IN THIS ISSUE:
6201 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22044
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Hogar is all a bustle with “that time” of year approaching us! We handed out 90 book bags completely filled to the brim with school supplies for kids whose families need a little extra help getting their children ready for the school year. “Awesome!” said one little boy upon seeing his Spiderman book bag and “look at this cool calculator” said another girl when unzipping her bag to find all of the treasures therein. Generous donations from individuals and St. Mary of Sorrows parish in Fairfax Station made such exuberant exclamations possible.
As a child, back-to-school day was one of the most anticipated days of the year. After a couple weeks spent doing nothing by the pool, we always yearned for our school friends, games played at recess and (some may disagree with me here) our teachers. I happen to know for a fact that students have missed you! The Education Department has been overwhelmed by phone calls asking when classes will begin. It seems our students are excited for back-to-school too!
Hogar is pleased to announce two new sites opening this fall: St. Charles Borromeo in Arlington and St. Joseph in Herndon. For a complete listing of Hogar class offerings, please go to the CCDA website. If you have any friends, family members or coworkers that would be interested in volunteering at any of our sites, please look below for locations still looking for teachers!
Don’t miss the story about the brown bag lunch program that is feeding the hungry in Loudoun County! Also, get psyched for a teaching tip written by Diana Gibson, having recently returned from Mexico with a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate.
From everyone at Hogar Immigrant Services, we thank you for volunteering your time, energy and talents to our mission of “welcoming the stranger.” You never cease to amaze us.
Group Manager, Education Services
Education Staff Attends 2008 VAILL Conference
Missed the Virginia Adult Institute for Lifelong Learning (VAILL) conference held at George Mason University in early August? Not to worry! The Education Team attended it for you and will be incorporating all the best workshops and teaching tips into our Fall Training Series!
The conference was a special event funded by the Virginia Department of Education, Office of Adult Education and Literacy and was organized by Fairfax County Public Schools Adult and Community Education’s ESOL Program. The conference provided Northern Virginia's adult ESOL teachers, volunteers, tutors, and administrators with a valuable professional development opportunity to network, share ideas, and get the most up-to-date information on adult ESOL methodology and practical teaching techniques.
Hogar’s Education Team presented a total of five workshops at the event, ranging in topics from immersion to the new citizenship exam to games and error correction. We also attended many more sessions and will be including content from these workshops, as well as hosting different guest speakers from VAILL to give their presentations at our office.
Look for the Fall Training Series in an upcoming edition of the E-nunciations!
Announcing The Fall 2008 Class Schedule
We are pleased to present the new fall semester schedule! Registrations are taking place beginning in August and continuing throughout September at convenient locations all over Northern Virginia, including new sites in Arlington and Herndon! Classes are available at levels varying from Basic to Advanced. We welcome all adults interested in learning English and there are no residency requirements. Walk-ins are welcome after registration unless specifically stated.
Effective Vocabulary Presentation Techniques!
Any good creative writing teacher will tell you that the first rule of good writing is, “Show, Don’t Tell.” The same holds true for ESL vocabulary presentation! Just telling the definition of a vocabulary word or even (eek!) giving the word in Spanish are absolute last resorts. Besides, simply telling students the vocabulary words doesn’t really cause them to take ownership of their own learning and they will end up forgetting the new words almost immediately. When students must make an effort in their own learning process in order to gain the new knowledge (instead of using you as a walking dictionary), they will play a more active role in the classroom and will be more likely to remember the new information.
So, what happens when students still don’t understand, and really do need to be taught the new words? What vocabulary presentation techniques should you use first? What techniques will really make new vocabulary “stick”? The following are several options for great vocabulary presentation:
A big THANK YOU goes out to all of the volunteers who taught with us this summer. We appreciate everyone who managed to squeeze in time to teach classes between barbeques, vacations, and pool parties! The Hogar office is one of the few places in the area that offers summer classes, so we receive students from many other sites who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to learn during the summer. To both ESL and Citizenship teachers- we hope you know how much the staff and students appreciate your time and talents—THANK YOU!
Do you know someone who would make a great teacher? Hogar is looking for teachers at many of our sites, especially in Herndon, Manassas, Falls Church, Annandale, and Sterling. If you have a friend or family member who would be interested, please have them contact Sheila Sullivan at (703) 534-9805 x238 or email@example.com so she can inform them of the orientations and Boot Camps scheduled through mid-September.
