Loudoun Literacy Council

Loudoun Literacy Council


Get more info on Loudoun County Economic Development's new Launch Loudoun program for small businesses, free Lyft rides for your Cinco de Mayo celebrations through the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, free summer English language classes through the Loudoun Literacy Council and more in this week's newsflash: https://conta.cc/3B5upVr
Hi Ladies - here is the Reading Between the Vines event from Loudoun Literacy Council we were chatting about yesterday! Shabnam Curtis - one of our members will be reading from her book as well! Event details and ticket link are below.
The Loudoun County 4-H Honor Council will be hosting a Children’s Book Drive during the month of May to benefit the Loudoun Literacy Council! The Council’s goal is to provide starter libraries to underserved youth in our community. 📚

Books can be dropped off between Monday, May 8th and Friday, May 19th at VCE Loudon's Office (750 Miller Dr. SE, Suite F-3, Leesburg) during regular business hours (M-F; 8:30am-5:00pm). When you arrive, just let a staff member know you have a donation for the 4-H Book Drive.

Examples of Donations Needed
• Board Books (0-3 year olds)
• Story Books (4 and 5 year olds)
• Short Chapter Books/Series (6-10 year olds)
• Longer Chapter Books (11-18 year olds)

Donation Guidelines
• No ripped pages or bindings
• No writing on the pages of the books
• Books are clean
• No adult level or adult content books
• No textbooks or workbooks
• No political or religion-based books

Please ensure that books are in good condition – whether that’s gently used or brand new. We appreciate your support - thank you!
VOLUNTEERS needed TOMORROW night (Wed 5/3 5:00-8:30pm) at Loudoun Literacy Council's Family Literacy Night Book Party at Cascades Library! It will be a FUN night! Please sign up if you can help & share this volunteer opportunity with your friends, family, school groups, etc. Details & sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0949afac29aaff2-cascades #/

Thank you in advance for supporting our nonprofit partner!
Join Loudoun Literacy Council Reading Between the Vines!

Enjoy a fun and relaxing spring evening at the beautiful Walsh Family Winery as you learn about Loudoun Literacy Council and their programs, enjoy readings from local authors, live music from TrioLoco, silent auction and 50/50 raffle.

Wine for purchase with a percentage of the proceeds supporting Loudoun Literacy Council
Complimentary appetizers from The Zone
Silent auction and 50/50 raffle
Live music from TrioLoco

Please also consider bringing a new or gently used children’s book to donate. There will be a collection at the door.

Both indoor and outdoor seating is available, first-come, first-served.

Sponsorship opportunities are available, for more information contact [email protected]
Our nonprofit partner, Loudoun Literacy Council, is looking for teens interested in helping prepare for and facilitate their upcoming Family Literacy Book Night Parties! They need volunteers to bake cookies & assemble decoration bags prior to the events and then during the events, they need volunteers to assist with setup, serving dinner, book distribution and clean up.
For details & to sign up, click on the links below!
Cookies & Prep for Parties: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0949afac29aaff2-family2 #/
Spring Family Literacy Night Book Parties: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0949afac29aaff2-spring #/
The Homeless Resource & Prevention Fair is just a week away! We’re excited for all the community organizations participating and services being provided on Saturday, April 29 from 11am-1pm at the Shenandoah Building parking lot in Leesburg. Free food, resources & giveaways!

Crossroads Jobs
Equality Loudoun
HealthWorks for Northern Virginia
Inova Health System
Just Neighbors
LAWS Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services
Lions Club
Loudoun Cares
Loudoun Free Clinic
Loudoun County Area on Aging
Loudoun County Health Department
Loudoun Hunger Relief
Loudoun County Government
Loudoun Literacy Council
Loudoun County Public Schools
Loudoun County Commuter Services
The Salvation Army of Loudoun County Virginia
Tree of Life
Congratulations to our 2023 Outstanding Volunteers! We are so thankful for your service to Loudoun County. Come celebrate with us on May 5th at Belmont Place @ NCC and help us to recognize these amazing volunteers.

