One of the great things about Northern Virginia is the diversity of its communities. People from many different places around the world come to live in this area. While diversity enriches our culture, it also brings the issue of language barriers for those who are not native English speakers. To help newcomers improve their English and more fully participate in family and civic life, the Literary Council of Northern Virginia (LCNV) offers basic literacy courses.
Founded by volunteers in 1962, LCNV is Virginia’s oldest community-based adult literacy nonprofit. Its mission is to teach adults the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking and understanding English in order to participate fully in their communities. The organization offers four literacy-based programs that teach basic English skills to students at different levels. There are 12 sites throughout Fairfax County and Alexandria City that offer one-on-one tutoring programs and group classroom programs based on students’ needs.
Students improve skills in language and literacy, which translates into family skills, self-sufficiency and job preparation. Last year, LCNV enrolled 1,496 low-income adults in its programs. LCNV programs focus on pre-literate adults and adults with learning deficiencies.
The Family Learning Program provides English literacy classes for families with children and low-income, immigrant parents in a collaborative classroom environment. Children participate in literacy-related activities while their parents learn English in a way that relates to their daily lives. The classes focus on family learning and encourage parental involvement.
“More than half of the adult learners at the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia are motivated to help their children in school,” said Patti Donnelly, Executive Director of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia. “Helping adults develop basic literacy and language skills also influences the next generation. I would like to see the Family Learning Program continue to grow as the organization grows.”
495 Express Lanes Grant Support
The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia relies on the partnerships and support of local residents and businesses to help fund their much-needed programs. The Transurban-Fluor 495 Express Lanes Grant Program awarded a grant to the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia’s Family Learning Program located at Crestwood Elementary in Springfield. The program marked its 12th successful year of offering the literacy classes to adults in the area in 2013.
The 495 Express Lanes team chose to support LCNV’s Family Learning Program because of its dedication to enriching the lives of members of the community.
“Transurban-Fluor believes in supporting organizations that work to improve their communities,” said Kevin Ginnerty, Transurban’s Director of Project Delivery. “The Family Learning Program provides Northern Virginians with an opportunity to improve their English language skills in order to live more fulfilled lives. We are proud to support an organization that has a mission to improve the lives of the members of our community.”