Literacy Volunteers Students Celebrate Success at Achievement Ceremony
On Thursday, a crowd of about 75 Literacy Volunteers students, their families, tutors, and staff gathered in Vinegar Hill Café at the Jefferson School City Center to celebrate the achievements of 44 Literacy Volunteers students. Executive Director, Ellen Osborne, kicked off the celebration. Tutor Richard Alonzo and student Irene Reyes Sanchez also spoke. Students were honored for completing 100 hours of study, obtaining U.S. citizenship, and completing the program.
Richard Alonzo, a retired bilingual teacher and administrator from California, spoke about his four years as a tutor as well as his own struggles with learning English. “Like you I began my life speaking another language. I didn’t learn to speak English until I went to school. As a child it was a very difficult process to learn another language, and as an adult I know it is even harder,” said Alonzo.
Alonzo retired to Charlottesville and spent a year trying to find the right volunteer opportunity. “It was important for me to do something useful and rewarding in my new community,” said Alonzo, and he has found his work as a tutor to do just that. He’s worked with three students as a tutor, and mentioned his current student, Mariam, who just became a United States citizen. “Many of you are working, raising families, and going to school, but you’ve come to learn how important it is to learn the language of the country you live in,” he said. “You are to be commended for making the commitment to attending weekly tutoring sessions, completing homework, and applying what you have learned from your tutors.”
Sanchez spoke about her experience as a student in the LVCA program and her commitment to earning her GED, for which she is currently studying. She has studied with LVCA for two years and was recognized for studying for over 100 hours. “I want to improve my English to talk to my children’s teachers and neighbors. I want to improve my English to talk with my co-workers, boss, and so I can have more opportunities at my job,” she said. “When I improve my English, I understand what happens in the world better [and I can] to make a better life for my children.”
Chill’n & Grill’n Returns to Vinegar Hill Cafe October 2
For the last time in 2014, the Jefferson School’s Vinegar Hill Cafe will feature barbeque and music as part of its Chill’n & Grill’n event on Thursday, October 2 5pm-7:30pm. For $10, guests can enjoy a menu featuring barbecue ribs, chicken, or hamburgers, with a choice of sides. Children’s menu and pricing, and vegetarian options available.
180 will be playing this month. 180 is a six-piece band that plays rock and dance favorites from the 1960s to today.
Vinegar Hill Café is located in the historic Jefferson School City Center, 233 4th Street NW in Charlottesville 22903. For details visit www.VinegarHillCafe.org or contact Joel Schechtman, JSchechtman@jabacares.org, 434-817-5234.
Story Slam Returns to African American Heritage Center October 3
The second Story Slam kicks off at 6:30pm at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center on Friday, October 3. October’s theme is “Gravy” and eight story-tellers will compete for best story of the night. The winner earns a place in the Story Slam-off, where the winners of the year’s slams will compete for the “Slamma Jamma” trophy.
Storytellers should register upon arrival and names are drawn out of a hat to determine order of presentation. Stories should fit into the theme, be true as the storyteller remembers it, and should be under five minutes in length. No notes, props, or music allowed. Judges are selected from the audience.
The cost is $5 for JSAAHC members and includes one free drink ticket. The cost for non-members is $8, which also includes one free drink ticket.
Jefferson 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!