For more information and to purchase tickets:

(If you are a winner and have not received an email from us please reach out to [email protected])

Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy
Loudoun Hunger Relief
Loudoun Habitat for Humanity
LAWS Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services
Loudoun Coalition on Women and Girls
Loudoun Literacy Council
Doode Summers
Dulles South Food Pantry
Leesburg, Virginia American Legion Post 34
Loudoun CARES! We're blessed in with a host of non-profit organizations committed to the needy and overall welfare of our community. You've read about many of them in Leesburg Lifestyle, but here's a FRESH way to fill your social media with LOVE. This week, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors approved annual awards for funding to community nonprofit organizations, so we took the opportunity to link as many of their FB pages as we could verify. Follow and/or like them! It's a great way to make yourself aware of some of the best work going on locally on behalf of our neighbors.

From the press release: Funding opportunities were made available to tax-exempt, private, nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations that provide services including health and human services and related infrastructure of care services, particularly for underserved residents in the areas of need identified and approved by the Board of Supervisors for Fiscal Year 2024 (FY 2024), which begins July 1, 2023.

Through the county’s standard competitive grants process, 30 nonprofit organizations were selected to receive more than $2.3 million in grant funding for FY 2024. All requests were capped at $113,000 for activities in their grant request, so of course such funding doesn't represent the organization's entire need. These organizations are: A Farm Less Ordinary ($106,452.67); A Place to Be ($102,517.42); All Ages Read Together (AART) ($56,121.81); American Red Cross serving Loudoun and Prince William Counties ($17,533.33); Brain Injury Services Inc. ($49,977.21); Catholic Charities Diocese of Arlington ($108,856.01); Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties ($67,734.76); Crossroads Jobs ($38,036.74); Dulles South Food Pantry ($44,250.00); Friends of Loudoun Mental Health ($26,514.24); INMED Partnerships for Children ($102,453.33); Just Neighbors Ministry Inc. ($38,133.33); Legacy Farms ($32,796.67); Legal Services of Northern Virginia, Inc. ($76,349.27); Loudoun Cares ($79,126.67); Loudoun Habitat for Humanity ($70,750.00); Loudoun Hunger Relief ($102,830.00); Loudoun Literacy Council($108,856.67); Loudoun Serenity House ($86,730.00); Mobile Hope ($107,350.00); MVLE, Inc.($101,682.41); Northern Virginia Family Service ($43,171.17); OAR Nova ($106,596.67); Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center (PDRC)($30,535.95); SCAN of Northern Virginia ($104,267.35); The Arc of Loudoun ($106,220.00); The Chris Atwood Foundation ($108,480.00); The Ryan Bartel Foundation ($75,576.67); Tree of Life Ministries ($104,678.94); and Women Giving Back ($110,738.73). Eleven organizations will receive a total of $54,500 in mini-grant funding, requests of $5,000 or less, which helps smaller organizations build capacity or support small-scale innovative ideas or projects. Those organizations, each of which were awarded their requested amount, are: A Hand Up-NOVA, Inc. ($5,000.00); Hearts of Empowerment ($5,000.00); Help for Others, Inc. ($5,000.00); Loudoun Coalition on Women and Girls ($5,000.00); Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy ($5,000.00); Loudoun Youth Inc. ($5,000.00); Love, KK ($5,000.00); Piedmont Environmental Council ($5,000.00); Rx Drug Access Partnership, dba Rx Partnership (RxP) ($4,500.00); Seven Loaves Services ($5,000.00); and The Fenwick Foundation ($5,000.00).
For the competitive and mini-grant processes, a total of 57 nonprofit organizations submitted applications, requesting over $3.2 million for FY 2024 funding consideration. Forty-one organizations received funding. More information about the funding process is online at https://loudoun.gov/nonprofitgrants.
I was happy to welcome Loudoun Literacy Council to the Algonkian District at their Board Meeting on ! They do incredible work to advance reading and literacy across Loudoun County.

Learn more about their programs and sign-up to volunteer here: https://loudounliteracy.org/volunteer/
Our winners of $400 and $600 prizes for Most Dollars between 4-5pm are...
✅ Loudoun Literacy Council - 1st place
✅ Ride-on Ranch - 2nd place
A big thanks to our prize sponsors StoneSprings Hospital Center and Loudoun Times-Mirror!
Our winners of $400 and $600 prizes for Most Donors between 4-5pm are...
✅ Loudoun Literacy Council - 1st place
✅ Ride-on Ranch - 2nd place
A big thanks to our prize sponsors The Curtis Group and Washington Gas!
We tried this one trick and look at the results! Our heart and brain health improved and we’ve never felt better!

