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Welcome to the Literacy Council of Northern Virginias Volunteer Orientation!LCNV * 2855 Annandale Rd * Falls Church, VA 22042 * 703-237-0866 * www.lcnv.org
The mission of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia is to teach adults the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, and understanding English in order to empower them to participate more fully and confidently in their communities.
The LCNV is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves Fairfax and Arlington Counties, as well as the Cities of Falls Church and Alexandria.
Our History1962: Mid Allen Ries founded the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, a volunteer-based initiative, with the Basic Literacy Tutoring program. 1976: LCNV started the ESOL Tutoring program to respond to the needs of a dramatically increased immigrant population.1993: ESOL Learning Centers established to better meet the needs of a growing ESOL population.1999: LCNV created the Family Learning Program in response to student demand for family-oriented programs.2007: Launch of the first annual Reading: A Family Affair to promote family literacy. 2012: Celebrating its 50th year, the LCNV is a professional non-profit leader in its field, serving over 1,500 learners each year through its four educational programs.
Mid Allen RiesFounder of LCNV
Who We AreFind out more about us on our website under Staff Bios!
Adult LiteracyIn the US, literacy refers to an individuals ability to read, write, understand, and speak in English at levels necessary to function at home, on the job, and in society, and to develop one's knowledge and potential. The 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy found:14% of adults demonstrate Below Basic levels of prose, document, and quantitative proficiencies. Adults in this level range from having no literacy skills to being able to locate the time and place of a meeting on a form.Another 29% of adults demonstrate a Basic level of literacy proficiency. These adults are able to read and understand simple, short, everyday prose (e.g. a pamphlet).
The study found that 129,000 adults in Northern Virginia lack basic literacy skills.
Our Students Each year, the Literacy Council serves over 1500 adult learners who represent 89 different countries and 56 different languages. The majority of our students are between 25 and 44 years old.
Most of our students come to us through word-of-mouth, while others are referred to us from higher level educational organizations, whose services do not meet the needs of the beginning level adult learner.
Upon enrollment, the Council assess students for placement in the best program and level to suit their needs. They are also asked to pay a $50 tuition fee, which includes the cost of their first set of books. Full and partial scholarships are made available for those who require financial aide through our Student Scholarship & Advancement Fund.
Our Volunteers From the beginning, with its each one, teach one philosophy, the LCNV has placed volunteerism at the center of its work. Actively involved in implementing the Councils 4 educational programs, volunteers work closely with Literacy Council students, building relationships and promoting literacy in their communities.
Over 800 volunteers each year participate with the Council, providing direct educational services to individuals and groups of students, as well as critical support to LCNVs office, events and fundraising activities.
Our Programs4 Educational Programs
Basic Literacy TutoringESOL TutoringESOL Learning CentersFamily Learning Program
Tutoring ProgramsTutoring Programs provide individualized, goal-oriented instruction to adult learners.Basic Literacy TutoringServes English speakers whose reading and writing skills are below the fifth grade levelServed 237 students in 2011Over 76% are native speakers of other languagesEnglish for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)Serves adults learning to speak, understand, read and write EnglishServed 297 students representing 45 countries in 2011
Volunteer TutorsTutor-student pairs set their own schedule to meet for 90 minutes each week at a convenient, public location.Utilize a mix of the resources LCNV provides and individual ideas to prepare personalized lessons. LCNV tutoring staff, placement advisors, volunteer networks, and continuing training opportunities provide ongoing support.
The Literacy Council trains* volunteers to provide individualized instruction to adult learners. Trainings are held 4 times a year for each Program. Once trained, tutors enjoy considerable flexibility!
*A one-time $50 training fee applies.
Classroom ProgramsClassroom Programs provide beginning level ESOL instruction to groups of learners on a semester basis at a number of locations throughout the area. Learning Centers Classes to help students improve their English speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Theme-based lessons acquaint students with American culture and life skills important to the workplace, community, and family. Served 618 students in 2011.Family LearningClasses to promote learning in the home and parental involvement in their children's education. An environment for families to learn without having to worry about childcare for their younger ones.Served 185 students and 127 children in 2011.
Classroom VolunteersTeachers are responsible for lesson-planning and record-keeping.Class Aides assist the teacher with instruction and help students with class work.Classroom volunteers enjoy a dynamic and collaborative atmosphere.
LCNV recruits and trains* volunteer Teachers and Class Aides for 3 Learning Centers sessions and 2 Family Learning sessions each year. Volunteers choose their preferred program, position, and location. Trainings are held 3 times a year. See our current class schedules online.*A one-time $50 training fee applies.
Classroom Volunteers:Student Assessment SpecialistsOnce trained, volunteers choose when and where to serve.Testing happens 4-8 times throughout the year at LCNVs class sites, and requires volunteers to commit a few hours a month for one academic year.LCNV also recruits and trains* volunteers to assess students for placement in our classes and to evaluate progress. Testing involves interviewing methods developed by the Center for Applied Linguistics. The Literacy Council hosts a one-day training to prepare Student Assessment Specialists.
This is a great opportunity for volunteers who are interested in our educational programs, but have a limited schedule!
*Training is sponsored by the State of Virginia
Our EventsLCNV hosts a variety of events throughout the year with a lot of help from many volunteers!
Reading: A Family Affair (RAFA) brings books to life for the broader Northern Virginia Community to enjoy. Annual Recognition Event and Holiday Pot-Luck Party joins students, volunteers and staff together to recognize student achievements and celebrate our diverse community. Other activities include fundraising runs & walks, unique outreach events, and one-day educational opportunities for our learners.
Other OpportunitiesInterested in our behind the scenes work?Consider these flexible non-teaching opportunities to connect with LCNV staff, volunteers, and students:Student and Tutor Registrar to assist enrollment in classes and trainingsOffice assistant to help LCNV with program administrationCommunity Liaison to promote LCNV volunteer and education opportunities throughout your neighborhoodLibrarian to manage and track LCNVs extensive resource collection
Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat kind of commitment are volunteers asked to make? LCNVs volunteers are a very dedicated group of people who are interested in advancing the Councils mission. Each volunteer opportunity requires a different level of commitment. For instance, tutors are asked to commit to 9 months of volunteering, while teachers and aides are asked to commit to at least one full class session (2-4 months). For more details, read about the position on our website, or contact the Director of Volunteers.What are the qualifications to be a volunteer? Just as each opportunity requires a different level of commitment, each position also requires different qualifications. However, all Classroom and Tutoring Program volunteers must be 18 or over, hold a high school diploma or equivalent, be able to speak, read, and write English fluently, and be able to provide their own transportation to and from their volunteer activities. I dont have any teaching experience or foreign language skills. Can I still volunteer in LCNVs Educational Programs? YES! We will train you to get you started and support you along the way so that you can help adults in your community gain critical English skills they need to succeed.Besides continued training, what are the ways the LCNV supports its volunteers? When you begin volunteering, you will meet your program supervisor and other volunteers who will support you throughout your experience. They will be your first point of contact to share your successes and help you along the way. The LCNV also holds various continued training opportunities throughout the year. These in-services are geared to help volunteers expand their skills and knowledge around adult English and literacy education. Throughout your volunteer experience, you will also be invited to participate in various volunteer networks and LCNV events, which provide opportunities to connect with the broader LCNV family of staff, students, and volunteers.
Frequently Asked Questions cont.As a volunteer tutor, teacher, or class aide, Im giving my time, skill