April 17, 2012 at 12:39 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Comments Off on Dinner & Movie Night – Celebrate National Volunteer Week
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In honor of National Volunteer Week, the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia will be hosting a screening of Lost Boys of Sudan, followed by a group discussion with Staff and Volunteers. Pizza and refreshments will be provided. Details follow:

WHEN: April 20, 2012 at 6:30 PM

WHERE: James Lee Community Center
2855 Annandale Rd.
Falls Church, VA 22042

MOVIE SYNOPSIS: Lost Boys of Sudan is an award-winning documentary that follows two Sudanese refugees through their intense journey to the United States. The immigrant experience – whether by choice or by force – is shared by a majority of LCNV learners. As volunteers, you serve a critical role in helping your students to not only learn English, but to familiarize them with American culture and norms that will enable them to participate more freely and openly in their new home. Join us and your fellow volunteers to see how this experience played out for two young men facing the daunting challenges of starting a new life in suburban America. Then share your experiences and ideas to better support your students who are dealing with similar challenges.


Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 237-0866

Attend Reading: A Family Affair on March 24th

March 14, 2012 at 3:09 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | 1 Comment
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The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia will be bringing books to life at its sixth annual Reading: A Family Affair (RAFA)Come to the James Lee Community Center this March 24, 2012! Families will have an opportunity to experience the joys of storytelling by visiting  a variety of venues that promise to take children (and adults) to far-flung places:

SEE a Book (on stage performances by puppeteers and musicians)
HEAR a Book (storytellers)
BECOME a Book (audience participation)
READ & WRITE a Book (reading/writing activities; book giveaways)
CLICK a Book (guided computer activities)

Reading: A Family Affair is a free event that promotes the value of family reading activities, and nurturing children’s imaginations. This family literacy day is a great opportunity to introduce kids and their parents to the literacy activities available throughout the community; it is also a wonderful way for the Literacy Council to get the word out to potential volunteers, students, and businesses looking for a great mission to support.

A family-friendly event, RAFA offers live performances from some of the area’s most sought after children’s entertainers. Performers include:

Bob Brown Puppets, a major children’s theater company for the past fifty years.
Zurii Conroy, a master storyteller who began storytelling professionally in the sixth grade.
Barbara Effron, a master storyteller who has entertained children and adults since 1983.
Groovy Nate (Elnathan K. Starnes), a working musician and song-writer for over thirteen years.
Jacqueline Jules, an award-winning author of 23 children’s books.
Kalavaridhi Dance School, founded by Sheela Ramanath, performs Bharatanatyam, an Indian
classical dance form.
Gary Lloyd, a renowned storyteller who has entertained hundreds of thousands of individuals
from Vermont to South Carolina.
NOW THIS!, an improv group that has delighted audiences since 1990.

Come out and experience storytelling through dance, theater, and music. Join LCNV at Reading: A Family Affair, and celebrate literacy.

Download the Reading: A Family Affair poster. Spread the word about RAFA.

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 237-0866

The Berenstain Legacy

March 7, 2012 at 1:03 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | 1 Comment
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(Mel Evans/AP) *Picture Appeared in The Washington Post

The world of children’s literature lost a familiar friend with the passing of Jan Berenstain at age 88 this past February 24, 2012.  Jan Berenstain created the series The Berenstain Bears with her husband, Stan Berenstain, who passed away in 2005.  The duo authored and illustrated hundreds of books for the series which features a humanlike bear family who experiences the day-to-day joys and challenges of everyday life.  After her husband’s passing, Jan’s son collaborated with her to continue writing for the series.  The family also wrote a number of parenting books.

Children and parents have avidly supported the Berenstain series for fifty years.  The Berenstains credited their first editor, Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) with guiding them to success.  As with any series, especially such a prolific one, some titles are more popular than others.  Most of the stories have teachable moments for both children and parents which strike chords with families.  Many of the books have included topics relevant to families with young children such as sibling rivalry, manners, good habits, and  much more.  In my opinion, the more successful of the storylines show scenarios that families recognize and are peppered with humor, particularly at the expense of Papa Bear.  Some titles, as is often the case with stories with a moral to them, can sound a bit didactic.  But overall, the familiar illustrations and characters warm the hearts of the child in all of us, young or old.

The Berenstain Bears have been no stranger to LCNV’s Family Learning Program.  Some class sites have used the book The Berenstain Bears’ Dollars and Sense during the Finance and Employment session.  We also have a partnership WETA’s Ready to Learn which presents a workshop for parents on responsible TV viewing and literacy.  During one of these presentations a clip from an TV adaptation of The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food was shown. Two students who were from the same state in Mexico were delighted because they remembered watching the show as children in Mexico.  They were also surprised to discover that The Berenstain Bears were not Mexican.  I believe this says a great deal about their universal appeal.

The Berenstain Bears have a website which also includes a memorial to Jan

Carisa Coburn Pineda
Family Learning Specialist
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 237-0866

Groovy Nate: Musical Inspiration at LCNV’s Reading: A Family Affair

February 21, 2012 at 1:30 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Uncategorized, Volunteers | Comments Off on Groovy Nate: Musical Inspiration at LCNV’s Reading: A Family Affair
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Come see Groovy Nate at Reading: A Family Affair

Join Groovy Nate, his guitar, puppet friends, and other creative instruments for a musical adventure!  Groovy Nate will perform at LCNV’s Reading: A Family Affair (RAFA), which will bring books to life through performance art. The RAFA festivities will take place Saturday, March 24, 2012, and run from  9:30 AM to 2:30 PM at the James Lee Community Center.

After watching the Groovy Nate show, Sheryl Leeds, a Supervisor at Arlington Public Schools, stated: Groovy Nate’s show engaged children in an innovative and creative approach that incorporated literacy, music and movement, and had the participants rocking and reading!

Elnathan K. Starnes, known as Groovy Nate, has been a working musician and song-writer in the Washington Metropolitan Area for over thirteen years. Elnathan is a featured guitarist on several CDs and has performed with several Washington DC-based groups. In 1997, he founded the award-winning soul band, Oktbrwrld, with whom he made four CD’s. Elnathan wrote the film score and co-wrote the film short The Water Story, which appeared on BET. Two of his songs are featured in the major motion picture Cougar Club. He is now a member of both the National Capital Puppet Guild and Puppeteers of America.

As Groovy Nate, Elnathan has performed at various venues in the DC/MD/VA area including: The Children’s Inaugural Ball; Source Theater Washington DC; Art on the Avenue, Del Ray,VA; The Children’s Inn, National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD; Arlington Title I Mailbox Books Program, Arlington,VA; DC National Association for the Education of Young Children; and Imagination Stage in Bethesda, MD.

Nate is a certified Music Together teacher, and teaches Music Together as well as Groovy Nate Music and Movement classes in the Northern Virginia area. Elnathan and his wife, Kisha Kenyatta, along with their two young children, combine talents to create meaningful and educational performance art and edutainment for children and families. They produced the first Groovy Nate CD, Meet Groovy Nate, in 2009.

Groovy Nate will give two performances at LCNV’s Reading: A Family Affair; the first performance begins at 10AM, and the second will take place at 10:45 AM. Adults and children get ready to  explore various musical genres such as Reggae and Hip Hop. Come prepared to laugh and play together, and be inspired to bring music and imagination into your everyday lives.

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 237-0866

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