Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance.
      -St. Francis of Assisi


ESL Staff:

Amy White, ESL Program Coordinator, x235

Cindy Brown, Associate ESL Coordinator, x239

Diana Gibson, Associate ESL Coordinator, x231

Erin Maradiegue, Associate ESL Coordinator, x251

Kristen Gasimov, Associate ESL Coordinator, x237

Sheila Sullivan, Associate ESL Coordinator, x238

Phil Spencer, Associate ESL Coordinator, x243

Hogar Hispano
6201 Leesburg Pike
Suite 307
Falls Church, VA 22044
(T) 703-534-9805
(F) 703-534-9809

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Amy's Ramblings

What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.
            -Agnes M. Pharo

Seasons Greetings Hogar Volunteers!

You will notice some changes in the content of our e-newsletter. As many of you know, services at Hogar Hispano extend far beyond English classes as we strive to help immigrants in all aspects of their lives. Some of you have volunteered at our Naturalization workshops and are already acquainted with the legal services that are offered. Others of you have very generously donated to the toy drive that provides toys to needy immigrant families. As a way of keeping you abreast of all the happenings here at Hogar, we will be highlighting our Legal Services and Social Services programs, in addition to the English as a Second Language program. Don’t miss the vignette below about a client applying for citizenship and pictures from the toy drive!

This time of year is both exquisitely joyous and unrelentingly stressful. Just the thought of waiting in line at Tysons Corner mall is enough to send me under the covers until January. With all of the bustle and commotion it’s easy to lose sight of what Christmas means. I hope that you spend the holiday season with loved ones and if you are traveling, may the snow wait until you have safely arrived at your destination. From the Hogar family to yours, have a very Merry Christmas.


Amy White
ESL Program Coordinator

ESL Updates

We are pleased to announce Hogar Hispano's Spring 2008 ESL class registration schedule! Please check below for your sites registration date and time.

St. Rita's Catholic Church
3815 Russell Road, Alexandria, Virginia 22305
Levels: Basic, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Spanish Literacy
Registration: Tuesday and Thursday, January 8 and 10, 7 – 9 pm; Sunday, January 13, 2:30 – 5 pm
Classes: Tuesday and Thursday, 7 – 9 pm or Sunday, 2:45 – 4:45 pm

Berkeley Community Center
2910 S. Glebe Road, Arlington, Virginia 22206
Levels: Beginner, Intermediate
Registration: Monday and Wednesday, January 14 and 16, 6:15 – 8:15 pm
Classes: Monday and Wednesday, 6:15 - 7:45 pm, 7:45 - 9:15 pm
Fairfax County
St. Michael's Catholic Church
7401 St. Michael’s Lane, Annandale, Virginia 22003
Levels: Basic, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced
Registration: Tuesday and Thursday, January 8 and 10, 7 – 9 pm
Classes: Tuesday and Thursday, 7 – 9 pm
St. Leo the Great's Catholic Church
3700 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Levels: Basic, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced
Registration: Saturday, January 5, 10 – 12 pm
Classes: Saturday, 10 am – 12 pm
Hogar Hispano
6201 Leesburg Pike, Suite 310, Falls Church, Virginia 22044
Levels: Basic, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Citizenship
Registration: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, January 7, 8, and 9, 10 am or 6 – 8 pm
Classes: Monday - Thursday (4 Days) 9 – 10:30 am, 10:30 – 12 pm, 6 – 7:30 pm, 7:30 – 9 pm
**Does not accept late registrants
St. Anthony of Padua's Catholic Church
3305 Glen Carlyn Road, Falls Church, Virginia 22041
Levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced
Registration: Saturday, January 19, 10 – 12 pm
Classes: Saturday, 10 am – 12 pm
St. John Neumann's Catholic Church
11900 Lawyers Road, Reston, Virginia 20191
Levels: Beginner and Intermediate
Registration: Sunday, January 13, 3 - 5 pm
Classes: Sunday, 3 - 5 pm; Thursday, 7 – 9 pm
St. Bernadette's Catholic Church
7600 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield, Virginia 22152
Levels: Basic, Beginner, and Intermediate
Registration: Saturday, January 26, 10 am – 12 pm
Classes: Saturday, 10 am – 12 pm
St. Mark's Catholic Church
9970 Vale Road, Vienna, Virginia 22181
Levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced
Registration: Tuesday and Thursday, January 8 and 10, 8 – 9:30 pm
Classes: Tuesday and Thursday, 8 – 9:30 pm
Loudoun County
Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church
46833 Harry Byrd Hwy. (Rt. 7), Sterling, Virginia 20164
Levels: Basic, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced
Registration: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday January 22, 23, and 24, 7 – 9 pm
Classes: Tuesday and Thursday, 8 – 9:25 pm
**Does not accept late registrants
Prince William County
Holy Family Catholic Church
14160 Ferndale Road, Dale City, Virginia 22193
Levels: Beginner 1 and 2, Intermediate, and Advanced
Registration: Sunday, January 13, 2 – 4 pm
Classes: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 7 – 8:30 pm
All Saint's Catholic Church
9300 Stonewall Road, Manassas, Virginia 20110
Levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced
Registration: Sunday, January 6, 11:30 – 1:20 pm; Tuesday and Thursday, January 15 and 17, 7 – 9 pm
Classes: Tuesday and Thursday, 7 – 9 pm or Sunday, 11:30 am – 1:20 pm
Our Lady of Angels
13752 Mary’s Way, Woodbridge, Virginia 22191
Levels: Beginner and Intermediate
Registration: Monday and Wednesday, January 14 and 16, 7 - 9 pm
Classes: Monday and Wednesday: 7 - 9 pm

