Volume 10, Issue 5
The Insider, the monthly newsletter of LVA, Essex & Passaic Counties, will keep you in the loop on all of the organization’s upcoming events.
Was good to catch up with veteran tutor Abby Kane (second from right) and students Barbara, Masiel, and Maria during a recent session at the Bloomfield Public Library.
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
Catherine Angus -Tutor Support Specialist
Russell Ben Ali -Social Media & Newsletter Coordinator
Jorge Chavez -Data Processing Coordinator
Marisol Ramirez -Student Coordinator
Greetings LVA family!
Given a chance to improve their English skills, several adult students of Literacy New Jersey said they would seek better jobs, become more involved in their children’s schools, or help their communities. Then there was the issue of social isolation.
“Before I came to the literacy class, I don’t talk to Americans,” explained Yancy, one of the Literacy NJ students profiled in a short film the organization used to open its annual conference last month. “Because I am afraid. Now, when I go shopping or meet the neighbors, I can talk English to them.”
The sentiments expressed by Yancy and others help remind us why we became involved in adult education and volunteer with our respective organizations: To improve lives. Thank you for doing your part to help others.
Did you know that the state labor department offers a host of services to the unemployed, everything from help in preparing a resume to free job training programs to writing to a college on a student’s behalf, requesting that the school waive tuition? For more info on the state’s services, or to request a virtual appointment in English or Spanish, please see: https://nj.gov/labor/career-services/
We are extremely lucky to have talented workshop presenters like Darnelle Richardson, an adult education leader who put her Toastmasters International experience to work last month as she showed our tutors how to help students overcome their fear of speaking. You can view our upcoming workshops on the next page of this newsletter.
There’s still time to register for this month’s NJALL annual conference, held May 18-21, which offers a variety of workshops to enhance your tutoring skills. For more info:
In the News
To view the following stories, copy and paste the highlighted website into an internet search bar.
“Holy Learning, Batman! Using Comics in Language Courses.” observatory.tec. https://bit.ly/3w1kH4S
“National Volunteer Week: 87-year-old a blessing to Immigrant Welcome Center.” Comox Valley Record.
“Literacy as Liberation.” American Libraries.
Sonia, a former pre-med student from the Dominican Republic, is studying to become a medical assistant, as a stepping stone to a career as a nurse.
Tutor Support Workshops
“Writing Can Be Fun - Even Virtually!”
with Todd Evans
Thursday, May 19, 2022
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
"Language and Beyond: Integrating English Language Learning with Cross Cultural Understanding,"
with Lauren Randolph
Platform: Google Meet
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
11 am – 12:30 pm
Monthly Coffee Hour with Tutors
with Catherine Angus
Tuesday, June 7, 2022 at 4 pm
NJALL 2022 Conference
May 18th through the 21st (Online)
Getting to Know Us
An Immigrant Story: One Jersey City Resident’s 19-Year Journey to American Citizenship
JERSEY CITY, NJ - For Ukrainian native Iryna Bilenka, it has been a long road from her home country to America.
Although she had been here before, she was unable to stay. But by sheer determination, nearly 30 years after her first setting foot in the United States, she will be sworn in as an American citizen on April 30 in Jersey City City Hall.
Bilenka first came to America in 1993 on a tourist visa, and when she got here, she applied for political asylum, a case which lasted almost 10 years during which she got divorced and raised two daughters in on her own, was denied, appealed was denied again, and was scheduled for deportation in 2002. She paid a bond for voluntary departure and left back to Ukraine on her own.
“We applied for political asylum in 1993. I had a few immigration courts, two denied appeals and a deportation. I was not allowed to get a US visa and visit my children in the USA for 12 years. Today is 2022. It was a long, long journey for me,” she said.
During her subsequent 10-yr ban she lived with her mom in Kyiv, experienced two revolutions, and the annexation of Crimea. “I had to return to Ukraine in 2002 after 9 years of struggle and desperate tries to get a legal status in America,” she said. (cont.)
Reprinted from Tapinto.net. For full story, paste the following link into your favorite web browser address bar:
Learning a new culture is more than studying a language. Tutoring is more than learning techniques. Our “Resources” webpage covers everything from legal matters, health care, & scholarships for immigrants, to professional development for tutors. Give us a look @: http://www.lvaep.org/students.html
Getting to Know Us