Mark Your Calendars: LCNV’s 8th Annual Reading: A Family Affair

January 30, 2014 at 1:08 PM | Posted in Family Learning, RAFA | Leave a comment
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The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia will host its 8th Annual Reading: A Family Affair (RAFA) on Saturday, March 1, 2014, at the James Lee Community Center. A suggested donation of $5 per family at the door will benefit LCNV’s Student Scholarship Fund.

Come to Reading: A Family Affair, and enjoy a spell-binding day filled with stories,dance, songs, puppets and even a bit of magic as created by nine local performing artists and WETA Kids’ Clifford the Big Red Dog! Download the RAFA Poster, and share it with your friends and colleagues to help spread the word about this great family event!  Volunteers are needed too!  Express your interest and expedite your placement process.

NEW! Pre-register to attend RAFA and you’ll be entered in a raffle for a chance to win a Nook® HD.

Reading: A Family Affair 2014

Reading: A Family Affair 2014

 

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 | Leave a comment
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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
kbeckman@lcnv.org
www.lcnv.org

Supporting LCNV: BeanTree’s Love of Literacy

July 25, 2012 at 1:24 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Uncategorized, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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This past spring, Carisa Pineda and Serife Turkol attended the 7th Annual BeanTree Learning Family Picnic at Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg. More than 400 new books were donated by families of students attending BeanTree Learning as part of the school’s 4th Annual “Love of Literacy” Campaign to benefit families served by the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia,  and the Loudoun Literacy Council. The 200 books received by the Literacy Council are very high quality titles that included many board books which are often expensive for our program to purchase. The Family Learning Program will give these books away to the families we serve.

This is the second time the Literacy Council has received such a generous donation from BeanTree. Many thanks are due the BeanTree families who provided the books and a special thanks to Jennifer Bower, the owner of BeanTree, as well as Tracy Gilliam for coordinating the donation.

Founded in 2003, BeanTree Learning is a privately owned and operated Creative Campus for Children developed by Jennifer Bower.

 

 

 

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

“At 98, Once-Illiterate Lobsterman Is Now An Author”

April 2, 2012 at 1:36 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia considers “At 98, Once-Illiterate Lobsterman Is Now An Author,” a must read! Friends at the Ionia County Literacy Council recently shared the article, which was published by the Associated Press at the Hartford Courant.

The article “At 98, Once-Illiterate Lobsterman Is Now An Author,” charters the life of James Arruda Henry, a lobster boat captain who learned how to read in his late 90s. Henry found inspiration in “Life is So Good,” by George Dawson, a slave’s grandson who learned to read at 98 years old. Driven by Dawson’s narrative and supported by his family, Henry labored over words until he could compose whole essays. Now, Henry’s essays have been compiled in the book “In a Fisherman’s Language: An Autobiography,” available as a Kindle Edition.

An excerpt of article written on James Arruda Henry follows:

Henry said he was taken out of school around the third grade to go to work making concrete blocks, baking bread and doing other jobs. He recalls getting a dollar from his father on the Fourth of July.

“I was so happy that I went straight to the ice cream parlor,” he writes in his book. “I got a glass of milk, a piece of apple pie, a dish of ice cream. After I finished eating I had just enough money to buy a small pack of firecrackers. I lit one and they all went off!!”

His granddaughter had read him an excerpt of the book, “Life is So Good” by George Dawson.

“I said if he can do it, I can do it,” Henry said. “That’s when I started to learn…”

Take a moment to read the article “At 98, Once-Illiterate Lobsterman Is Now An Author.”

Consider reading James Arruda Henry’s collection of autobiographical essays:In A Fisherman’s Language: An Autobiography.”

Lastly, consider reading the story that motivated Henry to learn how to read and write at 98:Life is So Good,” by George Dawson.

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

NOW THIS! – An On the Spot Performance at RAFA

March 8, 2012 at 3:03 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Uncategorized, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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NOW THIS! at Reading: A Family Affair

Come and check out NOW THIS! at Reading: A Family Affair. On March 24, 2012 NOW THIS! promises to surprise, awe, and make you laugh with their totally improvised skits!

