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Conference on Adult Literacy

Workshops and Sessions

Specific workshop dates and times to come.


Presentation Title



"Literacy Retreats"

Need to recharge your literacy batteries? If you do, you may be interested in attending a "Literacy Retreat"! In this session you will learn how to host your own "Literacy Retreat". “Literacy Retreats” are informal discussions among small groups about topics of mutual interest to anyone who shares common professional concerns. They should be moderated but casual – kind of like a chat around your kitchen table. Attendance can be limited to agency staff or, by inviting others, can be an excellent opportunity to network. "Literacy Retreats" are held in relaxing settings, like state parks, and are an excellent alternative to the typical professional development format. They can be great for learning and exploring specific topics - and developing relationships.

Stephen F. Hannum

A 21st Century Approach to Train and Maintain Effective Volunteer Instructors

This workshop presents an innovative, research-based model for volunteer instructor training that combines the core components of theory, practical knowledge, and interactive learning to train new volunteers to teach beginning-level English language adult learners. Using a blended-learning approach that includes an on-line pre-study modules, face-to-face instruction, and on-line collaborative professional development, this model adds flexibility, maximizes training effectiveness and extends the learning experience for instructors.

Serife Turkol & Carole Bausell

A Successful Fundraiser is No Trivial Matter

In this workshop, you will hear how The Literacy Roundtable, a coalition of literacy providers in St. Louis, has successfully organized and hosted a trivia night fundraiser. Participants will receive timelines, forms, question templates, databases, and other documentation needed to host a successful trivia night fundraiser.

Todd Evans

A Sustainable Adult ESL Program Model for Everyone

This interactive workshop will highlight successful Adult ESL programs around the country using our award-winning model. We will review adult ESL curriculum choices, teacher training, and supplemental life skills and culture tips for succeeding in the US. This is a great for existing programs and people looking to start an adult ESL/immigrant support program. Workshop participants will receive books and materials that will help them start, expand, or improve their programs immediately. These resources are being used across the country in various settings: school districts offering adult ESL, community colleges, churches, immigrant and refugee service agencies, and charitable organizations teaching English to non-English speaking community members. Our workshop will provide applicable, easy-to- implement tips and case studies we have gathered from various organizations, many of whom are part of literacy coalitions across the country.

Marcie Smith

Abundance or Scarcity...You Choose!

Though many Adult Basic Education programs continue to enjoy state and federal government funding streams, there is a growing concern about the sustainability of these monies. More and more administrators are looking outside the traditional streams of funding to sustain and grow programming. In this session we will examine innovative ways to respond to this concern without compromising our mission. Topics will include consulting, fee for service programming, partnerships and much more. Come to this session to get in on the ground floor of the entrepreneurial revolution in our field.

Eric Nesheim & Tom Cytron-Hysonm

Addressing the Learner using a holistic approach

Attendees are expected to learn how to expand instruction for adults using technology innovation to increase depth of knowledge critical thinking skills for learners. Collaboration with technology, education and mental health addresses the student learner holistically. Students are going beyond traditional memorization skills and using problem solving to apply knowledge. Lastly, we have addressed mental health illness to target specific cognitive and learning disabilities to create individual educational plans to assist with technological learning in the classroom.

Dominique Davis

Adult Learner Book Testimonials-The Power of Voice

An inspired adult learner, "You have to learn to believe in people...” He shares how a book impacted his life and uses the power of voice in a Book Testimonial. A Learner Panel was presented at the Bay Area Book Festival in California. Hear the Coordinator and Learner on Staff!

Linda Sakamoto-Jahnke

Adult Learning Meets K-12 Education

Milwaukee Achiever Literacy Services, in Milwaukee, WI, has partnered with Milwaukee Public Schools, the largest school district in the State of Wisconsin to help reach the parents of K-12 students. Learn how Milwaukee Achiever has leveraged resources from community resources and partnerships, technical colleges to increase parent engagement and K-12 success. Tips, strategies and the overall program will be highlighted.

Tracy Loken Webber

Advocacy & Awareness - Community Involvement - One Person at a Time

Illiteracy is a problem that threatens stunning impact on a community. It is a problem that affects everyone, but what can one person do about it? Learn about The Literacy Cooperative of Greater Cleveland's Call to Action and our approach to involve the community one person at a time.

