“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
IN THIS ISSUE:
Group Manager, Education Services
Manager, Education Services
Manager, Education Services
Manager, Education Services
Manager, Education Services
Manager, Education Services
Manager, Education Services
6201 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22044
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Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. -Warren Buffett
Greetings wonderful volunteers, friends, supporters and fans of Hogar! Summer is officially upon us and with a vacation, a BBQ and a visit to the pool under my belt, I’m well on my way to a successful summer.
We’re thrilled to have so many interns in our office this summer! As part of an effort to give current undergraduate students a taste of the non-profit sector, Exxon Mobil awarded us a grant to hire Alfredo Fletes, a student in the school of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He will be creating a new outreach strategy to get the word out about our wonderful classes and to also reach out to diverse immigrant populations. Also, we’re equally excited about our legal interns, John, Bobby and Patty. They are helping our legal staff while gaining valuable knowledge in the field of immigration law. You can read more about our fantastic interns in the sections below!
ESL teachers, you’re always looking for new ways to spice up your class and learn new techniques, right? Well, the Virginia Institute for Lifelong Learning - English to Speakers of Other Languages (VAILL-ESOL) is back! This two-day ESOL conference will be held at George Mason University on the 4th and 5th of August. Hogar staff will be presenting a variety of topics, in addition to other talented ESOL professionals from around the state and country. Please click on the link below to register. Hurry – spaces are limited!
Even though I’ve been here for over two years, I am still in awe of my colleagues’ compassion and dedication to our clients. This month’s vignette is a story about a Pakistani family who, at first glance, was ineligible to receive Catholic Charities emergency assistance. However, through perseverance on the part of Hogar Social Services, along with help from community partners, we were able to help this family get back on their feet.
Thank you to everyone for all of your efforts towards making this past school year a great success! From everyone at Hogar, we wish you a wonderful summer and we hope you find peace, tranquility and rejuvenation in the coming months. Or maybe you’ll be lucky just to find a couple minutes to relax under a tree’s shade. Whatever the summer may have in store for you, we look forward to seeing you in the fall!
Group Manager, Education Services
Meet The Education Team's Summer Intern
Alfredo Fletes is a rising senior in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, majoring in culture and politics with a concentration in Latin America. Hailing from South Gate, California, a working class, immigrant suburb of Los Angeles, Alfredo grew up attuned to the needs of Latino immigrants in his community. At Georgetown University, he served as a bilingual tutor for the DC Schools program, and co-founded My Tiger My Heart, a non-profit clothing collective that raises awareness for social ills in America, such as hurricane Katrina relief and comprehensive immigration reform. In the spring of 2007 he interned at Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program, an interfaith NGO that advocates comprehensive immigration reform on Capitol Hill. There he planned advocacy visits with congresspersons and senators, and wrote policy fact sheets and analyses for the organization. Last summer Alfredo launched the Justice for Immigrants campaign at his Catholic church, a community-based organizing effort in support of comprehensive immigration reform. Just fresh from his semester abroad in Glasgow, Scotland, Alfredo has a newfound appreciation for warm weather, sedans, McDonald’s, and home-cooked (and extremely spicy) Mexican meals. In his spare time Alfredo enjoys Hoya basketball, listening to music, throwing the Frisbee around, and eating soup.
A Summer Training Opportunity For Education Services Volunteers
The Virginia Adult Institute for Lifelong Leaning (VAILL) conference is being held Monday, August 4, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and Tuesday, August 5, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at George Mason University in Fairfax. This year’s theme, “Integration: the Immigrant Experience”, is particularly pertinent to Hogar’s mission and we encourage all available volunteers to attend. This is a great opportunity to hear and share ideas with fellow ESOL teachers. Attendance will count towards your required training hours.
Registration is $30 and includes sessions, exhibits, lunch, snacks, and parking for both days. You must register in advance, so please do it today! Spaces are filling up fast! For more information and to access the online registration form, go to the VAILL ESOL Conference Summer 2008 page located on the Fairfax County Public Schools website. Hogar staff will be there presenting some of our trainings, as well as gathering information to improve our program. We hope to see you there!
Hogar Opens Two New English Class Sites!
Hogar's Education Services Department is pleased to announce the opening of two new locations for the fall semester. St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Arlington (walking distance from the Clarendon metro stop on the orange line) and at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Herndon will be offering English classes on Sunday afternoons beginning this September.
New sites means new opportunities for you to get involved! Hogar is looking for dedicated individuals to teach ESL classes once a week. If Arlington or Herndon is not convenient but you are still interested in volunteering, contact us about one of our other eleven locations! No ESL experience or second language is necessary. We will provide training and materials. This is a wonderful opportunity for someone who loves to meet new people and wants to learn more about ESL.
If you or someone you know is interested please contact Sheila Sullivan, 703-534-9805 x 238.
