Recognizing the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia's 60 Years of Service

Floor Speech

Date: May 27, 2022
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CONNOLLY. Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 60th Anniversary of the Literary Council of Northern Virginia.

Founded in 1962, the LCNV is the oldest literacy program in the state and one of the largest literacy councils in the nation. Throughout its 60 years of service, the LCNV has adapted to the growing needs of the Northern Virginia community to serve adult learners at the lowest literacy level.

Not only are they celebrating a milestone of 60 years, but they are about to celebrate a milestone of serving 60,000 adult learners. By empowering tens of thousands of adult learners to better participate in their communities, LCNV is ensuring the economic success of hundreds of local families for a lifetime.

With the help of dedicated volunteers, LCNV has become one of the more efficient and effective community-based literacy organizations in the country. In FY2021, despite being in the middle of a global pandemic, LCNV's 436 volunteers were able to put in a total of 16,344 hours of service. LCNV was able to hold events to recruit and train volunteers, which helped the organization meet and work with 204 new volunteers. These new volunteers were critical as the organization had to pivot to virtual programming for the year. The volunteers were able to provide substantial remote support to help their students use the online learning platforms.

LCNV has spent the past six decades helping people from all over the world achieve their goals and better their lives with literacy skills. On average each year, their students come from 90 different countries and speak 50 different languages. Their commitment to meeting people where they are in their educational journey has allowed them to become a trusted resource in the community and a leader in adult education. In the fall of 2021, LCNV was called upon to help with literacy classes for refugees coming over from Afghanistan. While their fall session had already started, LCNV quickly adapted and added classes for the students that would not have been able to wait for the next registration period. To date, they have been able to help almost 170 Afghan refugees with English literacy skills.

Literacy is not just about being able to read, it's about being able to further your career, engage in conversations with family and friends, and become more civically engaged. LCNV helps students reach their goals like voting for the first time or getting a promotion at their job. The skills gained in LCNV classrooms, both virtual and in- person, allow learners to improve wellness and attain healthier lifestyles as well.

Madam Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me in recognizing the 60th Anniversary of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia. Its values of Integrity, Innovation, Respect, Collaboration, and Excellence have propelled it to success for the past 60 years and will continue to carry the Council through the next 60 years. I also want to express my gratitude to the LCNV staff, Board of Directors, and countless volunteers who dedicate their time and resources to empower neighbors of our community to develop basic skills of reading, writing, and speaking English.

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