Our Citizenship Program is Growing!

As with other organizations and individuals, Literacy Volunteers has had to change our operations due to the pandemic. While the limitations on in-person instruction have created many challenges, our Citizenship program has flourished. Technology and virtual instruction are allowing us to reach more people in multiple ways.
We are discovering that offering our Citizenship classes on Zoom has enabled more students to participate, with our enrollment in July classes reaching more than two times the enrollment from our most recent in-person session this past winter. We’ve been especially pleased that a number of our existing students’ spouses have joined the program in order to take citizenship classes together from their homes. Our adjusted Zoom-based class model has also enabled us to incorporate more current issues and social justice themes beyond the narrower, test-driven content addressed within our citizenship textbook.
Thanks to Catherine, our Citizenship Coordinator, and our summer intern, Russell, we have overhauled the citizenship section of our website to provide more learning resources for our students to access directly and more online support for our tutors as they design citizenship-focused, one-on-one instruction for their students. Catherine is also creating new Citizenship instructional and practice videos, which are shared with our students every week and posted on YouTube. We’ve received positive feedback from our students, while both view counts and anecdotal reports confirm that students are taking advantage of these additional resources.
It’s an honor to help all of our students, but election years always remind us how meaningful it is to work with those who are working toward citizenship and eager to take on the rights and responsibilities of citizens.  

Volunteers of the Year Recognized 

During our Zoom Happy Hour on July 10th, we recognized five individuals for their contributions to LVCA over the last fiscal year. These volunteers have gone above and beyond expectations and have made significant contributions to our program. 
Menna Y., Tutor of the Year: Menna was an easy choice as one of our Tutors of the Year for FY20. She has tutored multiple students, led a session during our retreat, and easily transitioned her tutoring to online formats when the pandemic forced us to shut down our office. She also continuously impressed staff with how well she was able to apply English Language Proficiency Standards to her tutoring. Sadly, Menna and her husband moved to England last month. We wish them all the best but she will surely be missed!
Cherrie W., Tutor of the Year: Cherrie has found multiple ways to serve our students over the last year. She tutored two students, lead a small-group conversation class, and volunteered to help train new volunteers at monthly tutor training sessions. Her commitment to our students and enthusiasm for tutoring is contagious. 
Erik D., Volunteer of the Year: Erik answered a call for a video editor in early 2019 to help edit Wordplay videos. Since then he has not only volunteered editing video footage and creating great videos, but he's also volunteered to interview and film our students, tutors, and programs. His work makes all of our students and tutors look good! Be on the lookout for his new videos later this fall. 
Kathy K., Volunteer of the Year: Kathy has served as a front desk volunteer on Thursday evenings for several years. Before the pandemic hit, she patiently helped students with their computer learning, tackling endless technology issues. She also spent countless hours filing tutor reports. But mostly, she provided a welcoming presence to anyone who came to the office. As we slowly reopened, she was eager to jump back into her old role and she's now back to manning our desk one evening a week. 
Pete Y., Volunteer of the Year: Pete has helped us greatly by providing technical support and helping us extract data from our old student/tutor database in a manner in which it can be imported into our new database system, LACES. Pete's expertise in understanding the structure of our Access database has saved LVCA many, many, hours of work and data entry.
We'd like to thank all 375+ volunteers who served our organization over the last year. We are so grateful for everyone who has dedicated their time and talents to promoting literacy within our community. 
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