Diana Travels To Mexico
To better serve both students and teachers alike, Diana Gibson will be getting her TEFL certification at Amy’s alma mater in Guadalajara, Mexico during the month of July. While Diana has ample classroom experience and expertise, she is happy to continue learning about the field of English language acquisition and hopes to bring her knowledge back to all of us at Hogar. If you’d like more information about this school, ITTO (International Teacher Training Organization), go to file:///H:/E-nunciations/www.teflcertificatecourses.com.
Making The Most Of Your Board Space
You don’t have to be an artist or a calligrapher to write on the board clearly and informatively. Utilizing the board space wisely can help polish your teaching, and it can be mastered with a little extra thought and care into your lesson presentation. Making sure that students see just the information they need written in front of them—and none of what they don’t need—can help eliminate confusion and allow students to learn more efficiently.
While a beginner student might not understand English well, he can get hints of what the lesson for the day is by what you write or draw on the board. We all know that nearly everything that is written on the board will be diligently copied by our students. Keeping that in mind, we have to try to make the most of our board space and try to avoid the visual clutter that may cause confusion.
When preparing your lesson plan before class, try to visualize how you are going to organize the board. If you are planning on using tables or pictures, give yourself room to make the headings and labels large and clear, and don’t try to cram in too much information. Leave extra space on the board in case you need to write further explanations; you don’t want to resort to writing small text in the corners of the board because you’ve run out of space. It is also extremely helpful to always clean the board thoroughly before the start of class.
When beginning class, write out the date in full and the objective of the day on the top of the board so that everyone in the classroom can see it. Remember to write from top to bottom, left to right. Don't skip around or cram into the corners or edges so that students are forced to read the small print. Try to keep your handwriting legible, and avoid scribbling in haste or writing in cursive. Writing out your objective or agenda for the day will help you stay organized and the students focused on the key lesson points.
Keep the information on the board as simple and concise as possible. If you are running out of room, don’t be afraid to erase the board and start anew. However, be sure to ask your students if they’ve copied everything on the board before erasing it. It is not good practice to keep talking while writing on the blackboard and with your back to the class. Make sure your students understand the significance of what you’ve written or drawn on the board.
A good rule of thumb for ESL teaching is introducing no more than 10 new words during each class. A quick glance at your board can help keep you in check as to how much new vocabulary you are introducing, and help you focus your teaching on the lesson at hand. Small, manageable chunks of information are always better for the students than an overflow of ideas. Some teachers like to block out a small space on their board for new vocabulary as it comes up during the lesson, and this is a good way to keep it under control and in an accessible place for students.
When used wisely, the board can be an important tool for clarifying information and prioritizing learning. Hopefully these tips will help you put just as much thought into arranging your board space as you do with planning the material you’re teaching. It will make a huge difference!
The Legal Department of Hogar Immigrant Services is blessed to have three individuals volunteering full-time this summer. These individuals are proving to be a tremendous help with their legal research and language skills. Their past histories that have led them to the Hogue are varied and add a great deal to the team environment.
John Shackleford has recently finished his second year of law school at American University. He hails from Idaho and attended college at the University of Portland, where he first learned of Catholic Charities. John used the Spanish-language skills he had developed through various study abroad programs as a volunteer at Catholic Charities Portland, an internship that planted the idea of attending law school. John has impressed his colleagues at Hogar with his impressive grasp of Spanish, ability to follow the complexities of immigration law, wry wit, and ability to bike 6 miles to and from work.
Bobby Jankowski, like John, has just completed his second year of law school at Catholic University. Bobby’s interest in immigration law grew out of his family’s immigration background, which mixes Polish, Italian, and Colombian heritage. Bobby is a man of many talents, not the least of which is playing the piano. Trained for nineteen years as a jazz and classical pianist, Bobby can be seen playing Sunday afternoons at Pan y Vino in Lorton.
Patti Mueller is an attorney with a background in securities law. After spending time at home with her two sons, now 7 and 11, Patti decided that she wanted to find work that satisfied more than her intellectual curiosity, and decided to attend divinity school. After graduating from the Virginia Theological Seminary on the non-ordination track, Patti decided to marry her interest in theology and the law in the arena of social justice, which brought her to Hogar. Patti has used her keen research skills to help our legal department investigate opaque aspects of immigration law, including local immigration policies in Prince William, Patti’s home county.
Our interns have been a tremendous asset to the Legal Department in their passion for learning about immigration law, the joy they bring to the office, and their diverse points of view they bring from their varied life experiences.
In May, a young family from Pakistan came to the Catholic Charities, Western Regional Office. They were in need of financial assistance for medical bills. On the initial intake call, it was determined that these individuals did not meet the guidelines for our financial assistance. However, the compelling story and nature of the call urged the staff and volunteers at our office to invite them to the office for further investigation of their case.