Robert Paponetti & Laureen Atkins

Beyond Training: The Art of Inspired Learning – Agent for Change

Come join this lively session and discover how to take tutor training (or tutoring sessions) from a curriculum driven approach to an individualized model tailored to the learner’s specific needs and interests. “We are all life-long learners” is a philosophy which encourages the focus to be on building an equal partnership between tutor and learner. Discovering the strengths of the learner and their interests, allows the learning process to unfold with joy, ease and clarity. Creating a fun and respectful environment allows the partnership to develop, builds trust and aids the discovery of what truly motivates and inspires the journey of learning.

Sheila Mitchell

Bilingual Support for Achieving Family Literacy Outcomes

While our adult ESL students are in the process of learning English, it is important they continue to read to their children, in any language. Learn how your agency can ensure that immigrant parents have the bilingual resources needed to read to their children and become involved in their education.

Stephanie Fisher

Blended Learning as a Model to Support Adult Learning

Many adult education programs have limited instructional staff available to support the teaching of content necessary to successfully improve literacy and complete high school equivalency programs. That coupled with the cost of hiring instructional staff supports the need to develop creative methods of providing instruction to students. One option might be the use of Blended Learning as a method for instruction and formative assessment.

Emily Manigault & Chuck Holland

Bridging the Divide

Incorporating new grants into current programs can feel daunting. Truth is, we are already doing so much of it already. This workshop will show the link between what is being taught in the classroom and helping learners become active, informed members of the community. Learn to systematically incorporate concepts which will bridge the remaining gaps between community involvement, workforce, and higher education.

Jenna Kelly

City Lit: Faith-based Literacy in an Urban Setting, Birmingham, AL


Pam Thompson

Classroom Management: Planning Ahead for Student Success

What is classroom management? Why is it important? And, how do I do it? In this workshop, you will explore these three questions. As we dig into these questions, we will look at how the teacher sets the tone and creates the environment for learning.

Cynthia Campbell

Collaborative teaching: Collaboration, transition, success!!

Integrated instruction/team teaching is an effective approach to transition English Language Learners and Basic Education students into program level courses. Explore the benefits and challenges to team teaching while learning how to work together to overcome those challenges. Discover how you can successfully incorporate integrated/ team teaching into your own classrooms and tutoring sessions.

Shawn Jensen & Karla Sampselle

Common Pronunciation Mistakes Made Speakers of Other Native Languages

Speakers whose primary native language is other than English make similar mistakes.This is often because literal translations don't work and the large number of sounds that don't exist in their native language. This fun, engaging workshop provides two user-friendly tools to teach some of the most common pronunciation and grammatical mistakes you hear at every level.

Marcie Smith

Community Literacy: Innovation in Tutoring Program Development

Does your tutoring program struggle with low tutor-learner match completion rates? Do you wish you had a better idea of what goes on in those tutoring sessions? Come learn about an effective alternative model to the independent tutor-learner match!

Jennifer Peterson & Ezi Adesi

Creating Digital Stories using Windows Live Movie Maker &

Using Windows Live Movie Maker and teachers can creatively teach the elements of writing a story in a creative and chronological order.

LaVerne Stewart

Decentralizing Adult Basic Education Programs Into Local Libraries

In 2011, Literacy Mid-South created a partnership with the local library system, decentralizing the adult basic education program to more than 31 local libraries. This process dispersed more than 500 adult learners and 250 volunteer tutors into the community, changing the entire structure of the program. In this presentation, Literacy Mid-South will provide information and lessons learned about to create meaningful partnerships with local libraries to expand programs and reduce costs.

Kevin Dean, Vernetta Anderson, & Stacy Early

Designed to Work: A blended program strategy for transitioning low-skilled adults to the workforce.

This presentation will demonstrate the use of complementary assessment tools (workforce essential skills and employability skills) to design and deliver effective and practical program strategies to employment-bound adult participants. In short, the concept looks at a new approach to bringing unemployed and under-employed Canadians, especially those with multiple employment obstacles, into the workplace. The two partner organizations leading this presentation, Futureworx Society of Nova Scotia, and PTP (Pathway to Possibilities) of Ontario, have both worked with people facing multiple obstacles to employment, as well as older workers and youth, for many years. Session attendees will receive brief background on the training environment that led to the development of each tool, how the two organizations came to collaborate and how the integration of these two tools increases the organizations’ ability to address the individual literacy and employability levels of clients. This will include a collaborative workshop activities between session attendees. It is targeted at front-line staff as well as management responsible for program development and direction.