For over 20 years, NOW THIS! has been delighting audiences of all ages and interests with improvised spoofs of every style, ranging from opera to folk ballads, Shakespeare to Soaps. Every scene, melody, and lyric has been created, on the spot, from audience suggestion. In their interactive musical shows for kids, the NOW THIS! professional cast takes the audience’s ideas and instantly turns them into songs, comic sketches, and musical fairy tales.

The Washington Post states: “ If you can imagine it, NOW THIS! can sing about it.” NOW THIS! has been featured at the following distinguished venues: the Marquee Lounge; Smithsonian; the Kennedy Center; Palm Springs Convention Center; and the Grand Casino Hotel in Biloxi. The diverse troupe of actors/singers/writers has won the DC chapter of the International Special Event Society’s ISES Award for Best Entertainment twice, and the Esprit, the international version of that award.

Come and interact with the NOW THIS! crew. This band of performers will be showcasing their skills at Reading: A Family Affair in the Become a Book room; catch their show at 12:15 PM or 1:00 PM.  Bring your ideas and imaginations for NOW THIS! and get ready for one hilarious ride.

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
www.lcnv.org

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 https://www.berenstainbears.com/parents/index.htm

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

Zurii Conroy Weaves a Tale at Reading: A Family Affair

March 5, 2012 at 11:04 AM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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Zurii Conroy will Perform at Reading: A Family Affair

Zurii Conroy will weave an intricate tale on March 24, 2012, at Reading: A Family Affair (RAFA); the event will be held at the James Lee Community Center. Zurii began her journey into storytelling when she was in the third grade.  Exposure to this oral tradition, coupled with encouragement from teachers, peers, and family, enabled Zurii to realize that she possessed a talent, one that needed to be shared. In the sixth grade, she began storytelling professionally under the name “Princess Zurii.”

Zurii shares:  “Being one of the few young professional storytellers, I am able to develop a connection with youth in a way that helps them to view storytelling in a modern light.  I think that since younger audiences can identify with me, they can envision storytelling as something that they can do, and make it their own. This is especially evident when I share my tale of how I became a storyteller. My family and teachers ensured my exposure to and success with literacy. I enjoy opportunities to do the same with others.”

A proponent of literacy, Zurii has brought the gift of storytelling to people of all ages, performing at various venues such as birthday parties, schools, colleges, hospitals, churches, libraries, community events, plays, and festivals. Also an actress, Zurii has performed on both the stage and television.

At Reading: A Family Affair, Zurii Conroy will perform in the Hear a Book Room at 11:30 AM and 12:15 PM.  Come out this March 24, 2012, and celebrate literacy with Zurii Conroy who’ll convince you – You are a storyteller too!

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
www.lcnv.org

Gary Lloyd Gives the Gift of Story on March 24th

March 1, 2012 at 1:35 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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Gary Lloyd at Reading: A Family Affair on March 24, 2012

On March 24, 2012, renowned storyteller, Gary Lloyd, will be bringing books alive at Reading: A Family Affair (RAFA), an event  hosted by the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia and  held at the James Lee Community Center.   Known for his enthusiastic delivery, Gary orchestrates a program of story, voices, movement, and participation that is focused on capturing and keeping audience attention. Come and celebrate the bond between storytelling and reading, as Gary calls on you to use your imagination and travel to faraway places. 

A master storyteller, Gary Lloyd, has entertained audiences from Vermont to South Carolina. On a mission to promote literacy, he has visited schools, festivals, libraries, and other venues, bringing a unique blend of fact and fiction to hundreds of thousands of listeners. His performances highlight a variety of topics: Mark Twain; the California Gold Rush; Vikings; polar explorers; survival adventures; and lives of inventors.

Gary Lloyd is a Recipient of the National Storytelling Network’s 2006 ORACLE Award for the Mid-Atlantic Region. In 2008, he was the touring performer for the Delaware Division of the Arts state-wide library summer reading program. Gary has performed at the following venues: Earth Day/Arbor Day ceremony; National Zoo; Potomac Celtic Festival; Washington Folk Festival; Fairfax County Fair; Fall For The Book; the Fairfax Chocolate Lovers Festival; the Punxsutawney Goundhog Day Festival; and elsewhere. Recently, he completed his first CD, which celebrates the city of Fairfax, Virginia’s Bicentennial

Visit the Hear a Book room at Reading: A Family Affair, where Gary Lloyd will be performing at 1 PM and 1:45 PM. Join Gary Lloyd in celebrating the gift of story.

