BEACON for Adult Literacy

Cause Area

  • Community
  • Computers & Technology
  • Education & Literacy
  • Employment
  • Immigrants & Refugees


9535 Linton Hall RoadBristow, VA 20136 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Inspired by the Benedictine love of learning, BEACON empowers its adult learners to enhance their quality of life by: • Addressing their changing needs through English language classes, citizenship classes, employment and life skills training, and literacy education. • Leveraging well-trained volunteers, technology, partnerships and alliances to provide an opportunity for local residents to give back to the community. • Bringing people together from all walks of life through stewardship, service, and hospitality to achieve BEACON’s vision.


History: BEACON (Benedictine Educational Assistance Community Outreach to Neighbors) was founded in 1992 by Sister Eileen of the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia. It began in a modest kitchen within the monastery and has since evolved into a thriving adult education program in Prince William, serving over 450 low-income adult immigrants annually with the support of over 140 volunteers.

Goals: Our primary goal at BEACON is to empower our students through education. We strive to help them learn English and build essential job skills to achieve their personal and professional goals.

Programs: Our core offerings include eight levels of English language instruction, citizenship preparation, and tutoring. We also provide free informal learning circles and support services such as job coaching (including resume assistance, interview preparation, and job search support).

Achievements: Over the years, BEACON has made significant contributions to adult literacy and immigrant support, earning recognition from esteemed organizations. We are currently recognized as "one of the best" nonprofits by Spur Local, formerly Catalogue for Philanthropy Greater Washington.


Would you recommend BEACON for Adult Literacy?
11 reviews Write a review
by Disha S. from Irvine, CA (September 10, 2023)
Inclusive and caring environment!
by Patti M. (January 3, 2021)
I have enjoyed volunteering with Beacon for over a year, now, as an English language instructor. The organization is small, but is run by a committed, skilled team who are well-organized and professional. Volunteers are provided with as much support and training as they could possibly need, but are allowed a certain level of autonomy to utilize their skills. We have a friendly and diverse group of instructors with a wide range of skills and experiences.
by Barry R. (December 28, 2020)
I have been teaching citizenship in a course sponsored by BEACON for Green card holders who seek full citizenship. The program is very well run and supported by BEACON and is I believe providing a tremendously valuable service.
by Ann K. (December 28, 2020)
I have volunteered with this group for over 5 years. I am a technical facilitator and have worked harder at this in the last 9 months than previous, due to classes going virtual. The organization staff is always helpful in solving problems as well as offering training for staff volunteers. The students are very receptive to the staff and try very hard to learn this new language. I always feel very appreciated by the students who attend our virtual and (in the past) in person classes.
by Pat H. (December 28, 2020)
I have been volunteering with BEACON since 2010. The students are eager to learn and a delight to teach. Each student receives a textbook geared to the class level. Teachers receive a corresponding manual with step-by-step instructions for teaching the lesson. At the beginning level, students learn vocabulary and conversations for everyday experiences such as shopping or talking about their families. In the classroom, it is fun to bring in props to supplement the lesson. Using Zoom has worked well, especially with all the technical support from the BEACON team. I have also learned teaching techniques by observing other teachers using Zoom. The BEACON staff is amazing. If you are looking for a way to help others, I encourage you to consider volunteering with BEACON.
by Gary J. (December 28, 2020)
BEACON is very supportive of both ESOL students and volunteer teachers. As a result, students learn all aspects of the language and citizenship fundamentals. Some of my advanced students have actually gone on to college (NVCC). I am happy to be associated with this fine organization.
by Meg K. (December 28, 2020)
I started volunteering with BEACON during the pandemic, and they are doing a great job of continuing their mission during difficult times. They are providing remote instruction, and have trained the volunteers on how to keep up ESL classes remotely. I can tell the students are grateful, and dedicated to learning a new language.
by Dominique D. (December 28, 2020)
I have volunteered with Beacon as a ESL teacher since January of 2019. They are very organized, provide boyh required and voluntary training and are able to pivot to during this pandemic to online teaching.
by Venencia V M. (October 30, 2018)
Great team of volunteers and administrators who are dedicated and fantastic to work with who are doing great work!
by Caroline Z. from Midlothian, VA (June 1, 2012)
BEACON has a strong support system for volunteers. Their office staff frequently visits the tutoring sites which gives tutors regular staff support. They use a specific curriculum that is user friendly and easy for a new tutor to teach! Tutors are able to create their own curriculum as well to supplement what BEACON provides. Training is free so volunteers do not have to pay to volunteer. Students are anxious to learn and very friendly. It's a fun experience!
by Marianne R. from Bristow, VA (January 10, 2011)
BEACON is dedicated to helping adults learn English and learn to read and write in English. Volunteers are trained and are given continued support. The curriculum used is easy to follow and has ideas on how to teach each lesson.

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