Heather Paterson, Paul Brinkhurst, & Barbara McFater

Developing an Educational Program for a Private Company

English literacy in the workplace now plays a vital roll in maintaining proper and effective safety, management, and communication skills in the workplace. This presentation will review how to get started and develop an adult basic education program that caters to the needs of ESOL, low literacy learners, for a company, and will include a look at actual materials, photos, program results and insights of an existing vocational program at a construction company in Benicia, California.

Patricia Sanchez Correa

Digital Challenger: Phonics-based E-learning for Adults

The new Digital Challenger series combines computer skills practice with phonics-based adult literacy instruction. The word analysis, reading comprehension, and vocabulary instruction Challenger is known for are reinforced with audio, video, interactive exercises, and games. See a demonstration of Digital Challenger, and listen to Literacy Action from Atlanta describe their experience using the program. Computer skills are essential to success on the new high school equivalency tests and at work. Digital Challenger will help your students prepare for both.


Don't Hate Math!

Why do so many students hate math? Yes, hate is a strong word but so many students use it when they describe how they feel about learning math. Come find out as we discuss why so many learners have a difficult time with math. This session will discuss the research behind math anxiety and developmental dyscalculia while providing participants the opportunity to engage in fun, hands-on activities that can be brought back to the classroom.

Amanda Raitano

Each One Teach One Finds New Home in Old Firestation

In 2014, the Each One Teach One Adult and Family Literacy Program of San Antonio, Texas purchased an old city firehouse and converted it to a community literacy center. Come and learn about their journey which led to a headquarters of their own, and the impact it has had on their services.

Carolyn Heath

Effective Strategies for Teaching Reading, Writing, and Numeracy

New standards, changing tests, and rapid growth in technology impact ways teachers/tutors teach basic skills to adult learners. This seminar presents effective strategies for teaching literacy, numeracy and high school equivalency. The hard work of researching effective strategies and best practices is already done for you.

Charles Johnson

Elevating the Discussion to the Broader Community / What does your community think about adult literacy and why does it matter?

This presentation will provide participants with an overview of how a Community Based Literacy Organization (CBLO) is working to understand the attitudes and perceptions of the region to identify areas for programmatic changes and shifting how their community thinks about low literacy. Addressing adult literacy requires a comprehensive approach which includes individual based services as well as understanding, engaging, and mobilizing strategies at the community level. An overview of the pilot project will be presented including the community survey tool, preliminary findings and strategies for next steps.

Kim Herbstritt

Engaging Learners through Smart Technologies

In the age of rapid digital technologies, teachers are faced with the increasingly difficult task of engaging and assessing students. We will examine simple ways to incorporate simple technologies (smart phones, e-book readers, and laptops) into the classroom environment and be used to assess students' knowledge instead of being a distraction. Sample lessons will be reviewed and discussed.

Monica Orsot

English for Health: Developing and Promoting Health Literacy Partnerships

Low health literacy costs billions each year and causes poor outcomes for patients. Literacy organizations can be part of the solution. We’ll share how we developed collaborations with healthcare systems and improved adult learners’ use of healthcare through our replicated English for Health program.

Jeff Burkhart

ESL Group Tutoring

Expand your capacity to serve more ESL clients by engaging them in groups through cooperative learning. Engage volunteers on day one by offering a "no training required" option. Volunteers are cultivated through on-the-job experience to manage and facilitate these impactful drop-in sessions. Interactive workshop, provides all materials needed to start a program on Monday.

Alison Austin

Exploring the Role of Tutor-Support in Digital Literacy Acquisition: Helping Diverse Adult Learners Succeed

Presenters will share results from a 3-year project focused on the digital literacy acquisition process of vulnerable adult learners within a self-paced, tutor-facilitated learning environment. Implications from this research will aid the field in designing programs and instructional services that meet the needs of diverse adult learners.

Jill Castek & Andrew Pizzolato

Fast and Furious Critical Thinking Skills for Math Dummies

This workshop will strike at the heart of the pervasive deficits in critical thinking for math problem solving. It will identify deficit patterns and learner practices that build barriers to critical thinking. Participants will share effective teaching techniques and examine a few simple, succinct strategies that enable learners to take control of reasoning their way out of math jams.

Forrestine Eubanks

Fast Forward for Success

In education, engagement is the key to success. In this session you will discover innovative new online resources offering interactive learning opportunities and computer skills practice, all while aligned to the CCSS. Learn how KET’s Fast Forward courses and free professional development resources are making a difference for learners and educators alike.

