(Extensions of Remarks - May 23, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E757]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                         HON. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN

                              of maryland

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, May 23, 2013

  Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to extend my heartiest 
congratulations to the Literacy Council of Montgomery County, Maryland 
(``LCMC'') on its 50th anniversary.
  In 1963, Elizabeth Kilgore, a county resident who recognized serious 
literacy deficiencies in her community, began working with community 
leaders, educators, clergy, and other concerned residents to develop an 
organizational plan and charter to create the LCMC. Utilizing only 
volunteers, and because 96% of Montgomery County residents spoke 
English as their first language, LCMC initially focused on improving 
the literacy skills of native-born citizens. In 1967, LCMC offered its 
first English as a Second Language (ESL) tutoring program to serve the 
growing immigrant population in Montgomery County.
  Fifty years later, LCMC, based in Rockville, Maryland, has developed 
into an organization of more than 800 volunteers, teachers and staff. 
Now with 12 full- and part-time staff members, LCMC's programs include 
intensive classroom-based instruction taught by professional 
instructors, conversation classes, independent computer-based 
instruction, short-term ``life-skills'' classes, an online GED 
preparation program, and a workplace literacy program. In its 50 years 
of service, LCMC has provided literacy instruction to approximately 
15,000 adult learners and has trained nearly 8,700 volunteer tutors. 
Its programs currently serve 1,500 adults each year.
  In Montgomery County, where approximately 40% of the current 
population speaks a language other than English at home, the success of 
this program is critical. Nearly 15% of Montgomery County residents 
over age 5 speak English less than ``very well.'' Twelve percent of 
children in Montgomery County public schools are enrolled in ESOL 
classes and are likely to have parents with limited English 
proficiency. LCMC also serves native-born adults who are able to speak 
English, but are unable to read and/or write.
  Thanks to LCMC's outstanding work, many members of our community have 
been able to overcome the challenges posed by illiteracy, allowing them 
to participate more fully in the community and to improve their quality 
of life. In short, LCMC has transformed the lives of thousands of 
adults and families.
  I am proud that LCMC is located in Maryland's Eighth Congressional 
District, and I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating LCMC on 
its extraordinary accomplishments and extend to it all good wishes for 
continued success.