We just awarded grants to four amazing local non-profits who are providing hands-on literacy education and resources to underserved communities.

Please join us in congratulating the four grant recipients!

All Ages Read Together (AART)

English Empowerment Center

Loudoun Literacy Council

Literacy Volunteers of America - Prince William, Inc.

We have been so impressed by the work these organizations are carrying out. The proposed programs, both long-established and new, will bring much needed literacy support to participants. The results will last a lifetime. We’re honored and privileged to be able to be a part of it.

Loudoun Literacy Council is a community based literacy organization. Our classes and programs are available to all who reside or work in Loudoun County.

Loudoun Literacy Council recruits and trains volunteers to teach adults, both native-speakers and speakers of other languages, to read, write, speak, and understand English. For children, we provide early literacy enrichment for at-risk preschool children and children who reside in our local homeless shelters, while supporting their parents as their child's first teacher.

Operating as usual


A special thank you to UNO Translations and Communications, LLC for being a Honey Bee Sponsor for Not Your Kid's Spelling Bee! 🐝


🌈 Discover a path to inner peace and resilience with our upcoming Mental Health Workshops. Join us as we delve into stress management, self-care, relationships, and more. Open to Loudoun County locals. Start your mental wellness journey now! 🌻🧠

To register or to learn more, please contact Maria Flores at [email protected] or call (703) 777-2205.


✏️📖 Ready or not, it's back-to-school season!
As kids and parents ease back into their fall routines, reviewing immunization records is important to ensure every family member is caught up on their vaccinations.

How Do Vaccines Work?, written by Katrina Liu and illustrated by Heru Setiawan, is the perfect book to use when helping your kids understand the science behind vaccinations. Reading this book to them and rewarding them with a small treat after going to the doctor's goes a long way toward encouraging children to roll up their sleeves and get the immunizations they need to stay happy and healthy.

Once kids are cleared to return to school, they might feel anxious about their first day back. Dear Teacher: A Funny Back to School Book for Kids, written by Amy Husband, presents some laugh-out-loud letters a young boy named Michael writes to his new teacher to explain why he won't be in school that day because he is scared of going. This is a fantastic book to read with children before starting their first day of school to see how much fun they will miss out on if they don't attend school.


💌 Gratitude flows from our hearts to our incredible sponsors of the Not Your Kid's Spelling Bee You've Got Maids of Northern Virginia❤️ Your belief in education and community makes this event truly remarkable. Thank you for contributing to young minds' growth and success. 📝🙏
Thank you, You've Got Maids for your Pollinator Sponsorship of our Not Your Kid's Spelling Bee! 🐝


🗣️ At the Not Your Kid's Spelling Bee, our sponsors turn letters into words and words into dreams! 🌠 The commitment of Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian P.C. as a Carpenter Bee Sponsor is so appreciated! Your support of education empowers children to express themselves confidently. Thank you for helping us amplify young voices! 📣📚


Throwing it back to 2022...

👨‍👩‍👦 2022 was such a great year for us!

Fun fact: In 2022 we provided over 17,000 books and served 2,134 students right here in Loudoun.

In 2023 we are on track to help even MORE children and families with your help and support! If you are looking for ways to help and change the future of children and families right here in our community, send us a message and let's talk!


🌼 Ready to prioritize your mental well-being? Our transformative workshops are here to guide you! From managing stress to enhancing mindfulness, our 7-week journey starting Sep 5th will equip you with invaluable skills. Open for Loudoun County residents. Secure your spot now! 🌱🌟

To register or to learn more, please contact Maria Flores at [email protected] or call (703) 777-2205.


🎉 Shoutout to our fantastic sponsor Beatriz McNelly who championed the Not Your Kid's Spelling Bee! 🏆 Your belief in education and community empowerment is a driving force behind our success. We're grateful to have you by our side! 🙌💡



Not Your Kid's Spelling Bee is next month!

This DO NOT MISS event features dinner, networking, raffle prizes, silent auction, a live auction, and SO MUCH FUN.

Our 2022 event allowed us to serve over 2,100 adult students and 4,600 children, distributing over 17,000 books into our community!