Tonya Crum

Financial Math

Collaborative learning in financial math. Use of everyday math to demonstrate financial math skills. Peers work together to yield a final presentation of assignment.

Danielle Smith

Free Online Professional Development for the GED 2014

This workshop presents how to access free, online workshops for the GED 2014 developed for adult educators by adult educators. The workshops can be taken at any time, include text and video, and are being produced by the DC Public Library in conjunction with Academy of Hope, a Washington, DC adult literacy program, and are made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Ben Merrion


Want to help your students keep their first/ current job or be successful in college? Come to our session on GeorgiaBEST to learn how you can provide your students with the soft skills necessary to succeed in the work force or college.

Jessica Nguyen, Connie Smith, & Rebecca McGee

Get a Closer Look at Distance Learning

Distance Learning (DL) is showing great promise as a tool to increase student learning, motivation, and persistence. It can also help educators reach students who need Adult Basic Education (ABE) but are not enrolled in programs because of schedule/location challenges or dispositional barriers such as negative past experiences in traditional school settings. Currently, all but seven ABE consortia in Minnesota is using DL in some way. The Minnesota Literacy Council has reached hundreds of learners with this tool already this program year. This session will introduce participants to the basics of distance learning (DL). We will: - discuss when, how and why to use DL with students; - demonstrate DL tools currently being used in Minnesota ABE programs; - look at performance data of MN students/programs who are using DL; and - provide guidance on how to successfully integrate DL into a ABE program, based on the experience of the Minnesota Literacy Council and its partners.

Cathy Grady & Tom Cytron-Hysonm

Growing Your Program with an Integrated Marketing Campaign

In this session you will learn how the W.R. Rogers Center, in partnership with the University of South Carolina Mass Communication Program, developed and implemented, an integrated, strategic communications and marketing campaign. This campaign was responsible for moving the Center from the bottom quartile to the top quartile in South Carolina Adult Ed. programs for the number of students served.

Bobby Cunningham

Health Literacy: Partnerships, Projects, and Funding Possibilities

Using both existing and newly designed curriculum, Wisconsin Health Literacy designed three successful health literacy projects that attracted corporate funding and allowed the agency to partner with many different organizations serving vulnerable populations. Refining our delivery methods of health literacy workshops and measuring impact on project goals helped to ensure additional funding and more partners.

Michele Erikson

Home with Instructions - Health Literacy - outreach to homebound elders - Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma Library

This workshop will review the "Home with Instructions" project developed by the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma Library and funded by the Network of National Libraries of Medicine (NNLM). The project worked with five home bound elders who were provided with laptop computers, internet access, and training on use of the computers and internet, as well as instructions on accessing online health resources including American Indian health Portal, Medline Plus, email and Facebook. The proposal submitted to NNLM and project protocols will be shared. Sandy will also be sharing free resources for health literacy with a Native face.

Sandy Tharp-Thee

How To Learn English

How To Learn English is a research based seminar which specifically focuses on strategies to help adults learn English. This workshop is an overview of the roles that attitude, memory, activities and resources play in order to reach short term and long term goals identified by the learners.

Joanna Rodden

Improving the Spelling Skills of Adult Literacy Students

Sophisticated spelling skills are essential for adult learners seeking to improve their employability. Based on a study that examined the spelling abilities of adults with low literacy skills, this mini-session will focus on instructional strategies for improving spelling skills in adult literacy classrooms. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about how linguistic knowledge influences spelling acquisition, discuss the implications of the study’s findings, and reflect on practical ways to support and enhance adult learners’ spelling success.

Amani Talwar

Is It Ever Too Late? – Library Literacy Services for Adults with Reading Difficulties or Dyslexia

This presentation will highlight research that reports highly effective methods for improving literacy in adults with dyslexia or reading difficulties. Case studies of adults who have made significant improvements in their reading and academic skills will be presented. Many reading instructional programs claim to be “research-based,” but commonly cannot produce true research to support their program’s claim of effectiveness. What does it mean for a program to claim to be “research-based?” Thirty-years of research points to the effectiveness of methods and programs that explicitly teach phonological awareness, auditory working memory and decoding skills, rather than phonics-only or sight word approaches. This presentation will discuss how to recognize a truly research-based program,as well as the scientific research that indicates what makes a reading program truly effective.

