“It is very important to learn English in this country. I want to get a better job and be able to help my son with his homework." - Griselda, LCNV Learner
Celebrating 60 years of helping adults learn how to read, write, speak, and understand English.

LCNV was established in 1962 by a grassroots group of local volunteers alarmed at the number of adults who were functionally illiterate. LCNV grew from a corps of trained volunteers who provided one-to-one tutoring for predominantly native-born residents to creating larger-scale classroom programs as the number of foreign-born residents rose dramatically. Today LCNV serves those at the lowest skill levels, providing the crucial first steps of language and literacy learning, while also offering opportunities to improve workplace soft skills and receive industry-recognized credentialing. LCNV is proud to have served nearly 60,000 students in its 60 years!
Take a look at our learners' essays throughout time...
1992 | “Sharing Our Words… Sharing Our Lives…"
My teacher’s name is Mrs. Suzanne, and she is my tutor. She teaches me how to pronounce my words and teaches me how to read better. She helps me out a great deal, and I love every minute of it. She helped me get my glasses. She tries the best in helping me and I thank her very much for her cooperation, and I love her for this. Thank you for everything.
- Pearl
1997 | “Our Lives, Our Stories"
All these years I wanted to learn how to read. Now I am learning. Now I am doing better. I am learning the sounds of letters. It is good to learn how to read. I feel happy.
- Selina, “Learning How to Read”
2002 | “My Vote Matters”
I am an adult now and I have a daughter. I’ve been here for 21 years and have worked since I was 12 years old. I worked long hours, sometimes until 11:00 PM and sometimes I had two jobs to help me and my family. I know now if I educate myself about taxes, healthcare, social security and all the issues, my vote can affect my life.
- Maribel, “Why Voting is Important to Me”
2007 | “How Learning Has Changed My Life” 
I never went to school in my country. When I came to the USA I wanted to learn. Now I am able to write checks, find addresses, read signs and I have more confidence in myself. I want to finish the GED school and go to NOVA.
- Florinda
2012 |“Celebrating Literacy: My Celebrations, Big and Small” 
When we came to the American U.S. that was December 15, 1982. I was very happy. My children were young. They’re going to school. I was very joyful. We lived in Pakistan. There was no school. My children were home. Nobody at school. Now all my family finished studying. They have a good life. When they finished high school I had a big party. We were very happy. I have eight children. I had eight parties. My two daughters are working in the laboratory. One of my daughters works in the Pentagon. My son has a business. My young son has a business too.
- Massuda, "Celebration"
2017 | "Learning Gives Me Power"
My mother tongue is Dari and I finished school and university in Dari language- back in Afghanistan. When I moved to America to start living here I encountered problems and changes as a result of not knowing English. I decided that learning English is important so [that] in the future I can help my children, find a good job, and serve my family and community. I would like to thank my teachers for their support.
- Wajai
2020 | "Literacy is a Survival Skill"
Being afraid is normal, giving up can be fatal. The coronavirus has changed us a lot, but where there is crisis, it can be an opportunity to make a real change. Since this pandemic came, I have learned to be more cautious, to eat better and to show my loved ones that I appreciate them. I think that one of the biggest challenges I am facing is that every day I have to go to work knowing that I can get infected.

The English classes have helped me to be able to communicate in the work I do and to recognize the warning signs against this virus that are written in English. My hope for the future, first of all, is to stay alive so that one day I can have my own company and I know that by learning English I will be able to do so. I am very grateful to God, and to the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia for the opportunity it gives me to be able to learn another language that in this country can open many doors for me.
- Gildaro
2021 | "Learning Lights My Path Forward"
When I came to the USA 3 years ago, I was the same as a baby when he tries to speak or tries to walk. I often had a friend come with me to translate when I had to do anything. It was embarrassing for me. But I tried. I listened. I watched movies. I searched for anyplace to take English class. I listened to anyone who would give me advice. Now, thanks to my God, I have a solution. I say, “Good job Nadia, you are a strong woman.” I support myself to do everything. Conversation is easier. I listen and ask what things mean and I remember. When I speak with any person in my shop, I think ‘what does that mean.’ Sometimes I use the online translator and when I know what something means, I remember it. My boss all the time helped me in everything in my life. He said you have to push yourself. He spoke with me in English all the time at work. Before my class, I was scared when he [spoke] English. I could not answer him because I did not trust myself. Sometimes I would say to him, ‘can you translate for me to Arabic,’ and he said no. He said to me, ‘translate to me what you understand.’ After I translated for him, he said, ‘Why you don’t answer me? You understand already!’ I feel I am good. I can speak with him now. I trust myself, especially with email. My boss said now he will open a position for a job as buyer and I will apply. I made one goal.
- Nadia
Click here to read more about our learners!
Questions? Visit www.lcnv.org for more information or call 703-237-0866.