Become a sponsor or join us for this incredible event on September 30th or... you will miss out on all of the fun!

Visit our website to learn more! 🌐 loudounliteracy.org


Platinum Group Real Estate with Real Broker LLC is owned by Loudoun County real estate veterans, Vicky Noufal and Karen Wenner Cooper 🏡.

Whether your looking for your next home or your forever home, this dynamic team brings many years of full-time, dedicated experience in the Loudoun, Prince William, Fairfax, Clarke and Frederick county markets!

THANK YOU for all the amazing things you do for our community, including your sponsorship for our Not Your Kid's Spelling Bee 🐝!

Photos from Loudoun Literacy Council's post 08/18/2023


First published in 1930, the classic children’s book, The Little Engine That Could, offers an important message: never give up!

In honor of National Never Give Up Day, here are our top picks for books that help kids put this lesson into practice:

- Inspiring Stories for Young Athletes (Boys Edition)
- Inspiring Stories for Young Athletes (Girls Edition).

These books are perfectly suited for readers in elementary school and they offer helpful introductions and “learned lessons” sections to help kids identify and be inspired by the main lessons learned from each story.

Let us know in the comments below: what is your child’s favorite NEVER GIVE UP story? 📚


🏒 Exciting News Alert! 🏒 Get ready to score big in our Not Your Kid's Spelling Bee LIVE auction! Feast your eyes on this exclusive sneak peek of a true sports treasure: a full team signed jersey from none other than the Washington Capitals! 🙌 But that's not all – this incredible item comes with a cherry on top: two tickets to catch the electrifying December 23 game as the Capitals face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning! ⚡️🎟️

Warning: Kim might just have her eyes on this jersey! 😜 Don't miss out on your chance to own a piece of hockey history and witness an unforgettable match-up. Stay tuned for more auction details and get ready to make your winning bid! 🤝🎉

Purchase your tickets to the Not Your Kid's Spelling Bee today! https://loudounliteracy.org/event/not-your-kids-spelling-bee-2023/


Are you ready to make a positive impact in our community? VOLUNTEER! Our volunteers can change the world and we need your help! There are so many ways to get involved and we can tap into YOUR unique strengths when you raise your hand to volunteer with us!

No teaching experience? That's okay, we will train you.

Do you enjoy baking? We need fresh baked cookies for our Family Literacy Nights!

Call us at 703-777-2205 or visit our website, https://loom.ly/u3mzcoQ.


Join Amy and Big Bad Juju for our 2023 Not Your Kid's Spelling Bee on September 30th.🐝

You don't want to miss the chance to show off your spelling skills, knowledge of Loudoun and music - all in support of Loudoun Literacy Council's programs! Purchase your tickets here: https://loom.ly/xI43EBE


We have a Book Distribution event today at the Dulles South Food Pantry! Join us and browse through the many different book options we are giving away and start building your at-home library today! It's from 2pm - 5pm and we hope to see you there. 📚


👑🐝 Thank you so incredibly much to our Queen Bee Sponsor, NT Concepts!! Without your generous sponsorship, Not Your Kid's Spelling Bee would not be possible.


TASTE Leesburg is happening now!!! Come visit us at booth 412 in front of Shoes, Cup and Cork from now until 10:00pm!

Loudoun Literacy Council


It’s never too early or too late to begin learning! Literacy education can help with employment and poverty prevention. We offer literacy programs for adults that include learning how to read, speak English, prepare for their GED and more! If you are interested, visit our website at https://loudounliteracy.org/adult-literacy-programs/


🥁 We are so excited to introduce you to our Spelling Quizmistress, Elaine Espinola!

Elaine is a multimedia broadcast professional. She is a television producer and host, speaker, spokesperson and international best-selling author. Elaine is a co-host of Great Day Washington on WUSA9 and producer and host of the DMVDineIn podcast. In 2015 Elaine was the reining Mrs. DC America and continues to promote the platform 'Empowerment for Women through Entrepreneurship’ advocating on behalf of small businesses and for the empowerment of women and girls everywhere.

Elaine is an Advisory Board Member for the non-profit, Touching Heart, which teaches children the joy of giving.

A frequent host, emcee and mistress of ceremony to events around the DMV, if you don't catch her on television shows and commercials, you just might see her out and about!