Tim Conway

It’s a Win-Win!: Engaging Volunteers to Advance Digital Literacy

Two challenges literacy learners face are understanding and connecting spoken language to print. This is an even greater challenge for learners who use a non-roman alphabet in their native language. The Future Literacy Workbook is uniquely designed to address these needs.

Amy Sonnie & Kami Griffiths

Language Experience Approach for Beginning ELL's

Teaching adult English language learners in a volunteer community - based organization is challenging. Learners come to classes ready to learn something they can take out the door, that has meaning to their lives and meets an immediate need. The program battles raising money, purchasing materials and training volunteers. The Language Experience Approach is used successfully to teach non-readers to read. It is also a low-cost effective tool for teaching speaking, listening, reading, and writing to adult English Language Learners with very little English. Learn how this strategy gives you plenty of bang for your buck!!

Cynthia Shermeyer

Learning Disabilities

The most common types of specific learning disabilities are those that impact the areas of reading, math and written expression such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia. The workshop will give you a better understanding of all three and how it affects our adult learners in becoming more productive.

Patricia Bush

Literacy for the Homeless: The Role of Public Libraries

Some libraries go out of their way to help the homeless; others have policies that serve to exclude them. Why? What are the issues? Why do some libraries directly teach adult literacy, while others stay at arm's length from adults who may have the most compelling need of literacy services: putting a roof over their heads? How can volunteer literacy providers work more closely with public libraries? Talk over the problem with a former Proliteracy affiliate director who is now a doctoral student in library science.

Deborah Yoho

Math Instruction That Makes Sense

Students need to be able to make calculations and use number sense to think critically, make decisions, solve problems, and connect math concepts to real life. See how Math Sense helps students build self-confidence and develop the operations, problem-solving, and analysis skills they need to succeed in work, life, and high school equivalency tests.

Todd Evans

Maximum Learning for Students: Minimum Prep Time for You!


Laurel Pollard

Moving Toward a New Paradigm in ESOL Instruction for Beginning Learners: The Literacy College Model

The authors propose a new model for reaching and teaching adults with limited English proficiency and little time to dedicate to education. Believing that traditional academic models involving years of education have given short shrift to the urgent needs of immigrants and allowed many learners to fall by the wayside, the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia envisions a paradigm where adults can access a fast track to real world outcomes in workforce, education, community, and citizenship. Learn how LCNV is using research-based best practices to create an innovative program design where adults select their own pathways through intensive mini-courses focused on discrete, practical language and literacy skills to prepare them for next steps. Become familiar with LCNV’s Destination Workforce ™, a workforce-related language and literacy curriculum integral to the Literacy College©.

Patricia Donnelly & Carole Bausell

Native Literacy Solutions for the 21st Century

There are over 1.6 million adult Spanish-speakers in the U.S. that cannot read or write. In this presentation you will learn about an innovative ESL literacy solution that transforms lives; and about the critical role that literacy plays in empowering the Latino workforce, family and community. The presentation includes methodology based on Popular Education by Paulo Freire.

Mari Riddle

Pathway for New Americans: Partnerships for Immigration and Citizenship Preparation

This workshop will explore best practices from the Pathway for New Americans initiative, a partnership between US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the city of Nashville, TN. This partnership utilizes a community-wide approach to promoting citizenship education and awareness in the city. Participants will engage in exercises and discussion about potential partnerships in their own community, and brainstorm ways to connect existing resources to community need.

Megan Godbey

Preparing community volunteers for literacy tutoring

Need to train volunteer tutors for your literacy agency? Overwhelmed by how to plan and implement a training program? Need some new ideas on training activities and facilitation? This workshop is for you! Discussion to include soup to nuts aspects of volunteer tutor training.

Alison Austin

Preparing Migrants for the Real World in America

The internet has revolutionized the way this generation function at work, at school, and in everyday normal activities. Twenty-five or so years ago, when then Hawaii Governor John Waihee III directed the Office of Children and Youth to conduct the Hawaii Literacy Needs Assessment, the study was only looking at the functionally literate in Hawaii. The study found a need for people to know how to properly fill out job application forms or locate a telephone number in a phone book. In the same assessment, it was found that parents without skills, who are not able to provide an intellectually stimulating home for their children are also incapable to be involved in the education of their children. They are isolated from the activities of their children and will fail to contribute fully, advocate, and support learning activities. That was in 1988 when the information highway has not fully unleashed its capabilities, albeit business were already clamoring for more workers who are able to read, write and perform problem solving skills. In the late 80’s, parents did not have to open the internet to look at report cards nor need to email the teacher for their questions or concerns. At that time, the State of Hawaii was just beginning to receive migrants from island nations of the COFA agreement.