For all intents and purposes, Michelle* seems like a typical American teenager. Soft-spoken and quiet (okay, maybe NOT typical), with an inner drive to advance herself through hard work and education, she came to our office at the end of May to find out if she could apply for residency. She came to the United States with a visa when she was 12 years old and remained here when her family decided to stay. Born in Argentina of Bolivian parents, she quickly became acclimated to life in the US through the socializing effects of middle and high school. With the idealism of youth, she married her high school sweetheart immediately after graduation and both proceeded to get jobs in order to make ends meet. However, when you’re both 19 and have only a high school education, good jobs are hard to come by.
With that in mind, her US Citizen husband, Mario*, decided to join the US Marine Corps last fall. After basic training, he received a detail that involves deployment to Afghanistan in September. With little time left to spare, and with Mario receiving intense combat training in Camp Lejune, we at Hogar Immigration Services had to work against time to make sure all the paperwork was signed and filed before his overseas assignment went into effect.
Michelle took the checklists we provided and proceeded to gather all the information that was needed. With her husband in training and only occasionally returning for weekend leave, this proved to be a daunting task. Details that would be second nature to a slightly older couple with more of a history together came haltingly, as dribs and drabs were accumulated with each visit from her husband. Little by little, all the pertinent information was gathered and the forms were finally ready to be submitted. The only thing missing was the signature of the US Citizen Petitioner.
Last week, with his last few days of leave before his deployment, Mario and Michelle came to our office to sign the final papers. They are a young, attractive couple, and the warmth they share is apparent. But, as with any young couple just starting out, the road is not always easy. The added pressure of their separation while he serves our country and risks his life, plus the anticipation as his young wife awaits her residency and eventual citizenship, only adds to the odds against them. But after spending these last few months learning about their story, their determination to succeed as a couple, and their love for each other, this caseworker thinks that they have a wonderful chance of coming through all their trials and tribulations and eventually reaching their dreams of being together and having a long wonderful life as man and wife.
Our best wishes to both of them and a safe return.
*Names were changed in order to protect the privacy of our clients.
Social Services Provides Lunch For Loudoun County's Hungry
Hogar Immigrant Services’ Social Services Department has initiated a program for feeding the hungry in Loudoun County. Twice a week staff and volunteers prepare bagged lunches for distribution to needy individuals who come to the County Drop-In Center in Leesburg.
When the staff and volunteers heard that the Drop-In Center was in need of prepared meals, they asked local branches of Giant Food Stores and Harris Teeter and community organizations like Loudoun Interfaith to donate food. Every Tuesday and Friday the faithful volunteers make the sandwiches and assemble the bags. Each lunch contains a sandwich, a fruit cup, a cookie and eating utensil.
Those served at the center include the “working poor”, families who have fallen on hard times, and individuals who have been laid off. Many recipients have jobs but are struggling to make ends meet while providing for their family’s daily needs.
Catholic Charities’ Western Regional Office offers social services, immigrant assistance, mental-health counseling, and crisis pregnancy assistance. It is located at 100 Dry Mill Road, SW, suite 102, Leesburg, VA. For information or to contribute to the lunch program, call 703-443-2481 or go to www.ccda.net.
The Western Regional Office in Leesburg has been working with the St. Francis de Sales parish for the past few months. They have blessed us with canned goods, non-perishable food items, and donations toward our Brown Bag Lunch Program for the Homeless. This past month we received a HUGE blessing from them. St. Francis de Sales has a special fund set up by the church to exclusively go toward the needs of the community. After being nominated, the Western Regional Office received a large donation for the Emergency Assistance program. We are so excited to use this funding to meet the needs of our clients in such a difficult economic time. Thank you St. Francis de Sales, your generosity and partnership are invaluable!
Hogar's Naturalization Workshop Rescheduled
The next Naturalization Workshop has been moved from October 3, 2008 to September 20, 2008. It will be held at Fairlington Community Center (3308 S. Stafford St, Arlington, VA 22206.)
For more information about volunteering with the Naturalization workshop, please contact Cindy Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers of the Naturalization workshop are provided with a 30-minute training prior to the workshop.