The 5th Annual TASTE Leesburg is set for Saturday, August 12 from 5pm-10pm on the downtown streets of Leesburg. FREE admission! Drink tickets available for beer & wine, from participating breweries and wineries. Food vendors, games, TWO stages and MORE! 🍷🍺

Come visit us at in booth 412 on North King Street to say hi, learn about our mission, class schedules, BEE information and more!


✍🏻 We've extended the registration deadline for ONE MORE WEEK! The last day to register will be August 14.

Don't miss out by registering here: https://loom.ly/2sxcriA


🐝 Are you a trivia lover? How about a spelling wiz? We know just the event for you! Our annual Not Your Kid’s Spelling Bee event will feature both a trivia and spelling bee competition. The event will take place on September 30th. Come test your knowledge while supporting low-income households to begin their book collections!

Visit https://loom.ly/uvHqUOM to learn more!


Children learn a lot in school, but education can be taught beyond the classroom. We have developed family literacy programs and initiatives that partner with the Loudoun County Public schools system, local community organizations, and local non-profits to meet the unique needs of families so parents can promote reading and build their own libraries at home. 🏡

The link below will provide you with opportunities to sponsor our largest event of the year, “Not Your Kids Spelling Bee”, which in turn supports us in our mission to continue supporting and empowering the families of Loudoun County!


Photos from Loudoun Literacy Council's post 08/05/2023

Happening NOW at Sterling Community Center from 10:00am-2:00pm!

Come see one of our Adult Literacy Program Coordinators at the Prevention Alliance of Loudoun "PAL" 2nd Annual Summer Wellness Fest!

The event is FREE for all with health and wellness vendors there as well as family friendly entertainment for all ages!

Hope to see you there!


📖 Our organization continues to grow! In 2017, we donated 4,641 books and saw a drastic increase of 17,079 books in 2022. In 2019 we served 670 adults students and saw a quadruple increase to 2,134 adults served in 2022.

With the help of sponsors, we can continue to see this number grow in 2023. Become a sponsor today which will continue providing those in need with a variety of books, classes and literacy resources!

The link below will provide you with opportunities to sponsor our largest event of the year, “Not Your Kids Spelling Bee”, which in turn supports us in our mission to continue supporting and empowering the families of Loudoun County!



We are thrilled to have Monti Mercer as Master of Ceremony for our NOT Your Kid's Spelling Bee!

Monti Mercer is a dedicated science humanitarian who actively advocates for biomedical research and charitable initiatives. With a solid commitment to community service, Mr. Mercer holds various positions in local organizations. He is the Dulles District Trustee with the Loudoun County Public Library, a Board Director with the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, and immediate past chair of the Board of Directors for Loudoun Cares. Additionally, Mr. Mercer is a STEM Advisory Councilman for the Northern Virginia Science Center Foundation.

In recognition of his contributions and leadership, Mr. Mercer joined Leadership Loudoun in 2019 and was honored as a Loudoun 40 Under 40 recipient in the same year. The Loudoun Chamber also awarded him the Young Professional Leader of the Year in 2023.

Mr. Mercer is an accomplished scholar, obtaining degrees from Hampden-Sydney College, Virginia State University, and George Washington University.

Beyond his professional and academic pursuits, Mr. Mercer has volunteered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for over 15 years, granting wishes and acting as a wish ambassador. He is also actively involved in local human service-based non-profits and is a religious youth educator and organizer.

Overall, Monti Mercer embodies the values of education, philanthropy, and developing others to positively impact basic scientific and local outreach.


📝 Today is the last day to register for our ELL classes! We are so excited for these classes to begin and we don't want you to miss out, so make sure to register today! Link to register is below:

🌐 https://bit.ly/FallClasses2023


Tomorrow, August 4th, is the last day to register for ELL classes! Don't miss out by registering now using the link below!

🌐 https://bit.ly/FallClasses2023


If you have not already heard, registration for ELL classes is open! Electronic registration is open until August 4th and classes fill up fast, so make sure to register today using the link below!

🌐 https://bit.ly/FallClasses2023


Today is the day! Registration is now open for our FREE fall ELL classes.

Loudoun Literacy Council is looking forward to our upcoming ELL fall session starting the week of August 28th through November 17th. Classes will run for 12 weeks.

