LCMC NEWS                                            February 2010


Calling all wordsmiths! Whether you’re a tournament-level player, novice, or somewhere in-between, the LCMC's SCRABBLE Scramble fundraiser is guaranteed fun in support of a worthy cause. All proceeds will benefit the Literacy Council. The SCRABBLE Scramble will be held on Sunday, March 21, 2010 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Bolger Center, 9600 Newbridge Drive, Potomac. A table for four players costs $200, and all proceeds go directly to the Literacy Council. Dinner is included, with a cash bar. Organize a group of friends, family, and colleagues and put your word skills into play!  If you can't participate, please consider making a contribution. Volunteers are also needed for the event. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION


Calling Talented LCMC Students!
We’re looking for some musical entertainment for our Scrabble Scramble fundraiser event on March 21st. This is a great opportunity to show our supporters the kinds of folks our programs serve – not just motivated learners, but creative and talented individuals in their “non-study” hours. If your student is musically talented (instrumentally or vocally) and you think he or she would like to help, please contact Pam Saussy, LCMC Executive Director, at 301-610-0030 or


This Valentine’s Day, honor your sweetie-pie with a Gift of Literacy to the LCMC! When you donate $10 to the LCMC through our Gift of Literacy program, we’ll send you a beautiful card and envelope, perfect for saying “I love you” (or just about anything!). Helping support our hard-working literacy and English programs is a gift that will last longer than flowers, and is non-fattening to boot. Visit and click on “What’s New?” for ordering information.



Census Day is April 1, 2010.  The information obtained through the questionnaire will define who we are as a nation, affect political representation, and direct the allocation of billions of dollars in government funding. All residents should be counted, including those who are not U.S. citizens. It is important that our students understand what the census is and why it is critical that they be included.  For each person who is not counted, our county loses at least $1,000 per year in funding. This is money that may be lost to school lunch programs, senior centers, and other services that our students need and use.


C        The LCMC will hold a Continuing Tutor Education session (led by tutor Joan Jacoby) on Wednesday, March 3

T         from 7:00 - 8:30 at the Rockville Library, 2nd floor meeting room.  Come and discover how you can help your      

E         student participate in the 2010 Census.  The census is important.  The census is safe.  The census is easy. 

►Lesson plans are available on line at You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to access some of the information and you can obtain the free software here.  Each lesson has a written lesson plan and an activity page that you can adapt to use with your student(s). Chapter 4 includes an example of the short form you can use in your lessons to help students understand how to complete the form.

Trust is a big factor and our students trust us. Reassure your students that the information they provide on the census form is priv
ate. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share an individual’s responses with anyone, including other federal agencies and law enforcement agencies. No authority can obtain personal identifiable data from the Census Bureau. The law applies to the White House, U.S. Supreme Court, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, police, military, and welfare agencies.

You should also be aware that scammers are already posing as census workers. Tell your students that they should not give their Social Security numbers, bank accounts or credit card information to anyone who says they are a census worker. When a census worker comes to a home, they will have a badge, a handheld device and a confidentiality notice. The Census will NOT contact anyone by email and students should not open any links or attachments that come with an email that is supposedly from the Census.

Language Assistance Guides in 49 languages will be available on the census website ( and at local Questionnaire Assistance Centers in March to help your student by answering any questions they may prefer to ask in their native language. The LCMC also can send you a guide via the inter-library "pony."

Tutors, plan on spending several sessions with your students reviewing census materials. If you find or create additional teaching materials, share them with others via our Yahoo group or Facebook page. You can join Yahoo and Facebook by going to our website’s What’s New page and signing up.

Let’s help our students be counted!



Basic Literacy student Milton Whitley has been selected by ProLiteracy to receive the Ruth J. Colvin and Frank C. Laubach Award for Student Excellence. The award will be presented to Milton at the ProLiteracy Annual Conference in Chicago on March 18.

Milton began working with his tutor, Mary-Ellen Friedland, in July 2007. At his intake assessment, he was unable to recite and print the complete alphabet; was unfamiliar with many letter sounds; and was at a loss when attempting to read all but a few words. After years of failure and frustration, Milton believed he was “unteachable.”

As Milton progressed through the Laubach program, he became more confident; more committed to learning; more excited about the possibilities that lay ahead; and more inspired to help others seeking to become literate. Milton’s determination to learn has been unflagging, as has his discipline to stick-with-it during the times when progress is not so readily apparent.

Milton had once been unemployed, struggled with drugs and alcohol, and for a time, lived in a shelter. Gaining literacy skills has been part of his plan to create a better life for himself. He is currently working, living independently, and helping others in his
community. Milton has experienced the power of education, and now regards learning as an ongoing process. “I know this is something I’ll be doing for the rest of my life,” he says.

