Scary Halloween Facts

October 30, 2012 at 10:28 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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BOO!

Did I scare you? No? Then how about this…

Over 80% of Literacy Council students live at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. That means they make less than $22,340 per year. Meanwhile, the median household income in Fairfax County is $106,000.

Now I’m really going to terrify you. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Fairfax County is $1,216 – which takes up over 65% of a learner’s income. Financial experts generally advise that you spend no more than 30% of your income on housing.

Did that send shivers down your spine?

Fortunately, these adults can get the help they need at the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia. LCNV changes the lives of over 1,500 adults each year, combining life-skills and workforce training to promote greater self-sufficiency.

But right now, 83 of your neighbors are waiting to be matched with an LCNV tutor.

Want to make life a little less frightening for these adults this Halloween? 

It’s easy to be a superhero for LCNV this Halloween – no costume needed!

Suzie Eaton
Senior Director of Development
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703)237-0866
http://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

Volunteer at Footprints for Hope

May 11, 2012 at 2:22 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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Grab a friend and volunteer with the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia at the Footprints for Hope 5K Run and 3 Mile/1 Mile Walk.  

Footprints for Hope is an opportunity to have fun while helping our neighbors in need.  Volunteer, run or walk, or donate to LCNV on Saturday, May 19, 2012. Footprints for Hope will be held at Connections for Hope, a partnership of nonprofit organizations and service providers. Registration begins at 8 AM.

As one of the six beneficiary charities, the Literacy Council needs the support of volunteers. Examples of tasks you might be doing include registering walkers, setting up the course, distributing water, cleaning up the course and helping with entertainment and hospitality. Sign up for a shift today!

Unable to volunteer? Run or Walk at Footprints for Hope. With your registration form, pick the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia so that your registration counts towards our team.  Click here to register: http://www.active.com/donate/footprintsforhope.

Not in town or have other plans? Support the Literacy Council by donating to our Walk for Hope team: http://www.active.com/donate/footprintsforhope/lcnv. Help us provide adult learners with one-on-one tutoring and English language instruction right in their own neighborhood.

Support literacy on May 19th, and leave your footprint.

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

Support LCNV at Footprints for Hope

May 4, 2012 at 2:25 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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What if a footprint could make an impact on someone’s life?

Join us for Footprints for Hope and you CAN set someone on the path to empowerment!

Connections for Hope is a partnership of nonprofit organizations and other service providers that operate under one roof in Herndon to provide individuals and families in need with access to an integrated array of services. From medical care to job skills training, homework assistance to legal counseling, English classes to homelessness prevention, these and other services at Connections for Hope foster the self-sufficiency, good health and education that people of all ages and cultures need so that they can participate constructively in their communities.

Your gift toward our Walk for Hope team will help LCNV provide adult learners with the English language and literacy instruction that they desperately need, right in their own neighborhood.

Support LCNV on May 19th and leave your footprint.

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

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 | Leave a comment
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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.

RSVP: volunteers@lcnv.org

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

LCNV Students: Progress in the Making

January 12, 2012 at 2:56 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Announcements, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Student Stories, Teaching, Tutoring, Uncategorized, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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We in the AmeriCorner have just finished our end of session data entry, meaning that our first semester of teaching is officially over! It was a great semester, and a wonderful learning experience for both students and teachers. I saw four of the students at my class sites receive their graduation certificates; all are planning on registering for the Fairfax County ESOL classes this month. Of course, I am extremely proud of our graduates and students, but I also have to express how impressed I am. Seeing my students work so hard and progress is nothing short of inspiring – regardless of whether this progress was officially measured by a test.

One particular student of mine has left a very special impression on my heart. He recently came to the United States from Guatemala. He arrived at registration barely speaking a word of English, but I worked with him to fill out the form and get him tested. Right away, his enthusiasm for learning English was obvious– he went straight home to get his girlfriend and brought her back to register for class! Every single day he came to class with a smile on his face, ready to learn and with his homework completed, despite working long days doing construction. He also pursued his studies outside of class. He would stay after class to ask questions, and I often saw him peruse the ESOL section of the library. By the end of the semester, we were having full conversations about our favorite songs, movies, TV shows, and things he liked about America! He assured me that he was going to come back to English class during the spring semester! I hope that he, and all my students, return for classes at the end of this month and continue progressing.

Visit English for Speakers of Other Languages Learning Centers, and learn more about LCNV’s classroom program. To view the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia’s Class Schedules, please visit: Learn – LCNV. If you are interested in teaching or tutoring, please write to volunteers@lcnv.org.

Jessica L Raines
Americorps Member
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Rd.
Falls Church, VA 22042
703-237-0866 ext. 104
www.lcnv.org

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