Annabelle Stone

Program Implementation: Using Year long Strategies to Approach GED 2014 Skills

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the number of skills and the breadth of content that must be included in your GED/ABE classes? Not sure how to implement an inclusive curriculum? Academy of Hope will provide an interactive workshop where organizations can formulate their own year long approach to providing the skills needed for success on the GED 2014 and other high school credentialing tests. This workshop is for administrators and instructors at all levels of experience.

Daquanna Harrison, Patricia DeFerrari, Jayme Epstein, & William Walker

Program Redesign and Implementation: How to Build High School Equivalency Programs that Are Springboards to College

In this presentation designed for program leaders, curriculum planners, and teacher trainers,leaders from the Pre-College Academic Program of the College of New Rochelle, School of New Resources and LaGuardia Community College’s Bridge to College & Careers Programs and College & Career Pathways Institute will share insights developed through their collaborative experience in program redesign and implementation aligned with the WIOA focus on preparing adult students for success in postsecondary education and careers. Through a discussion of program redesign rationale and processes along with review of key planning and program materials, presentation attendees will develop an understanding of effective approaches to broad-scale change in program design and curriculum and identify possible steps for their own programs.

Amy Dalsimer, Wynne Ferdinand, & Andrew Baker

Quality Data: Standards for Measuring the Success of Nonprofits Focused on Adult Education

Nonprofit organizations focused on Adult Basic Education and Literacy must be able to present concrete evidence of the life-altering impact their programs have on adult learners in order to receive grants and donations critical to keeping the doors open. This workshop will review the evolution of the measurements of success used by one Florida-based nonprofit that serves adults reading between a 0 and 9th grade level, and how adopting multiple federal, state, and local standards of success helped them acquire additional grant funds needed for expansion. Participants should be willing to discuss some of the goals and outcomes of their own adult education programs, and will have the option of participating in continued information sharing after the conference is over. Session administrators hope to develop effective networks and connections for nonprofits that need to qualify their data in order to tell their success stories to grant makers who otherwise may not be familiar with the indicators of a successful ABE program.

Alicia Harris, Judy Bradshaw, & Sherri Jackson

Reaching the Underserved: Expanding Access to Literacy Services in Your Community

ProLiteracy’s Expanding Access project expands access to literacy services for adults by helping non-literacy social service agencies add literacy components to their existing services. Come hear about the project, partnerships, services, lessons learned, and opportunities for collaboration in your community.

Todd Evans

Reading Aloud: It's Not Just for Kids Anymore!

Reading aloud in the adult education classroom can boost critical thinking, comprehension, vocabulary, writing, imagination, interest, and camaraderie. During this interactive workshop, we will discuss the benefits, consider the features, and share many examples of compelling read alouds for adult learners. We will also demonstrate how to read aloud effectively while periodically punctuating the reading with purposeful questions. Workshop participants will join in directed discussions of passages that are read aloud, and they will take away teaching strategies they can apply to all reading selections while working with adults in literacy, basic and secondary education, and English language learning. Be prepared to join in the fun since reading aloud is not just for kids anymore!

Carrie Stell

Reboot Your Digital Strategy!

In this workshop, learn how your program and students can take advantage of national developments in digital literacy and access. Presenter will demo helpful resources, websites, and tools to get your teachers, tutors, and students “connected.” Bring your own device (BYOD) to get a hands-on experience.

Steve Quann

Rebooting your literacy organization. Accompany Literacy DuPage's journey and learn how to re-energize your program and organization.

This fast-paced session introduces you to Literacy DuPage, a 43-year old literacy services provider in Chicago's western suburbs. When hired two years ago, the new leadership team was told to "keep the ship on course - no need to change anything" - but soon learned otherwise. While the organization's reputation for service in the community, with collaborative partners and among funders was excellent, internally the organization was gripped by complacency, outdated procedures, inadequate infrastructure, and in need of more professionalized tutor training, communication and a much more ambitious outlook. Participants interested in reviewing, reassessing, redesigning and rebooting their organizations will take away practical tips and key lessons learned.

