Volume 9, 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.
Congratulations to Randy Budros, an LVA tutor who was named Teacher of the Year by the New Jersey Association for Lifelong Learning (NJALL). More details on Page 4.
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
Russell Ben Ali -Social Media & Newsletter Coordinator
Jorge Chavez -Data Processing Coordinator
Mary O’Connor -Trainer & Tutor Support Specialist
Marisol Ramirez -Student Coordinator
Greetings LVA family,
While it may be too soon to belt out a verse of “Happy Days Are Here Again”, the reopening of the state last month after a year of lockdown and restrictions was about as welcome as May’s flowers.
Under the governor’s broad plan, restrictions were eased or lifted May 19th on everything from amusement parks to zoos, although some masking and social distancing measures remain in place and proprietors are granted wide discretion.
Most public libraries established their own reopening plans and some went on to fine tune them. The Bloomfield Public Library, for example, recently announced an expansion of hours, computers available without appointments, and limited seating as long as masks are worn in both the adult and children’s buildings. What does this mean for tutors and students hoping to return to in-person instruction in the library? Well, it’s early but possible that a tutor and a single student may meet at a library table, provided each feels it’s safe to do so and they get an okay from library staff ahead of time, as restrictions at each institution vary and are subject to change.
You can view the state’s timeline and guidelines for reopening here: https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/reopen
The month of May also brought good news from our students and tutors. Students Rosa and Maria earned their high school diplomas, students Georgina and Rosa (yes, same Rosa) won NJALL writing prizes, and tutor Randy Budros was named NJALL Teacher of the Year. Most are profiled later in the newsletter.
The latest edition of the ProLiteracy journal, Adult Literacy Education, released this month, contains the findings of new research on reading and teaching reading, reflections from teaching basic adult literacy, and an interesting forum on COVID-19 and the future of adult education. You can read the journal via this link: https://bit.ly/3wam1zT
In the News
To view the following stories, copy and paste the highlighted website into an internet search bar.
“Being an Asian immigrant in Canada.” The Peak.
Student Rosa didn’t let the pandemic slow her educational goals. Last month she earned a high school diploma and won an NJALL writing award.
Tutor Support Workshops
"How Understanding Personality Can Improve Your Tutoring,"
with Stephanie Mazzeo-Caputo
Platform: Google Meet
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Last support workshop before the summer break
Webinars and Conference
2021 Teaching the Skills That Matter in Adult Education (TSTM), a free virtual conference
For more info: https://bit.ly/3g6dmsH
Tuesday & Wednesday, June 15-16, 2021
ProLiteracy and EdTech Center
Distance Education Strategies & Solutions
Webinar features experienced educators who share best practices and discuss your distance learning questions.
Friday, July 23, 2021, 1:00-2:00 pm
Getting to Know Us
“Why Can’t Immigrants Learn English? Americans Say Immigrants Should Learn English. But U.S. Policy Makes That Hard.”
Getting to Know Us
New Jersey Association for Lifelong Learning
Teacher of the Year
Many congrats to Randy Budros, the LVA tutor who was named Teacher of the Year by the New Jersey Association for Lifelong Learning (NJALL). The award is presented to an adult educator who has demonstrated professionalism and exemplary performance teaching adults in the field of lifelong learning.
Dr. Budros is a social justice advocate and a dedicated volunteer literacy tutor who has never declined to accept one more new student into one of his ESOL groups. This retired researcher and University of San Francisco professor spends many hours as a volunteer in efforts as varied as aiding refugees from West Africa and South America at the International Rescue Committee and Catholic Charities, fighting voter suppression in Georgia, and promoting racial justice and LGBTQ rights. And, for the past five years, he’s still found time to help students learn to read, write, and speak English, as well as to find essential life resources, and to assimilate into their communities. In turn his students provide him with a window into their complex worlds, both now and prior to their journeys here, he said in his award acceptance speech. “This sort of symbiotic relationship makes tutoring a richly rewarding, even intoxicating endeavor, making you eager to return for your next weekly fix.”
New Jersey Association for Lifelong Learning
Adult Learner Writing Contest 2021
Congratulations to our talented student authors who earned awards in the NJALL Adult Learner Writing Contest 2021. Contest winners will have their work published by the organization both online and in a hard copy magazine.
Georgina, who in the past has garnered the attention of NJALL writing contest judges, took this year’s first-place non-fiction award for Justice for Vanessa Guillen update, an opinion piece that questions the sincerity of the military’s response to the murder of an Army specialist stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. An investigation into Specialist Guillen’s homicide found a command climate that was permissive of sexual assault and sexual harassment and it resulted in the firing or suspension of 14 Army officials. “How long would we continue to see cases like Vanessa’s?” the Ecuadorian native asked in her piece. “There needs to be a change in culture within the military and within society as well.”
In Kids Left Behind for a Dream, Rosa, a native of Ecuador, tackled the issue of children who suffer painful separations from their parents when they are sent to the U.S. to live with other relatives. Rosa won a second-place award for her non-fiction effort, which captured the emotional trauma that many of these children experience, including her husband who was sent to the states at age 10 to live with a sister. Many of these children are grateful for the sacrifices their parents made but remain emotionally scarred. “As an adult, he still experiences the loss of his mother and father deeply,” she wrote of her husband, whose mother died before he could return home to see her. “In his mind, the last image of his mother saying goodbye haunts him.” You can read a profile of Rosa, who also earned her high school diploma last month, on the second page of this newsletter.