Milton has been a guest speaker at board meetings and fundraising events and enthusiastically recruits students for the program. He was instrumental in helping the LCMC set up a satellite program for homeless men at a local shelter.

Milton has become an advocate for adult literacy services, providing testimony in Annapolis, participating in media interviews, and mentoring others. He received the Literacy Council’s 2008 Outstanding Student Award.

Learning to read and write has had a tremendous impact on Milton’s life, but the larger lesson may be that this student’s successes have allowed him to look beyond himself. Milton has said that inspiring others is what is most important to him, and his actions demonstrate that he means it. He is determined to continue his own quest for literacy, and equally committed to sharing that path with others. In May of this year, Milton wrote “I’d like to be a teacher because it will help educate others. This will give me a chance to apply my skills from what I have learned in the literacy program.”



Q: What do you do at the LCMC?
A: I interview students, maintain the waiting list, match students and tutors, and support the tutoring pair as they work together. The coordinators are the student and tutor's lifeline into our office.

Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love when a match works out! It's great to hear a student say "thanks, I love my teacher," or to have a tutor tell me how well things are going.

Q: Is there anything that you particularly look forward to?
A: I really like interviewing prospective students, and hearing about their backgrounds. Also, it's fun to be involved in matching day -- when tutors and students meet for the first time at the second training workshop. Everyone is so eager to get started. And I'm happy, further down the road, when I see what students have accomplished.

Q: What kind of assistance do you provide to tutors?
A: Tutors should feel free to contact me for help with teaching techniques, resource information, or if they have questions about the tutoring process. Although our mission is to teach students, an important part of my job is to keep tutors happy.

Q: What should students and tutors do if the match isn't working?
A: Call me! I can re-assign the student and find the tutor a new student.

Q: What advice would you give to a new student and a new tutor?
A:  Enjoy yourselves!


Tutor resources

&MCAEL 2010 Spring Institute for Professional Development - Training for ESOL instructors
&Montgomery College TESOL Training Institute
&DC Learns Workshop and Webcast Calendar
&Working with Students with Disabilities



Scholarships: MCAEL will offer scholarship opoprtunities for instructors wishing to attend
a conference this spring. For details, please visit the MCAEL website.

Online materials to help ESOL students practice listening:
StoryCorps - (June 2009, Essential Teacher)
Radio Diaries - (June 2009, Essential Teacher)
Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening lab (Easy, Medium and Difficult options) - (June 2009, Essential Teacher)

Report your volunteer hours! This data is critical when we apply for funding from various
public and private sources. In 2009, the monetary value of our total volunteer time was
over one million dollars -- a figure which enhances the LCMC's credibility in the eyes of
potential funders.


Continuing Tutor Education


How to Administer a Check Up

Tuesday, March 2, 2010, 7:00 pm – 8:30  pm, Rockville Library (Meeting Room 2)

Presented by Carroll McKown, LCMC Trainer & Tutor


Ø      What is a Check Up?

Ø      How do I obtain a Check Up?

Ø      How do I prepare my student to take the Check Up?

Ø      Are there materials in the teacher’s manual I can use?


This CTE is open to LCMC tutors only.  To register, call 301.610.0030 or email

Student resources:
&Montgomery Works One-Stop Career Center Now Open in Germantown -- 240-777-2050
&Catholic Charities offers immigration and "know your rights" chats for Spanish Speakers. 
&H1N1 Flu: Free Resources available in many languages

Free income tax preparation

Montgomery County residents with income under $49,000 per year may be eligible for free income tax preparation assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Sponsored by the County’s Community Action Agency, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, the VITA program is a volunteer-supported service helping eligible residents who cannot afford professional tax preparation assistance.

Services are provided by trained, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) certified VITA volunteers and staff through a partnership between the IRS, the City of Gaithersburg’s Bank On initiative, Family Services Agency, the City of Rockville and the Community Action Agency. For appointments, call 301-258-6395 -- press option “6”.



April 15th is not only tax return day.  It's also the Literacy Council's Annual Meeting!  So mail or email your tax forms and then enjoy the rest of the evening with LCMC tutors, volunteers, students, and staff. The event will take place from 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm at St. Mark Presbyterian Church, 10701 Old Georgetown Rd. Rockville, MD.  Submit a nomination for LCMC's Outstanding Student Award, which will be presented at the Annual Meeting.  


New tutors read more


Student writing read more


Student and tutor progress/Student achievements read more


Contributions read more


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