Volunteer Spotlight

This month the volunteer spotlight falls on Joan Lunsford! Joan, a parishioner at St. Andrews in Clifton, has been volunteering at All Saints in Manassas since the fall of 2006. She teaches a beginner class every Sunday, bringing with her 30 years of experience as an orchestra teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools. Although Joan is now retired from the school system, she keeps a busy schedule as a concert violinist. She plays with the McLean Orchestra, the Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra in Prince William County, and the Friday Morning Music Club, which performs throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

Joan imparts her appreciation for music to her students at All Saints. She has a recurring gig playing violin at the end-of-semester ESL parties, choosing from a repertoire of Christmas music in the winter and a selection of well-known American songs in the spring. She has realized that some of her students have never heard the violin played live, and that most seem very interested in and appreciative of her playing. A few weeks ago when Joan’s daughter was in town for a visit, the two presented a concert in class, playing a Beethoven duet for cello and violin, and “La Cucaracha”.

According to Joan there are a lot of similarities to be found between teaching children and adults. “You’re still in charge and they have to listen to you. You always have to go in there knowing what you are going to do.” Joan enjoys her students and their sense of humor. One particular instance that made her laugh was when a student pretended to eat the M&Ms she gave the class to use as BINGO markers. Joan appreciates using games in the classroom, and had great success when she adapted “Guess Who” (a popular board game) for ESL use by scanning and printing a random selection of characters’ portrait cards and having students guess which character she was. The game requires students to use yes/no questions about physical features to identify which character has been chosen.

Thanks, Joan for bringing your own passions and creativity to your classroom. We appreciate all that you do!

If you know of an outstanding volunteer who you would like to see in the spotlight, please contact Erin Maradiegue at or 703-534-9805 ext. 251.

December's Vignette

On December 1st, Hogar Hispano ran a Naturalization workshop in conjunction with the Ya Es Hora !Ciudadania! campaign. The workshop gave lawful permanent residents the opportunity to apply for citizenship, with support provided in the form of volunteer aide filling out naturalization applications, information on citizenship and ESL classes, passport photos, and review of applications by immigration attorneys; all for a fee of only $40! The workshop was a success, with over 150 lawful permanent residents and volunteers coming out on a Saturday morning to fill out citizenship applications.

The applicants included Reiko Okano and Fausto Medina-Lopez. This couple met at the University of Illinois in 1978 while Fausto, from Honduras, completed his PhD in Economics and Reiko, from Japan, worked on her masters degree. They married a year later, and now have two grown United States Citizen daughters. Both Reiko and Fausto had been legal permanent residents since 1985, but postponed taking the final step in their immigration process.

Over the past year, the couple’s daughters, who are politically active, had been encouraging the couple to apply for citizenship in order for them to be eligible to vote. Fausto, who is Catholic, and Reiko, a Buddhist, saw a bulletin posted at the St. Anthony Parish advertising Hogar’s citizenship drive. The couple believed this was a perfect opportunity to apply for citizenship in a friendly place with good technical help. The couple arrived at Arlington Mill on December 1st and were pleased to find the Hogar volunteers warm and helpful, the application process quick, and the technical assistance effective. Fausto said after the process that it was important for him and other lawful permanent residents to take the final step in the immigration process in order to make their voice more powerful and effective.

Hogar’s next Naturalization workshop, again in conjunction with the Ya Es Hora !Ciudadania! campaign, will take place on Saturday, January 26th at the Arlington Mill Community Center at 4975 Columbia Pike in Arlington, Virginia. The goal of the campaign is to encourage all immigrants eligible for citizenship to apply for naturalization so that they may eventually register to vote and make their voices in the community heard. Anyone that would like to register for the next workshop or volunteer should contact Diana Gibson at or call 703-534-9805 ext. 250.

Photo Stop

Hogar's Social Services Brings Toys To Hundreds Of Needy Children This Christmas

This month, Hogar Hispano-Social Services’ primary focus was organizing the annual Holiday Gift Toy Drive. We were able to provide Christmas gifts to 490 children from 151 families participating out of our Falls Church and Loudoun County offices. Thanks to parishioners from St. Charles Borromeo, St. Phillip, and St. Luke churches; schools groups from Bishop O’Connell High School, Langley, and James Madison High School; P.A Consulting Group and Exxon Mobil; private donors, and the other groups who contributed to our Gift Toy Drive. Many children and their families will be able to enjoy a wonderful Christmas this year to due all of our extremely generous donors!

Bits and Pieces

Give the gift of your time! Volunteer with us!
Catholic Charities Hogar Hispano is looking for dedicated individuals to teach ESL classes once a week at one of our 13 locations throughout Northern Virginia. No ESL experience or second language is necessary. We will provide training and material. This is a wonderful opportunity for someone who loves to meet new people and wants to learn more about ESL.

If you or someone you know is interested please contact Sheila Sullivan at or 703-534-9805 x 238.


Help Others To Become U.S. Citizens
In conjunction with the Ya es hora! Ciudadania campaign, Hogar Hispano is offering its first citizenship workshop of 2008, January 26 at Arlington Mill Community Center. Become a part of the citizenship process by volunteering to help fill out U.S. Naturalization applications at Hogar Hispano's Citizenship Workshop. Training is provided at the workshop.

When: January 26, 2008, 9:30 am - 5:00 pm. Stay as long as you can.
Where: Arlington Mill Community Center, 4975 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA
Contact: Diana Gibson, or 703-534-9805 ext. 250
Lunch is provided