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

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

LCNV Office Closed Today

August 16, 2012 at 10:24 AM | 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’s office will be closed on Thursday, August 16, for a staff retreat. The office will reopen on Friday, August 17, at 9:00 AM.

Don’t forget to join LCNV’s staff, students, and volunteers at the Golden Reunion this August 26, 2012.

Check out LCNV’s new website: www.lcnv.org.  

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, Va 22042
(703)237-0866 ext 112
www.LCNV.org

Setara Habib: My AmeriCorps Year

August 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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I can’t believe today is my last day of my service year here at the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia. Overall, I have had much success and feel I have gained much from this experience. I have gained confidence in myself as a teacher and pride in the work I have done. I would really once again like to thank EVERYONE at the Literacy Council for being wonderful people and doing good work. I feel lucky to have been able to work with this organization for a year. As I move forward in my life, or rather South to Richmond, I can take with me all my new skills and experiences and the knowledge that I have spent one year of my life devoted to helping others. Teaching adult ESOL was such a rewarding experience. I can only hope that I find something equally as rewarding in the future. or maybe I’ll just come back some day.

Setara Habib
Americorps Instructor
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, Va 22042
(703)237-0866 ext 112
www.LCNV.org

Raymond Chow: Thoughts and Thanks.

August 7, 2012 at 12:29 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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I am grateful to AmeriCorps and the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia for my exciting and rewarding year as an ESL teacher.  I have nothing but admiration and respect for the dedication and hard work of both the Literacy Council’s staff, volunteers, and students.  I have grown as an educator and as a member of my community through the work I’ve done here.

At the class graduations this summer I told my students that they were my family.  Specifically they were all my parents, only 40 years removed.  They came to America for the same reasons, the same aspirations – something better for themselves and for their children.  My parents were able to own their own house, their own small business, and put two children through college.  And I told them this not to brag about my parents’ successes but to confirm theirs.   All those great Frank Capra American dreams are possible.  I am proud of every one of my students.  I only hope they continue to gain knowledge and confidence as they continue to better themselves.

But if they are my parents then I am their son.  And in that I have to reflect on the question of whether I have been a good one.  I can only say that AmeriCorps has been a reaffirmation that I’m trying.  I want to help others.  I want to do good and take advantage of all the gifts I’ve been given so that I can give back to others.  To that end, when I take my leave of LCNV I will be going back to law school to become a better advocate (in some fashion) of this community.

Everyone at the Literacy Council has been both dedicated and kind.  Although I will not be able to teach in the coming year I have every intention of helping LCNV in its mission.  I sincerely thank the Literacy Council for helping me be a better person.

Raymond K. Chow
Americorps Member
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Chuch, Virginia 22042
(703)237-0866 ext. 118
www.lcnv.org

Jessica Raines: My AmeriCorps Year

July 27, 2012 at 12:10 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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I came to the Literacy Council with practically no teaching experience. My background is in psychology and political science, but I wanted to try something new. I did not really know what to expect from this upcoming year of teaching, but I knew it would be hard and rewarding.

The first semester, my fellow AmeriCorps members and I hit the ground running. I had to learn to teach through trial and error. Quickly, I discovered that teaching is not an easy task. Often, there are so many available resources that you can feel like you are drowning in textbooks, websites, and advice. Plus, actually being responsible for someone else’s learning felt incredibly overwhelming. Part of me expected teaching to come naturally, but I found myself spending substantial amounts of time lesson planning and feeling incredibly nervous before each class.

Teaching is an art AND science; skill and practice are required if you want to hone your craft. As time went on, I became more comfortable with it.  I took advantage of trainings, sifted through resources and articles, and practiced five times a week in front of my own class. Eventually, lesson planning and teaching became easier.  I also stopped stressing about being responsible for someone’s education and focused on enjoying my time with my students; as the saying goes “showing up is half the battle.” Students are ecstatic that someone is willing to take time out of her day to show up to class with a smile on her face and talk to them. I really enjoyed conversing with my students, even though it was extremely difficult at times given their limited language skills. While working with my students to accomplish their goals,  I learned about their lives and cultures, and this was incredibly rewarding – more rewarding than words can express.