When the family arrived on Wednesday morning, it became clear that they were desperate. A young man, his wife and their new-born baby stood before us. The young mother looked very weak. The new father looked anxious and scared. He explained that his wife had become very ill in the last trimester of her pregnancy. It was determined that she needed gall bladder surgery, however, had to wait until the baby was born. She was put on total bed rest. He had maintained his full-time job, however, between doctor appointments and visits to the emergency room he had no more time off. He had taken leave without pay after the birth of their baby because his wife was unable to even hold the new infant. The young mother was scheduled for surgery on Friday. The father had ensured that the rent and electric were paid every month, but this left them without food and baby supplies. They also showed us large bills that were owed to the hospital for all her treatment and emergency room visits.
While this family did not meet the guidelines for rental or utility assistance that we have at the Western Regional Office, our staff and volunteers knew they needed help. We immediately contacted Loudoun Cares, an information and referral organization. They gave us the number to Birthmothers, a organization of churches and volunteers that provides assistance to pregnant women. The Western Regional Office also contacted INOVA Loudoun Hospital. We filled out all the paperwork for the hospital to consider them for help. Through the efforts of Loudoun Cares, Birthmothers, INOVA Loudoun Hospital, and the Western Regional Office, the family received fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, meat, non-perishables, baby clothes, formula, and furniture. The hospital’s charity department eliminated some of the high medical bills. Volunteers babysat the infant while the new mom recovered post surgery. Church members cooked meals for the family weekly until the young mother was back on her feet. Catholic Charities paid their electric bill and donated food gift cards to purchase much needed perishable items.
This family came to visit us at the office last week. The baby has grown so much in the last month and a half. The young parents look wonderful. The young, sick woman has turned into a glowing new mother. The father is working full-time again, providing for his family’s needs. As I hugged this family we all began to cry. They were in a place of desperation, sadness and weakness back in early May. Now, they emerged as a self-sustaining family with so much promise.
Hogar sends a giant “thank you” to Brendan Leonard and the Folks at The Good Shepherd Alliance for their recent donation to our Emergency Assistance (EA) fund. As we approach the end of June and the bottom of our EA budget for the fiscal year, donations of food, toiletries, gift cards, and/or cash allow us to assist needy individuals and families out of our Western Regional Office located in Leesburg.
For more information on how you can make a donation to Hogar, please contact John Odenwelder or 703 534-9805 x234.
Hogar's Naturalization Workshop Is On The Move!
Hogar Immigrant Services is offering two more Naturalization workshops this summer! The workshops offer assistance to immigrants eligible to apply for Citizenship. Over the course of the workshop the applicants receive help from trained volunteers filling out the N-400 Immigration form followed by an application review by an immigration attorney. Clients leave with a completed N-400 application that is ready to be mailed to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The workshop fee is $60; the government application fee (USCIS) is $675.
The next workshop is Saturday, July 12 in Sterling at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church (46833 Harry Byrd Highway). This is the first time Hogar has held a workshop in Sterling and staff is very excited! Volunteer training begins at 8:30 am and client registration starts at 9:00 am.
The second workshop is August 2, at Arlington Mill Community Center (4975 Columbia Pike). The clients begin registering at 10:00 am.
Volunteers are needed for both workshops. For more information call Cindy at (703) 534-9805 ext. 250.
Help Catholic Charities Replenish Its Food Pantry
CCDA’s Food Pantry, located in the basement of the Christ House Emergency Shelter in Alexandria, is experiencing a severe food shortage. While organizations, schools, churches, and corporations have conducted food drives for the Pantry, the demand has reached an all time high and it is simply unable to keep up with the need. This comes at an especially bad time—when children are getting out of school for the summer and therefore lack access to free lunch programs. The food pantry strives to meet all requests. Most recipients are seniors, the homeless, single parents and families struggling to make ends meet.
Catholic Charities also delivers food throughout Northern Virginia and the surrounding 22 counties. The program, Christ House on Wheels, includes a cargo van that is driven by volunteers who deliver food wherever most needed. In the past several months, the van went to the rural counties of Orange, Culpepper and Madison for deliveries. A recent study by the Food Security Institute, Center on Hunger and Poverty found that 594,000 people in Virginia are considered “food insecure.” Furthermore, another 121,000 are considered “food insecure with hunger.”
What can you do to help? Conduct a food drive at your place of employment to help restock the Pantry shelves! CCDA would be happy to pick up any amount of food (large or small!) you are able to collect from your co-workers and customers. We can even give you tips on how to get started. For more information email Sally O'Dwyer. Thanks for your assistance!
Donate Your Old Cell Phones to Seniors
Did you know that cell phones thrown in the trash go to a land fill and release toxic elements? Recycle your old cell phones! Drop them off at St. Martin de Porres Senior Center (4650 Taney Ave, Alexandria) or Catholic Charities Main Office (200 Glebe Rd, Arlington). All phones will be kept secure; all stored information will be erased by magnetic force. For more information contact Maryanne McMillan at (703) 751-2766.