Literacy Volunteers of Somerset County (LVSC) recruits and trains volunteers to help local adults improve their ability to read, write, and communicate in English so that they may function more effectively in their daily lives. LVSC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which offers four programs in Somerset County, New Jersey:
ONE-TO-ONE & SMALL GROUP TUTORING. LVSC trains volunteers to become certified literacy tutors and matches them with adult students in need of English literacy tutoring. Many of our students have multiple jobs and cannot attend formal, weekly classes because of scheduling issues, many cannot afford class tuition, and many do not benefit from a "one-size fits all" classroom curriculum. LVSC's unique tutoring program addresses these issues since tutoring is offered at a time and place convenient to the student and tutoring is centered on each student's unique literacy needs. Tutors and students work together to identify the student's real-life goals. Example goals are getting a better job, improving workplace skills, communicating with a child's teacher, participating in their child's classroom activities, becoming a U.S. citizen, voting in an election, and volunteering in the community. Tutors structure weekly lesson plans to help students improve the literacy skills they need to achieve their goals.
ENGLISH CONVERSATION GROUPS. Students have the opportunity to practice their English conversation and comprehension skills in a group setting. Through participation, students improve English language comprehension and usage, gain confidence in speaking English, connect with others by practicing everyday conversation, and become culturally acclimated. Conversation Groups are led by a trained LVSC tutor who has received additional training in leading a group. Each week the group leader introduces a topic, such as workplace skills, U.S. culture, financial literacy, or going to the doctor. The group proceeds with vocabulary related to the topic, modeled conversation, and role play.
U.S. CITIZENSHIP PREPARATION CLASSES. Immigrants who want to become United States citizens receive 16 hours of instruction during classes led by trained volunteers. This course offering includes a review of the U.S. naturalization process including the lengthy application form required, study of the 100 civics questions and vocabulary needed to pass the test, and practice with English needed to do well during the naturalization interview.
ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE CLASSES. Unlike LVSC’s free programs that are provided by trained volunteers, ESL classes are offered for a fee through LVSC’s partnership with Spotlight Learning. Spotlight Learning’s program provides adult learners with a more structured, curriculum-based classroom environment for learning and improving their English literacy skills. Classes are taught by certified, experienced ESL instructors. The ESL instructor works with students to identify their work and family related literacy goals and incorporates goal-related learning activities into the weekly lesson plans. Spotlight Learning donates a portion of tuition fees to LVSC in support of LVSC’s free programs.