Friends of the English Empowerment Center,
This year, we are proud. In this newsletter, I am honored to be able to share with you many of the recent accomplishments of English Empowerment Center learners, instructors, volunteers, staff, and board. Our community is full of diverse individuals with a large variety of personal goals which we are privileged to help them accomplish. Beyond providing English classes, we are proud to provide a supportive environment for English language learners, where they build their confidence and build personal relationships with fellow learners, instructors, and volunteers.
We are continually moved by the dedication of our learners. As our spring semester registration has begun, we have seen many returning students who are proud to come back to continue their education, share their accomplishments, and build their community. Several students came to registration proud to show their certificate from a past semester with us, their perfect attendance $25 discount voucher, and proof of their post-test, qualifying them for an additional $25 discount. We are also excited to see many new students beginning their journey toward English literacy. Many instructors and volunteers came to help English Empowerment Center staff at registration, but more importantly, they came excited to reconnect with past students from the fall semester and meet new students who may be joining their class. We are moved by the friendships that are being created in our classrooms.
As our organization has been growing, you have hopefully heard that we decided to change our name from the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia (LCNV) to the English Empowerment Center. Although we have a new name, our mission remains the same: to teach adults the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, and understanding English so they can access employment and educational opportunities and more fully and equitably participate in the community. In this newsletter, you can read more about our name reveal event, The Next Chapter, as well as why it was time for a new name.
This year, we are blown away by the hard work of many of our instructors and volunteers. The English Empowerment Center offers Adult ESOL Instructor Basics training three times a year to prepare them for the upcoming semesters. In addition to attending these trainings, many instructors and volunteers have spent their time continuing to educate themselves on how they can best help English language learners. You can read more about their dedication and the awards and certificates they have received in the “Proud to Share…” section of this newsletter.
I am proud to share that the English Empowerment Center continues to be recognized as a leader in the community. Fellow non-profits and literacy organizations have reached out and asked us to share our best practices. Many of our staff members have been recognized for their hard and effective work. Along with myself, staff members Xavier Muñoz, Soo Park, and Nada Raja have been invited to present in a variety of webinars and conferences regarding the important work we do for the community.
We are always excited to connect and collaborate with other community organizations. In December, English Empowerment Center staff had our annual day of service. This year we volunteered with the Herndon-Reston FISH, packing food and toys for families in need. We are proud and grateful to be able to support the community in different ways.
We are so honored to have a Board of Directors who are so engaged and excited to support us and the community. This January, we held our annual Board Retreat. It was incredibly productive and inspiring to spend the day with a group of people so dedicated to helping others achieve their goals through English literacy.
We truly could not ask for a better community with which to work. Everyone involved with the English Empowerment Center learners, instructors, volunteers, staff, board, and community partners has shown extreme dedication and perseverance this past year. We are beyond excited to continue to learn and grow in 2023.
Roopal Mehta Saran,