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
www.lcnv.org

Award Winning Author, Jacqueline Jules at Reading: A Family Affair

February 23, 2012 at 2:23 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Uncategorized, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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Come out to see the award-winning author, Jacqueline Jules at Reading: A Family Affair this March 24, 2012; the event runs from 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM at the James Lee Community Center. Jacqueline will be reading from her chapter book series, Zapato Power, which  features Freddie Ramos, a little boy who receives a mysterious package with super-powered purple sneakers. Would you like to have super speed? Or would you rather have super strength or invisibility? And what would you do if you had super-powered purple sneakers and you could run faster than a metro train? Take part in Freddie’s adventure, as he finds a balance between being a superhero and a student in elementary school. Get prepared to sing and have a lively discussion about superpowers.

Jacqueline Jules is the award-winning author of 23 children’s books, including Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off (2010 CYBILS Literary Award, Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Honor Award, ALSC Great Early Elementary Reads), Unite or Die: How Thirteen States Became a Nation (2010 Library of Virginia Cardozo Award), Benjamin and the Silver Goblet (2010 Sydney Taylor Honor Award), Duck for Turkey Day (TN Volunteer State Award List, Washington State Children’s Choice Book Awards list), and No English (DE Diamonds list, TN Volunteer State Award list). Also a poet, Jacqueline won the Arlington Arts Moving Words Contest, Best Original Poetry Award from the Catholic Press Association, and the SCBWI Magazine Merit Poetry Award. Most of Jacqueline’s books have grown out of her experiences as a teacher and elementary school librarian. Students are her inspiration.

Visit the BECOME A BOOK room at Reading: A Family Affair. Jacqueline Jules will perform at 10:25 AM and 11:30 AM.  Come and take an adventure with Jacqueline and her character, Freddie Ramos. Be prepared to be wowed by Freddie and his super-powered sneakers.

Download the Reading: A Family Affair Poster. Share it with friends and family. Spread the word about this great event.

Are you interested in volunteering at  Reading: A Family Affair? If you are not available on March 24th, the Literacy Council is also looking for people to help out over the next few weeks as we prepare for the big day. If you’re interested, please fill out this form, which expedites the placement process: RAFA Volunteer Form.

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road, Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 237-0866 x 115
www.lcnv.org

Reading as a Family: Read Together, Learn Together

February 22, 2012 at 2:00 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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Attend LCNV's Reading: A Family Affair on March 24, 2012

Who doesn’t remember the joy of curling up on the lap of a parent or grandparent to listen to a story? Or the trip to the local library for story-time? Or watching the faces of older siblings engrossed in a book and wishing you could be a part of their fascination?  Listening to stories and reading together is one of the simple joys of childhood. The Literacy  Council of Northern Virginia also knows that reading together as a family is a great learning opportunity. Children and their relatives discover different places, cultures, and individuals while reinforcing their literacy. Reading as a family also plays a vital role in a child’s development.

According to the National Center for Family Literacy:

  • Children’s reading scores improve dramatically when their parents are involved in helping them learn to read.
  • Low family income and a mother’s lack of education are the two biggest risk factors that hamper a child’s early learning and development.

Long before children enter school, early experiences with books build a strong foundation for learning. Incorporate reading as a regular activity in your child’s life. Choosing age appropriate books should be a consideration, but reading different texts is also beneficial. Poems, plays, and songs are great examples. Not only are they different forms of expression, but foster discussion. Even if a child doesn’t know how to read, give them the opportunity to engage with a book: let them hold the book; follow your finger as you read the text and then let them repeat it. This helps not only build a child’s experience with books, but makes him/her feel important and part of the activity.

Children become readers when their parents read to them. Reading together as a family is one of the main reasons adults come to the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia to learn. I often hear variations of these inspirations:  “I wanted to be able to read to my granddaughter”;  “Becoming a father was my motivation to learn to read”;  “I want to help my child with her homework.” What could be a better incentive?   Sharing the joy of reading to a child, or listening to them reading their first book is a simple pleasure everyone should experience.

Patricia M. Donnelly
Executive Director
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 237-0866
www.lcnv.org

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