What’s Happening at the Jefferson School City Center?

Literacy Volunteers Program Assistant Maureen Overstreet helps a student navigate an ESL software program. Literacy Volunteers Program Assistant Maureen Overstreet helps a student navigate an ESL software program.

Thanks to a Dollar General grant awarded this week to Literacy Volunteers, adult students will be getting more opportunity to study English on computer programs at the Jefferson School City Center. Every student is required to spend approximately four weeks working in Rosetta Stone or a similar language program before being assigned a tutor. The $10,560 grant will pay for a new computer workstation, additional licenses, and additional staff hours to help students learn how to use the programs.

“It’s always been a scheduling issue,” said Executive Director Ellen Osborne. “We have 90 students scheduled to work on computer this week, but only three workstations available. Everyone is jockeying for a time slot they can fit into their job schedule. One more workstation and having staff available for questions and problems will really help.”

Osborne said that students who meet with a tutor once a week and also work on English language software programs learn faster than students who only work with tutors. “Our goal is to get them up to speed with speaking, reading, and writing English as quick as we can. In a lot of cases, their jobs depend on them being able to communicate with employers and co-workers. The computer programs can help them get basic vocabulary down pat, and then the tutors can help students make sense of it in real-life contexts.”

In the past two years, Literacy Volunteers has seen an influx of students at the lowest literacy level. “In some cases, we have to begin with the technological basics,” said Osborne. “Many have never used a mouse before.  While the primary goal is learning the language, learning to navigate a computer has become an essential life skill, too.”

Over the course of the year, Literacy Volunteers will serve about 250 students, 90% of whom are learning English as a Second Language. Most students study at LVCA for one to two years and work with one of the 190 volunteer tutors.

“We are attracting more students now that we are at the Jefferson School City Center and this will help us meet demand,” said Osborne.

New massage therapist at Common Ground has specialty treating trauma and PTSD

Karen Henderson
Karen Henderson, Certified Massage Therapist at Common Ground Healing Arts

Karen Henderson is a Certified Massage Therapist who focuses her practice of massage on Craniosacral therapy, myofascial release and Reiki.  Karen is a disabled veteran who enjoys working with individuals who have experienced the pains of trauma and PTSD, and are seeking to find balance and wholeness in their lives.  Her own past traumas and medical diagnosis of a fatal lung disease led her on a journey to explore alternative approaches to health and wellness. She has greatly benefited from Craniosacral Therapy in her own journey.

Karen will be at Common Ground at the Jefferson School on Tuesdays from 9:30 am to 1 pm three weeks out of the month, and then at the Westhaven nursing clinic once a month. For more information, call Common Ground at 434-218-7677.

Carver Rec takes Jefferson School City Center back in time

Poodle skirts and saddle shoes will be back in style on Saturday, June 1 from 8 to 10 pm at the Jefferson School City Center. Carver Rec is hosting a Sock Hop for ages 3 and up and will be having “Best Dressed,” “Craziest Socks,” and “Dance-off competitions.” Entry fee is $5. Register online or by calling 434-970-3053.

Chillin’ and Grillin’ at Vinegar Hill Café on Thursday

The Vinegar Hill Café will have a $10 grill menu plus entertainment on the first Thursday of each month at the Jefferson School City Center. Manager Joel Schechtman said, “Look for backyard style food and lots of fun for the whole family!” The café will be showcasing BBQ Ribs, BBQ chicken and hamburgers with choice of collard greens, baked beans, cole slaw and homemade cornbread with live music. Kid’s pricing and menu are also available. All proceeds from food sales support JABA programs.

JSCC logoJefferson School City Center is a voice of the nine nonprofits located at Charlottesville’s intergenerational community center, the restored Jefferson School. We are a legacy preserved . . . a soul reborn . . . in the heart of Cville!