Adult Learners gather on stage for a group photo.
In June, we held our 54th Annual Recognition Event, recognizing our learners, volunteers and community partners. With over 200 attendees including adult learners and their families and friends, instructors, volunteers, staff and members of LCNV’s Board of Directors, it was a great night!
Each year, we invite our learners to submit essays, all of which are published in LCNV’s Celebrate Literacy book. This year’s essay theme, “When I Learn English, My Community Grows,” drew over 90 submissions. Four student authors - Liem Dang, Gema Baron Ramos, Shu Chu Ho, and Gloria Castellanos - were selected to read their essays on stage. In reading her essay, the effervescent Shu Chu Ho shared, “When I came to America, I could not speak English. I only smiled at people when they talked, and I had to ask my daughter to translate for me. Now, I can talk to anybody I want to. I can talk to cashiers, taxi drivers. I can make friends wherever I go now, because I can talk to everyone. Learning English has helped me become closer to my family. I can join in the conversations that my grandchildren have, and I can be more involved in their lives. I ask them what they learned in school and how their friends are. Now, we can understand each other.”
Delegate Mark Keam, keynote speaker, thanked the adult learners for reading their wonderful essays, and spoke passionately about his own journey as a young immigrant. Delegate Keam acknowledged the struggles that immigrants face in a new culture and the difficulty speaking and articulating ideas in a new language. He also thanked volunteers for their contribution to the community at large, and encouraged all of us to be active participants in our democracy.
“The end of the school year is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our adult learners, who make many sacrifices to get through English class or to be tutored in our programs, and to recognize our volunteers, who are critically important to LCNV,” says Executive Director Patricia Donnelly.
Thank you for joining us in this celebration. We look forward to sharing many more successes in the year ahead!
Check out the full photo album here: Photo Album
Download the 2016 Annual Recognition Event Book.
Watch Fairfax County's Channel 16 broadcast of the event: