Join

BEACON For Adult Literacy pivots during coronavirus pandemic

 

Since its founding in 1992, BEACON For Adult Literacy has grown to an organization that serves over 400 adult students while remaining true to its core mission of helping adults learn to read.

While the organization was preparing for its spring semester of classes, the coronavirus pandemic halted business as usual at the nonprofit organization. BEACON innovated and continued to deliver its classes online.

BEACON’s day-to-day operation relies heavily on its 130 volunteer instructors who teach in classrooms at one of the five locations in and around Manassas. BEACON classes primarily teach English but they also offer preparation for citizenship tests.

With their students coming from over 49 countries and a large variety of educational experiences, teachers have to be prepared to help students from a wide range of backgrounds.

In March as the coronavirus spread, BEACON stopped its class sign up and refunded any registration fees it had taken for its Spring semester. BEACON Executive Director Jen Mora Zuñiga and her staff came together and created an online class structure. Using the video conferencing system Zoom, BEACON volunteer teachers along with tech volunteers have been conducting classes during the quarantine.

“BEACON had never explored online programs before but we were very surprised by how smooth the transition was”, said Zuñiga.

With classes being online, attendance has been up to because students who may have had difficulty with transportation or getting child care don’t have to leave their homes and can access Zoom right on their phone.

“As we were facing the global pandemic, BEACON switched to remote learning; online learning helps to keep improving my educational skills because I don’t want to fall behind. My writing and vocabulary skills have significantly improved. Also, [BEACON] classes have provided me with effective communication skills that help me at work.” said Gunel Aydinova, is a BEACON student who is trying to improve her English skills so she can get certified in Information Technology.

Students with limited English language skills have felt even more negative impacts because they are not able to understand more written documents that have been put out to deal with the transition. Whether it be more e-mails from their children’s teachers, or reading health preventative measures, crucial information is harder to get if one can’t comprehend the language in which it’s written.

The organization has the vision to continue offering some online classes while going back to traditional classes at some point in time in order to serve more students. As with all non-profits, BEACON has been hit financially which makes offering these programs more challenging.

The organization was selected for the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington’s 2020-2021 class of nonprofits which increases its visibility, allows it to get more philanthropic donors, and get access to numerous professional development opportunities. The Catalogue is the region’s only locally-focused guide to giving and volunteering.

BEACON was founded by Benedictine Sister Eileen Heaps to teach a few illiterate adults to read. The organization has grown to serve over 400 adult students while remaining true to its core mission of helping adult learners reach their educational goals.

Donations for the program are accepted on the charity’s website.

Recent Stories

Get ready to usher in the festive season with joy and sparkle at Stafford County’s 3rd Annual Tree Lighting Festival on Friday, December 1, starting at 6 p.m.! Nestled at…

Operators of the Interstate 95/395 Express Lanes will temporarily close the lanes in preparation for the opening of new on-ramps in Stafford County and Woodbridge.

Inova-GoHealth Urgent Care has doubled the number of its locations over the past year. Today the urgent care network celebrated the opening of its 14th center in Lake Ridge, off Old Bridge Road.

The Stafford County Sheriff’s office reported the crash on Route 17, near the Fauquier County line, at about 8 a.m. 

You are cordially invited to the Embassy of Austria for a thrilling evening with Mozart. What a better way to spend Christmas and Hannukah! Our full orchestra and lead singers, some of whom sing at the Met, will appeal to teens as they begin their journey to the classics! We expect to be sold out soon…..Get your tickets now!

Under the Gracious Patronage of H.E. Petra Schneebauer, Ambassador of Austria

~

Julien Benichou, Conductor

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Discover Healing and Renewed Well-Being through Psychotherapy

Life’s challenges can sometimes feel overwhelming, leaving us with feelings of anxiety, depression, and uncertainty. That’s where psychotherapy can make a profound difference. Our dedicated team of experienced therapists is here to guide you on a journey towards emotional and mental well-being.

Why Choose Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy offers a safe, confidential space for you to explore your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Whether you’re facing a specific issue or seeking personal growth, our therapists are here to support you. We believe in the power of conversation, empathy, and understanding to help you gain insights, develop coping strategies, and make positive changes in your life.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

There’s a Song in the Air!!! Holiday Concert

For two performances only, The New Dominion Choraliers enchant audiences with the magic of the holiday season with beautiful arrangements of familiar carols and festive tunes that the whole family will love.

“There’s a Song in the Air” features the

Nature’s Rhythms • A Family Concert

Bring all the kids (they’re always free!) and join the MSO for an unforgettable family concert experience as they bring the beauty of nature to life through music. Kyle Ryu, a senior cellist from Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, is

×

Subscribe to our mailing list