Registration will be open for ONE week: July 31st-August 4th.

Students must be 18+

Registration is required, so please scan the QR code on the flyer below, visit our website: www.loudounliteracy.org or use the following link to register: https://bit.ly/FallClasses2023

We look forward to seeing you there!


📖 Childhood literacy education is important to us, that’s why we partner with the Head Start & Step Up organizations. Children who grow up in homes with access to books are more likely to reach a higher level of education. Through our partnerships, we are able to help kids receive books while attending fun book parties, weekly reading sessions, mobile classroom libraries, and monthly book packs.


We are always looking for new volunteers! If you’re thinking of volunteering but worried you won’t know how to help us make an impact, don’t! In 2022 alone, we spent 302 hours training our volunteers that were provided over a period of 10 sessions. If you are interested in making a difference and lending a helping hand, sign up now by clicking the link below!

🌐 https://loudounliteracy.org/volunteer/

Photos from Loudoun Literacy Council's post 07/28/2023

☀️ With temperatures soaring and kids out of school, the waterpark is the perfect place to spend a lazy summer afternoon. Whether it’s your first or your 40th visit to the waterpark this summer, today is the perfect day to make a trip to your local waterpark in honor of National Waterpark Day💦. And while we’re on the topic of waterparks, here are two summer reads that feature them: Wretched Waterpark by Kiersten White, and Water Parks by Virginia Loh-Hagan.
Readers in middle school who are fans of Goosebumps or A Series of Unfortunate Events will love Wretched Waterpark, which will introduce them to the quirky Sinister-Winterbottom family and their visit to a spooky waterpark. Kids who want to learn more about how waterparks are designed by engineers will enjoy Water Parks.

What’s your favorite waterpark? Tell us about it in a comment below.


Rain or shine, heat or humidity, you will always find our team right where they’re supposed to be! Literacy is not a luxury but a right that everyone should have.


📚 Reading is not only fun, but it is also beneficial to your health. Low literacy is linked to problems with accessing preventive medical care, delayed diagnosis, and following instructions such as prescription labels. It is important to introduce literacy in early adolescence, help us make a change in a child's life!


*NEW* workshop coming soon to Loudoun Literacy Council!!

Join us in identifying what mental health consists of and how it impacts our daily life in this seven week series. You will also learn how to improve your mental health and well-being!

Sept. 5: Stress Management, Anxiety, and Depression
Sept. 12: Self Care, Relaxation, and Meditation
Sept. 19: Mindfulness
Sept. 26: Relationships
Oct. 3: Relationships, part 2
Oct. 10: Workplace Mental Health
Oct. 17: Mental Health Resources

There are several ways to register: visit our website at www.loudounliteracy.org scan the QR code you'll see in the video, OR click on the following link: https://bit.ly/FallClasses2023

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at [email protected].

We are really looking forward to these new workshops and we hope to see you there!


Support our nonprofit to assist families seeking a better life. Every dollar helps.

Dear Mum and Dad,

You crossed the treacherous ocean and risked your lives – and ours - so that we could live free from terror. So that we could live in safety and have freedoms.

You gave up the best years of your lives – the prime of your youths – to work, tirelessly. To provide the basic dignities of shelter and food, and the promise of the dream of a better future through your emphasis on education and hard work.

I inherited the rewards of your choosing freedom. And one of the terrible prices of freedom is that fear becomes veiled as pragmatism.

There’s more to life than choosing between whether to be a doctor or a dentist. There’s also a life where we get to choose rest and play and adventure.

And I also get that the greatest “adventure” that you’ve ever had, you wouldn’t want to wish upon anyone else, ever. And that this adventure that you took, into the unknown and the unknowable, involved wide open expanses of nature, never-ending, where the landscape was disorientingly unfamiliar to you.

Unrelenting pragmatism is how we survived.

So I get that you don’t get why I seek this out. And it’s ok.

I remember when I showed you my first tent, and you looked at it blankly. I explained hiking, and you looked at me, again blankly. At some point, years later, I looked at historical footage of the refugee camps. Makeshift shelters covered in blue tarps, looking out onto the ocean, backdropped by the jungle. There was no choice involved for you…or for my two-year-old self.

There was terror interspersed with interminable waiting for the outcome of our lives, whose fate was held in the hands of others.

