Transcript of Speech from Anupam Kumar, President of LCNV's Board of Directors:
Hi Everyone, thank you for giving us some of your time today. I am Anupam Kumar, the President of the Board of Directors of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia.
I’m going to tell you the story about two parents. I’m one of them. I have two children that are now home from school. I get emails from their teachers, we Facetime with them, print out worksheets, and plan activities all to help my two kids learn and grow. And I can do that because I can read, I can write, and communicate in English.
Imagine the struggle of those parents that aren’t able to communicate with their kids’ school, or they can’t understand or answer questions about their kids homework or distance learning. Inequity is real and it impacts those around us. 50% of elementary school students in our area live in a home where English is not the main language spoken.
But what makes me optimistic is recognizing the work that LCNV has been doing for the last 58 years and how impactful it is today. The other parent in my story is Norma. She and 100s of other parents have participated in the Family Learning Program at LCNV which emphasizes the needs of parents with children in school to help develop their English to reinforce what their children are being taught, communicate with their teachers, and help with learning at home. 90% of those that attend the Family Learning Program reported an increased involvement in their children's education. And that is more important today than it has ever been. We’ve given those parents hope and we’ve given those children opportunity.
LCNV serves our adult learners through multiple programs to best serve their needs based on their life goals. LCNV offers Beginning English classes, Family Learning Programs, Skills-based classes, and Destination Workforce® classes. The Beginning English program is classroom-based and provides instruction where students who speak many languages are in the same classroom giving and getting feedback to learn English. The Family Learning Program emphasizes the needs of parents with school-aged children, engaging families in activities that help parents develop their English and reinforce what their children are learning in school. Skills-based classes help fill learning gaps by focusing on single areas such as writing or conversation. And Destination Workforce®, LCNV’s workplace program, offers classes in partnership with local employers where learners can learn industry-specific vocabulary skills, workplace soft-skills, and earn nationally recognized credentials to help them advance in their careers.
I encourage you to learn more about our programs and help support our vision of a community empowered by the ability to read, write, speak, and understand English.
Lastly, I want to recognize the incredible LCNV staff and volunteers who serve with such firm purpose and passion. It is also those behind our organization—the board, our legislators, sponsors, and community partners who are some of our biggest advocates. I hope you are, too. Thank you for enabling our work.