Volume 8, Issue 6
The Insider, the monthly newsletter of LVA, Essex & Passaic Counties, will keep you in the loop on all of the organization’s upcoming events.
“Tutoring in Today’s World,” our Tutor Support Workshop via Zoom, was a success! Thank you for joining us and thank you to the presenters for their great distance learning ideas.
Literacy Volunteers of America Essex & Passaic Counties
90 Broad Street, 2nd Floor, Bloomfield, NJ 07003
(973) 566-6200, ext. 217 or 225
195 Gregory Avenue, 2nd Floor, Passaic, NJ 07055
Cristhian Barcelos -Executive Director
Jorge Chavez -Data Processing Coordinator
Debbie Graham -Education Coordinator
Ellen Rooney Martin -Recruitment & Training Coordinator
Mary O’Connor -Trainer & Tutor Support Specialist
Marisol Ramirez -Student Coordinator
Greetings LVA Family,
We hope this letter finds you healthy and safe. These are truly unprecedented and confusing times, with current conditions difficult and a future that’s uncertain. If you find yourself in need of emotional support, the state Department of Human Services offers a free, confidential helpline, available 8 am to 8 pm seven days per week, at 1-866-202-HELP (4357). This and other vital services can be found on our resources webpage:
The New Jersey Association for Lifelong Learning (NJALL) went virtual this year, in lieu of its traditional annual conference. You can see the final webinar of the virtual mini conference, a panel discussion on “Transitioning to the New Reality of Adult Education”, at: https://bit.ly/2MG3xSU
NJALL also remotely announced its annual awards, including those for Teacher of the Year, Lifelong Leadership, the Scholarship Program, and Adult Learner Writing Contest which this year included a category on Writing About COVID-19. You can view the awards here: https://bit.ly/3f4PHFQ
Congratulations to all award recipients. Some of our students, who received a special mention for their writing, are portrayed in the final two pages of this newsletter.
Thanks to all who attended our first virtual support workshop last week, “Tutoring in Today's World" where tutors Karen Cardell, Amy Mahoney, Ann Moore, Mary O’Connor, and others shared useful tips for transitioning to distance learning.
In the News
To view the following stories, copy and paste the highlighted website into an internet search bar.
“Op-Ed: Language lessons are lifeline to immigrant workforce”, Boston Business Journal, https://bit.ly/2ZY3pWP
“Coronavirus' online school is hard enough. What if you're still learning to speak English”? USA TODAY, https://bit.ly/2BoWw6G
“Don't let age stop you: Northern Ontario senior graduates with GED 62 years after leaving high school”, CTV News, https://bit.ly/2TYshtu
“Teaching remotely hasn’t been easy. Try managing a classroom that speaks 10 different languages”, nj.com, https://bit.ly/3eFQuN9
Paula, an ESOL student from Colombia who, according to her tutor, shows no fear of speaking English with strangers, gets tons of practice during her U.S. travels.
Tutor Support Workshop
“Sharing Strategies for Distance Learning,”
with Christina Rahaal
Thursday, June 25, 2020, 11:00 am - 11:40 am
Upcoming and Archived Webinars
Friday, June 19, 2020, 2:00 pm
Ninth and 10th in a series of webinars, hosted by ProLiteracy, to help literacy program administrators, tutors, and teachers convert their instruction to distance learning.
EdTech Center: mLearning Webinars Series
June 17, 2020, 1:00 pm EST
“Move Forward with Mobile Learning”
Getting to Know Us
“Non-English speakers hit hard by coronavirus outbreak”
Getting to Know Us
New Jersey Association for Lifelong Learning
Congratulations to our talented student authors who earned “Special Mention” in NJALL’s 2019-2020 Adult Learner Writing Contest. Each year, NJALL (New Jersey Association for Lifelong Learning) holds a writing contest for adult learners throughout New Jersey. NJALL is a professional association that supports adult learners by promoting and representing students to fully develop to their highest potential. Our student authors will have their works published online and in a hard copy publication that will be on display in the LVA office. Again, congratulations. Those who entered and to those who have never entered, start sharpening your pencils for next year’s contest.
Ali left left Turkey 1 ½ years ago with his wife and baby girl and only joined our program six months ago. But his hunger for reading anything he can get his hands has helped him make fast progress in a short time. In Difficulties with Obtaining Health Insurance as an Immigrant, for which he won an NJALL Special Mention for non-fiction, Ali outlines the moves immigrants need to take to overcome one the greatest obstacles in a foreign country.
Carol knows all about perseverance. One of 13 children in her family in Trinidad, she survived a massive stroke as an adult in the U.S. and fought daily to regain the ability to walk. She’s now out of her wheelchair and uses a walker to get around but, for Carol, the struggle is still very real. She writes about a happier time, her childhood in Trinidad, in the non-fiction account Keep Going, which earned a Special Mention.
Life can seem an overwhelming balancing act for a mother who works full-time. Now imagine that she doesn’t fully speak English and is struggling to maintain a home while keeping up with her factory job, and her children’s health and success at school. ESOL student Georgina describes how she pulled it off in Balancing Motherhood, Work, and Learning English, a non-fiction piece that received a Special Mention.
The gifts are wrapped in festive red and green paper, and laid out in front of a pine tree bristling with energy from Christmas lights that symbolize the candles that brighten the earth, even in its darkest hours. Add a traditional Portuguese meal of cod fish, potatoes, eggs and cabbage and you pretty much know what the holiday looks like at Luciana’s home. Her poem, Christmas Spirit, which fondly recalls the festive day for her family, earned student Luciana a Special Mention.
It was a pivotal year for Milton, an impressionable 13-year-old who in 1986 left his native Montego Bay, Jamaica and settled in Montclair. With the support his family and a circle of new friends, he adopted strong values, like a good work ethic, respect, responsibility, manners, and accountability, that would help him later in life and in his livelihood as a barber. He would go on to teach those values to his children. Milton recalls the year with affection in his memoir, A Year of Change, which won a Special Mention.
Is it possible to learn a new language and find a new career as an adult? Just ask Nohra who, after staying home to raise two children, became an ESOL student and a licensed home health aide, work she finds deeply rewarding. Not bad for someone who left Colombia as a young woman and arrived in the U.S. where she knew only a cousin she hadn’t seen since childhood. She writes about her experiences in the memoir It is Never Too Late to Learn, which received a Special Mention from NJALL.
In The Gun Epidemic in America, student author Nohra identifies two reasons she believes that gun violence has become an epidemic in the United States: a thriving and profitable market of guns sales and the government’s lack of control of the market. y the government. Nohra, a native of Colombia who works as a licensed home health aide, notes that the epidemic causes families to feel anxious. The non-fiction entry won a Special Mention.
All was new and exciting for Rizwana and her three sisters, four newly arrived young immigrants from Pakistan who made their way around New York City like explorers. Until that day the girls were separated from their parents during a day trip to the park, unable to find their folks or the place where they’d agreed to meet. The sea of emotions that followed in the frantic search for one another is something that Rizwana didn’t fully grasp until today, now that she has three children of her own. Her non-fiction account of the flustering day, An Unforgettable Memory, earned a Special Mention.
For some new immigrants there’s a fascination with the seasons in their new home, with the changing colors of the trees, extreme heat, and freezing snow. For Rizwana, an LVA student and office volunteer from Pakistan, fall is without a doubt the most interesting. In a poem simply entitled The Fall, Rizwana depicts the transition from summer, the strong winds, falling leaves, rainy days, and even seasonal allergies. The poem received a Special Mention.