There’s no peacefulness in natural landscape for you.

But for me, there is.

And maybe, on a deeply subconscious level, a part of me is seeking to gain mastery over the hidden terror-filled recesses of my lineage through not just gaining competence in the outdoors, but through finding solace, comfort and joy in the outdoors.

In forever love,
Your wayward daughter,

Photo: Me @ Lake Hardie – an inland salt-water lake fed from underground salt-water aquifers from when this region was underneath the ocean - in Murray-Sunset National Park, far north-western Victoria. (If I get around to it, I’ll make a separate post about this amazing region.)


Potato chips, ice cream, peanut butter cups. These are just a few examples of junk food or food we should enjoy in moderation rather than daily. Friday, July 21st marks National Junk Food Day, the perfect day to have important conversations with kids about making healthy dietary choices. One of the books in the beloved Berenstain Bears series offers a light-hearted but valuable story about how and when to limit junk food. In The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food, Mama Bear notices that her family has been eating a little too much junk food lately. It’s time for the family to get back into the habit of eating food that will fuel their brains and bodies and save junk food for an occasional treat. Let us know in the comments below—what is your favorite kind of junk food?

Share Your Story 07/21/2023

📣 Share your educational journey with the world! 📚✨

Are you ready to inspire others with your personal education story? 🎓✨ Loudoun Literacy Council wants to hear from you! Share your incredible journey and celebrate your achievements by submitting your story on our website. 🌟

📝 Check out our new page - we would love to hear your story!🌍❤️

Ready to make an impact? Fill out the form and share your story with us and our community!


Share Your Story Share your story with Loudoun Literacy Council! Do you have a story you want to share about your education journey? Loudoun Literacy Council would love to highlight it! By submitting a story on the Loudoun Literacy Council website, you can celebrate your education journey and inspire others. Stories...

Want your school to be the top-listed School/college in Sterling?

Click here to claim your Sponsored Listing.

Our Story

Since 1980, Loudoun Literacy Council has been providing low-income adults and children with the literacy proficiency, communications skills, and personal confidence to not only attain self-sufficiency but also thrive in Loudoun County. We recruit and train volunteers to teach adults, both native speakers and speakers of other languages, to read, write, speak, and understand English. We also provide early literacy enrichment for at-risk preschool children and children who reside in our local homeless shelters, while supporting their parents as their child's first teacher. Our classes and programs are available to all who reside or work in Loudoun County.

Videos (show all)

Loudoun Literacy Council will forever BEE indebted to our amazing Board of Directors! Thank you for your guidance, suppo...
We are delighted to announce the Winners of 2022 Not Your Kid’s Spelling Bee! The competition heated up between two tabl...
We are still a BUZZ from sharing such a memorable evening at the NOT Your Kid’s Spelling Bee at the National Conference ...
Sound—check! Getting ready for our guests! #LoudounLiteracyCouncil #NOTyourkidsspellingbee #Loudounnonprofit #Loudoun #e...
We can’t wait to meet everybody in just a few hours at our NOT Your Kid’s Spelling Bee!#LoudounLiteracyCouncil #NOTyourk...
We have been anticipating the day and it is finally here! We can't wait to see everybody tonight at our NOT Your Kid's S...
Have you had your "head in the sand?"😊(we know everybody gets busy) - and did you miss getting your ticket for the 2022 ...
The curtains are opening soon for our NOT Your Kid's Spelling Bee! Hurry and get your tickets NOW! Join us on Friday, Oc...
It's October, which means that the 2022 NOT Your Kid's Spelling Bee is just around the corner! Hurry and get your ticket...
In case you missed it - hurry and get your tickets fast! The NOT Your Kid’s Spelling Bee is almost here - don't miss out...
UPDATE: Have you seen our lineup for the NOT Your Kid's Spelling Bee? Vice Major Marty Martinez joined as Quizmaster for...
Have you seen our lineup for the NOT Your Kid's Spelling Bee? Join us on October 14 at the National Conference Center. S...





46175 Westlake Drive Suite 450
Sterling, VA

Opening Hours

Monday 10am - 6pm
Tuesday 10am - 6pm
Wednesday 10am - 6pm
Thursday 10am - 6pm
Friday 10am - 5pm
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