Tags: alumni, AmeriCorps, americorps partners, announcement, Basic Adult Literacy, best practices, Ceci, Children, Children's Books, Development, english classes, ESOL, Family Learning, friends, it's not too late to register, James Lee Community Center, late registration flyer, late registration schedule, LCNV, lcnv learners, learn english, literacy, literacy council, literacy council of northern virginia, literacy services, lorton senior center, Loudon Literacy, networking, register for classes, september 29, student stories, students, teaching, Volunteer, volunteers
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.
Tags: a tale, alumni, AmeriCorps, americorps partners, announcement, Basic Adult Literacy, Children, Children's Books, community, family, Family Learning, friends, LCNV, lcnv learners, Library, literacy, literacy council, Loudon Literacy, networking, RAFA, reading a family affair, reading as a family, story weaving, storytelling, teaching, teaching strategies, the benefits of reading with your child, tutoring, Volunteer, volunteers, weave a story, weave a tale, weaving a story, Writing, zurii conroy
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!
Tags: alumni, AmeriCorps, americorps partners, announcement, Basic Adult Literacy, Children, Children's Books, community, Delaware Division of the Arts, Fall For The Book, family, family fun, Family Learning, friends, gary lloyd, gift of story, Goundhog Day Festival, LCNV, lcnv learners, lectura: un asunto de familia, Library, literacy, literacy begins at home, literacy council, literacy starts at home, Loudon Literacy, master storyteller, networking, ORACLE Award, potomac celtic, Potomac Celtic Festival, storyteller, students, Vermont to South Carolina, Volunteer, volunteers
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
Download the Reading: A Family Affair poster. Spread the word about RAFA.
Tags: alumni, AmeriCorps, americorps partners, announcement, Basic Adult Literacy, best practices, community, Family Learning, hand in hand, LCNV, lcnv learners, learning a second language, learning to read, lesson plans, Library, literacy, literacy council, Loudon Literacy, networking, new language, patience, struggles with, students, teaching, teaching strategies, thank you!, Volunteer, volunteers, Writing
One of the things that I sometimes struggle with in teaching, and in other areas of my life, is patience. I teach beginning level English classes with a fair number of literacy level students, meaning I have some students that can read and write in their own language but struggle with the Roman alphabet, and some students that are not fully literate in their native language. It can take a long time for these students to master what to me seems like a simple task: writing their name or saying the letters of the alphabet, for examples. Sometimes I am just in awe of how long it can take. I find myself thinking “How can they not get it? It is so easy!” But it is not easy.
I am taking an online course in how to teach literacy level learners. A quote from an article we had to read really stood out to me: “Literacy-level learners may be beginning learners, but they are not beginning thinkers.” This quote really struck a chord with me. I think a lot of people in our society take language for granted. Many people, when they come across someone who is unable to answer a question or express themselves, write them off as unintelligent. I think they fail to recognize how challenging it is to learn and use a language, and they therefore lack compassion when someone struggles with speaking.
It feels better to fully master a task than it does to tangentially cover a great number of items. It’s the age old adage of quality over quantity – and obtaining that quality can require a great investment of time. Learning a new language is an extremely difficult task, as I know from first-hand experience, and our students deserve our patience and compassion as they attempt to learn our language. I think that patience can sometimes be the most important thing when it comes to teaching, and it is important to keep this in mind.
Tags: alumni, AmeriCorps, americorps partners, announcement, Basic Adult Literacy, catalogue for philanthropy, community, corporate giving, donate, greater washington, Information Technology, LCNV, lcnv learners, literacy, literacy council, networking, nonprofit's giving portal aims, one of the best, online giving, online giving portal, suggestions, thank you!, Vanessa Small, Volunteer, volunteers, washington post, year-round giving
The Catalogue for Philanthropy helps raise funds for “the best small non-profits,” in the Washington, D.C., area. The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia is featured for the second time in the Catalogue (2011 – 2012) as “one of the best small charities in the Washington, D.C., region.”
This past February 5, 2012, the Catalogue for Philanthropy was featured in the Washington Post article “Nonprofit’s giving portal aims to drive more donations to charities.” This article by Vanessa Small, highlights the Catalogue’s new workplace giving portal, which aims to help generate corporate funds while emphasizing year-round giving. The portal also allows donors to control the allocation of their funds. The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia is excited about the Catalogue for Philanthropy’s new online-giving portal. We hope it’ll generate more support while helping inform the public about the quality of our much needed services.
Tags: alumni, AmeriCorps, americorps partners, announcement, Barack Obama, Basic Adult Literacy, civic engagement, civically, community, Falls Church, give, giving, Housing Proposal, James Lee Community Center, LCNV, lcnv learners, LCNV staff, literacy, literacy council, Loudon Literacy, networking, Obama, President Obama, students, teaching, teaching strategies, thank you!, tutoring, Visits, Volunteer, volunteers, Writing
The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia’s headquarters are at the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church, Virginia. This past February 1, 2012, the Center hosted a very special guest – none other than President Barack Obama! LCNV staff and volunteers had the opportunity to see the President in the flesh, and hear his speech on the housing market, which built upon his State of the Union and promised to help homeowners who are struggling with their mortgages.
President Obama called on Congress to make it easier for millions of additional homeowners to refinance their mortgages at lower interest rates. The President stated: “This housing crisis struck right at the heart of what it means to be middle class in America: our homes,” where residents build their families and “plant roots.” Obama’s proposal would give “responsible homeowners a chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage by refinancing at a historically lower rate.” The President also announced new industry standards for mortgage servicers: a “bill of rights” to protect borrowers in their transactions, which would include a simpler, three-page loan document.
