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Dear Friend of Literacy,

We rely on you to change the lives of people like Eliza Castro. Eliza is a mom and ESL student at LVCC’s Family Literacy Center. She wrote a moving story about her gratitude for the program that teaches her English, takes care of her baby while in school, and allows her to live her dream of staying in the United States. Here is an edited version of her story:
I had a good life in Puerto Rico. I had a house, a car, a profession and a wonderful family, but my daughter needed special medical care in Philadelphia, so we left. The worst part was I did not speak English. Every place I went, I had to find a person to help me understand what another person was saying. Thank God my daughter is now fine. A friend offered me the chance to live with her in New Britain for a time, but then my husband and I were homeless for about a month, and I only wanted to return to Puerto Rico. But for the sake of my children, I didn’t do it. So, I thought, to stay, I must learn English.

Eliza at the Family Literacy Center

I talked to my family and friends about my plans, because I have a two-year-old baby who needed daycare. I started in ESL classes, and the first week, everything was perfect. I left the children at school and the baby with a relative, until after three or four weeks, they began to give me excuses not to take care of the baby. So, I started leaving her with the neighbors or with people from the church. Every day it was someone different. I had to call different people to see who could stay with the baby. The time came when I said I am tired, and I can’t do this anymore. So I went to the school and I told them about my situation.
The staff saw that every day I did the impossible to come to class. They told me the Family Literacy Center was there to help people like me study English. I quickly enrolled my daughter and me. At the beginning I was fearful for my baby. You have many doubts. Maybe they do not know how to deal with my baby, but I am pleased with everything about this place.
I enter through the doors and people say good morning with love. You arrive at your child’s room, and the teachers receive her with a hug with tenderness that gives you confidence that she will be fine. Then we go to the classroom where we learn English. In each class, one learns about more things. I have seen my progress from not knowing anything to writing a letter. That is priceless. This is the second year, and I am extremely grateful to God and the Center for opening a door to my future goals.
Eliza wants to take advantage of all that the Family Literacy Center has to offer. Not only does she participate in all the required components of the program, but she also volunteered to be part of a class that is piloting our new program, “Talk to Tots,” which uses a “digital pedometer” technology that records the amount of conversation between parents and children. Parents learn techniques for talking with children through reading, play, and routine activities. This program is based on research that shows a link between talk and achievement in school.
LVCC serves over 100 women and children every year in just the Family Literacy Program. Our goal is to reach another 150 families with the Talk to Tots program in the next two years. You can be a part of this exciting growth of our Family Literacy Center programs, and support all the 400 families we serve through your gift.
Norman Dorval
Chair, Development Committee
Maria R. Simao
Executive Director

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Fall 2019 Newsletter

Fall 2019

Family Literacy Registration

famlit grads

famlit mother

The Family Literacy Program addresses the need for FREE GED and
ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes for adults while simultaneously providing a play and learn group for their children. Components of the program include adult education classes (GED & ESOL), Play and Learn literacy based playgroup for children, weekly parenting education programs, and weekly parent and child together activities. The program is a partnership with the New Britain YWCA and New Britain Adult Education.


To enroll one must be a mother with at least one child under age 8 and be a resident of New Britain. Classes are held at the YWCA, with limited space for FREE child-care for ages 6 months-2 years. Classes are 3 days a week between Monday and Thursday and meet from 9:00AM-2:00PM (schedule varies by day).


To register of for more information call Amina at 860-229-7323, or email lvccfamlit@gmail.com.


We are always looking for volunteers to assist in our Play & Learn Child-Care Program, 1 day per week, 3-5 hours.