Jessica Raines
AmeriCorps Member
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 237-0866 x 104
www.lcnv.org

My First Tutoring Session

May 15, 2012 at 12:12 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Student Stories, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | 1 Comment
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By. Lisbeth Goldberg

There was an announcement by the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia regarding their next volunteer tutor training for ESOL; it’s a structured training program on three consecutive Saturdays, and they assign you a specific student.

I immediately phoned and signed up because I’d been wasting my Saturdays, and I always liked training classes. The three Saturdays were really excellent, with about 35 people in the class. I was assigned an Ethiopian lady who’d completed eight years of school in her home country. She knew a few English words and some of the letters, but couldn’t write her name in English and could not converse in English.

Yesterday, at 4:00 pm, I met with my student, and two of her daughters at an Alexandria Branch Library. The eldest daughter is a college student. Her sister is a senior in high school, and there is another sister who is a junior in high school. The girls were delightful, with an easy laugh. Mom had a solemn face, and she just looked down and sighed. The girls were doing all the talking.

The Literacy Council sends you off to your first meeting well prepared.  There are three flyers on a) what to do in your first session; b ) needs assessment and goal setting, and c) a form to be signed by the student, an agreement to study and practice. The eldest daughter read the student agreement to her mom. When they got to the sentence, “Promise to do my homework,” the girls started giggling and laughing at the idea of Mother doing homework.  When the daughters got to the statement, “If the student doesn’t do her homework, the teacher might not teach her anymore,” they couldn’t stop laughing. Mom remained rather somber, sighing, and with no eye contact.

Then we began the lesson introducing ourselves by name. I asked the student how I should pronounce her name, and practiced it several times. She listened and practiced pronouncing my name. We did lots of repeats. Needless to say, Amharic and English have very different sounds to some letters and vowels. When Mom got it right, I gave a big smile and clapped my hands — very good. She clapped back and looked me in the eye, even smiled.  I had explained to her, she may be a beginning student, but I was certainly a beginning teacher.

I was about to give her a homework assignment, to practice copying her name in English and then write it next class, but she was a step ahead of me. [She] told her daughter to tell me she would practice for next class, and proudly said my name with a big smile.

After the first meeting, the class is one-on-one. But the eldest daughter said that her mom really needed help, so the three daughters will rotate accompanying Mom to class. I’m extra lucky. I have these beautiful, enthusiastic daughters to work with me and to help their Mother learn English. They each thanked me with a handshake, a smile, and a bow on their way out.

I was on a high; it was the best of times!

Please consider becoming a Volunteer Tutor like Lisbeth. Visit Tutoring or email volunteers@lcnv.org. 

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

Chef José Andrés Celebrates Literacy with LCNV

April 24, 2012 at 1:04 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | 1 Comment
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Chef Jose Andrés is featured in Time magazine. Photo by Peter Hapak

The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia is celebrating its 50th year in a really big way! We’ve planned three events: The Golden Reunion (July 1, 2012); One for the Books (October 3, 2012); and Literacy Means Business (April 2012).

Celebrity Chef José Andrés will be a special guest at our gala event, One for the Books! One for the Books will be hosted at the Masonic Temple in Alexandria. Special guests also include award-winning author David Baldacci, and prominent financier Ric Edelman. Robert Egger, President of D.C. Central Kitchen, will be serving as Master of Ceremonies, highlighting the importance of literacy in all aspects of life.

Recently, Chef Jose Andrés was featured in Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the World. In addition to being a phenomenal chef, Andrés is an advocate and fundraiser for D.C. Central Kitchen, whose Fresh Start Catering will be catering One for the Books. Take a moment to read the feature and find out why Andrés is so influential and inspiring.

Mark your Calendars. One for the Books takes place on October 3rd of this year, but LCNV will be hosting its Golden Reunion this July 1st, at the Ernst Community Cultural Center in Annandale. See old and new LCNV faces. Hear from LCNV volunteers and students, whose stories will inspire you. For more information: 703-237-0866 or info@lcnv.org.

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