LCNV encourages learners to become more civically engaged. LCNV Instructors teach students about paying bills, looking for employment, the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, procedures for U.S. naturalization, and U.S. history and government. A number of our students will be voting for the first time in the upcoming Presidential Election, and some are studying to take the citizenship exam. Moreover, command of the English language enables learners to have the confidence to be active in their communities – whether that’s voting for the first time or obtaining citizenship; reading a map to take public transportation to work; communicating with a child’s teacher; or voicing one’s opinion at a school or town meeting. Civic engagement for the majority of our students begins with literacy.
Tags: alumni, AmeriCorps, americorps partners, announcement, Basic Adult Literacy, beyond print, Computer Literacy, digital literacy, Information Technology, LCNV, lcnv learners, literacy, literacy council, networking, skype, students learn computers, teaching, teaching strategies, technology, thank you!, the three r's, tutoring, Volunteer, volunteers
Check out Gavin Dudeney’s “No Place in Class for Digital Illiterates,” which appeared in The Guardian. Dudeney highlights a new aspect of literacy, which is beyond the “three Rs of reading, writing, and arithmetic”: digital literacy.
The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia knows that education includes technology. In 2011, LCNV offered Open Computer Instruction workshops , thanks to the help of a volunteer corps from IBM’s Asian Diversity Networking group, spearheaded by LCNV tutor, Elliot Zhang. The sessions were filled to capacity and learners worked on beginning-level operational skills, email, Skype, and navigating the Internet. Setara Habib, an AmeriCorps Instructor stated: “I am proud to say that my mom is a citizen of the internet. We set her up with an email and Skype account. I saw that other students were joining Facebook and looking for relatives while others were watching YouTube videos and learning about searches. It was a great experience!”
Adapting to the ever–changing and tech-connected world, LCNV hopes to continue to help our learners build their “digital literacy skill set.” Take a moment to read all about digital literacy and its role in students’ lives: “No Place in Class for Digital Illiterates.”
Tags: 1 mile fun walk, 8k, acumen solutions, alumni, AmeriCorps, americorps partners, announcement, Basic Adult Literacy, community, family, Family Learning, friends, give, giving, Information Technology, LCNV, literacy changes lives, literacy council of northern virginia, literacy services, Loudon Literacy, networking, race for a cause, RAFA, students, technology, thank you!, the race for a cause, tutoring, Volunteer, volunteers
Acumen Solutions 3rd Annual Race for a Cause™ 8K and 1Mile Fun Run took place this past October 16, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. The race benefited ten DC-area nonprofit organizations – the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia was one of these selected organizations!
During registration, participants in the Race for a Cause™ registered for their organization of choice. This year, LCNV and the remaining nine non-profits met the minimum number of runners, which determined that each organization would receive a portion of the proceeds. LCNV came in seventh place with 220 supporters – an impressive feat considering this year was the first time LCNV was selected as a beneficiary of the race. In addition to the tremendous support the event garnered, the race was a great opportunity for LCNV volunteers, Board members, and staff to have fun while exercising and spreading the word about LCNV – the literacy services it provides and the lives it changes.
An awards ceremony, which took place this past November, honored the ten nonprofit organizations spotlighted in Acumen Solutions 3rd Annual Race for a Cause™. A gift of $8,125 was presented to LCNV at the Ritz Carlton in Tysons. Part of the award was generously donated by the SunTrust Foundation. Patti Donnelly, LCNV’s Executive Director, accepted the award on behalf of the organization. The following LCNV Board Members attended the ceremony to show their support: Peggy Balsawer, Paul Byrne, John Odenwelder, Victor Pa, Anne and Jon Spear, and Saurabh Verma. We are particularly grateful to Saurabh, who, as an employee of Acumen Solutions was instrumental in putting LCNV on the very short list of selected non-profits.
The Literacy Council would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who ran, registered, and rallied support for LCNV’s cause. It is only because of individuals like you that LCNV can provide ongoing services to adults who are eager to learn how to read and write.
To learn more about our next upcoming event, please visit: Reading: A Family Affair.
Tags: alumni, AmeriCorps, americorps partners, announcement, awards, Basic Adult Literacy, community, Family Learning, friends, Literacy Champion, Literacy Champion of Virginia award, MAHCC, Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, networking, partnership, Poinsettia Festival Awards Dinner and Dance, students, thank you!, tutoring, volunteers
Recently, the Mid-Atlantic Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Poinsettia Festival Awards Dinner and Dance, which honored the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia with the 2011 Literacy Champion of Virginia award. The theme of the gala “English Literacy: Pathway to the American Dream,” spoke to the heart of LCNV’s work, which aims to open doors of opportunities by giving adults in Northern Virginia the gift of literacy.
As president of LCNV’s Board of Directors, I was invited to attend the dinner and award ceremony. The event was held at the Kellog Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University. Salsa music greeted us as we walked through the doors to the ballroom. Delicious aromas, emanating from platters of food, enticed our appetites. Over 100 people filled the room – all dressed in festive attire and ready to celebrate the MAHCC’s Annual Awards Dinner and Dance.
Dr. Jorge Ribas, President and CEO of the Chamber presented the 2011 Literacy Champion of Virginia award with a personal story emphasizing the importance of knowing how to read, write, and speak English. He spoke of the Council’s valuable work in promoting literacy, emphasizing its important role in the pathway to the American dream. I was honored to accept the award for the Council. In accepting the award, I spoke about LCNV’s mission, and the work of Literacy Council’s staff and 1200+ volunteers. This occasion hallmarked the excitement of the budding partnership between the Literacy Council and MAHCC; working together we will reach and serve more learners and volunteers.
Mary Ann Nocerino, President of the LCNV Board of Directors
Educational Consultant, Reading Specialist