Volume 8, Issue 11
The Insider, the monthly newsletter of LVA, Essex & Passaic Counties, will keep you in the loop on all of the organization’s upcoming events.
People often are uneasy about speaking in a new language; that’s natural. Tutor Abby Kane shared her insight last month in the workshop “Helping Students Overcome Their Fear of Speaking."
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,
Aren’t you just glad it’s over? Much was lost in the coverage of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, which may forever be remembered for its political polarization, a contentious debate, all night vote tabulations in key battleground states, allegations of fraud and corruption, voter suppression and foreign meddling, legal challenges and demands to stop ballot counting.
One of the areas barely touched on was the huge number of eligible voters among foreign-born, naturalized U.S. citizens, one of the largest on record. About one-in-ten people who were eligible to vote in this year’s U.S. presidential election were immigrants, according to the Pew Research Center, a non-partisan fact tank. And most (61%) of these 23 million naturalized citizens live in just five states, including New Jersey, with 1.2 million immigrant eligible voters, the fifth on the list after California, New York, Florida, and Texas. And we’re extremely proud to say that many of our students and alumni are in that pool, including Anelsi and Margarita of the Dominican Republic, Irma from Ecuador, Esther from Nigeria, Cristina and Perseveranda from Peru, Nunu of Liberia, and Nuray from Turkey. Here are the Pew Research Center numbers: https://pewrsr.ch/3eDrVSc
In “good news on the employment front,” congratulations to Katya, a student from Lima, Peru who was hired as an educational assistant at her children’s elementary school; student Clifford Henry, a military reserves soldier who served in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, who was hired as a grounds crew worker on the military base at Fort Dix; and former student and office volunteer Jouseth, a pediatric oncologist from Ecuador, who recently earned a registered nurse’s license.
Some folks don’t miss classes, even in a pandemic. We’d like to recognize the efforts of Ana, a visually-impaired student from El Salvador who continues to study via a device provided by the state Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired; and Shagoofa, a student from Afghanistan, who kept up with lessons, right up until she gave birth to a baby girl two weeks ago.
If you’ve received an email invitation to attend our first ever virtual membership meeting on Tuesday, December 1st, from 7:00-7:30 pm, when we’ll provide a status report, vote on key issues and announce our student and tutor awards, please RSVP via email to our executive director, Cristhian Barcelos, firstname.lastname@example.org, by Monday, November 16th.
In the News
To view the following stories, copy and paste the highlighted website into an internet search bar.
“Your View: Why I’m an adult literacy volunteer in Allentown,” The Morning Call. https://bit.ly/35eotui
Pamela, who grew up in rural Guyana, is determined to improve her literacy skills and make up for the limited educational opportunities of her childhood.
Tutor Training Workshops
Online Training, by Catherine Mitch
Tuesdays, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
November 10, 17, 24, & December 1, 2020
Tutor Support Workshops
"Writing Prompts for the Classroom,"
with Dr. Erik Jacobson
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
"Building Vocabulary Through Stories,"
with Mary O’Connor
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
"Easy Guide for Working With Small Groups,"
with Barbara Hathaway
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Additional info: http://www.lvaep.org/workshops.html
Getting to Know Us
“Off the Shelf: The Cost of Low Literacy Levels”
“Low literacy prevents millions of Americans from fully participating in our society and our economy as parents, workers and citizens. It lies at the core of multigenerational cycles of poverty, poor health, and low educational attainment, contributing to the enormous equity gap that exists in our country.”
When I got my first 9-5 job, I felt a bit lost in my off-hours. I no longer had homework and campus life to fill all my time. Part of my solution came in a small notice in the newspaper looking for adult literacy volunteers.
After attending training in the basement of the local public library, I was assigned a student with whom I met weekly to work our way through the lessons of the program. Her goal was to read from the Bible with more ease at church. Aside from the fact the Bible is filled with some pretty challenging words and names that don’t show up in literacy lessons, we made good progress together and developed a friendship that often resulted in her sending me home with delicious food.
I wasn’t working in libraries at that time, but I think working with her really drove home the importance of literacy skills. While public libraries offer lots of services, like loaning out mobile hotspots and offering creative programs like our Little Learners kits, I always come back to the role public libraries play in supporting literacy skills at all ages and the impact those skills have … (cont)
Reprinted from The Hawk Eye. For full story, paste the following link into your favorite web browser address bar: https://bit.ly/2JJW4UI
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