Bernie Steiger & Carol Garcia

Revitalizing Literacy through Redesign

How sustainable is your literacy organization? In 2011, we surveyed 23 literacy programs throughout NJ and learned that most were unsure of the future. This led us to explore new options and ultimately to a merger of 9 organizations. Join us to discuss the merger process, lessons learned, and other options for redesign to make your organization stronger.

Jessica Tomkins & Elizabeth Gloeggler

Session 1: Why Family Literacy Matters

This session provides the data programs need to make the case for investing in family literacy. Results from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)’s 2012 Adult Skills Survey, known as the Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), provide solid evidence for why it is critical to raise adults’ literacy skills so that their children can succeed in school and in the workforce. This session will provide an introduction to PIAAC results, focusing on U.S. adults’ literacy skills. We will look closely at which adults in the U.S. are low skilled, and how their skill levels affect a range of factors, including employment, income, health and civic participation. We will also explore the many ways in which the literacy levels and life chances of adults in the U.S. are shaped by parents’ education level. Finally, we will take a closer look at the PIAAC literacy framework to see if our own instruction is building adult competence.

Sondra Stein & Katherine Landeros

Session 2: Why Numeracy Matters: A closer Look at What PIAAC Tells us About Adult Workforce Success

Adults in the U.S. – especially young adults – have dismally low skills in numeracy and we know numeracy is critical to success in the workforce. This is one of the findings of the 2012 Survey of Adult Skills, known as the Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). This session will provide an introduction to PIAAC results, focusing on how adults in the U.S. performed on this international numeracy skills assessment, how those results compare with their peers in other countries, and the demographic characteristics of adults in the U.S. with low numeracy skills. We will take a closer look at which industries have the highest concentrations of low-skilled workers to help identify likely employers to partner with in building career pathways and workplace education programs. Finally, we will look at the PIAAC numeracy framework in order to see if we are building the numeracy skills adults need to succeed in the workforce.

Sondra Stein & Katherine Landeros

Session 3: Why Digital Problem Solving Matters: A Closer Look at How Education and Skills Online can be used to Inform Educational Outreach Efforts

Presenters will introduce a library-based, learner-centered project focused on a crucial need – developing programming to ensure that all citizens are equipped for today’s digital information age. The project used PIAAC's Education and Skills Online (ESO) — a valid and reliable assessment suite used in PIAAC that addresses literacy, numeracy, and Problem Solving in Technology Rich Environments (PS-TRE) — to examine adult library patrons’ skills and needs in the area of digital problem solving. Participants will learn what is included in PIAAC’s PS-TRE domain, how adults in the U.S. performed in this domain, and ways administration of PS-TRE was integrated into library outreach settings. ESO will be available online for use in local programs and research projects starting in August 2015. Presenters will engage the audience in interactive discussions focused on how the ESO tool can be useful to researchers and educators who work with a range of adult learners across multiple contexts.

Jill Castek

Starting the Career Pathway: Developing a Workplace Program for Beginning-level ESOL Learners

Workforce training and career pathways programs are all the rage in adult education programs. This workshop explains the process of developing a successful workforce language and literacy program in partnership with local businesses, that targets the beginning-level English-language learner. In a region where there is a growing population of low-skilled, non-native English-speakers, businesses need a program that will build the language and 21st century skills of non-native speakers and help transition them into better- paying jobs. The first stages in the process of developing Destination Workforce ™ are featured in this workshop.

Carole Bausell, Serife Turkol, & Xavier Munoz

Strategies to Collaborate Effectively with the Public School System

This presentation will cover strategies to create a collaborative adult and family learning program with Title I school districts. Family involvement is critical to a child's success. By helping parents to improve their English language skills through innovative partnerships, we foster a better environment for children to succeed.

Susan Acuna

Struggling Adult Readers and Workforce Development

The presentation offers some preliminary findings from an ethnography of a classroom serving adult readers testing at a 5th grade level equivalent and below.

Amy Pickard

Student Portfolios--Preparing Students for 21st Century Opportunities

The passage of WIOA and an emphasis on college and career readiness has programs rethinking how they provide services. In this session, learn how instructors at Kirkwood Community College worked to create a student e-portfolio in which students and instructors work in tandem to provide students opportunities to meet 21st century workplace and education demands.

Marcel Kielkucki

Success In The Classroom Equals Success On The Job

Have you ever wondered why some students succeed and some do not? Is the reason for success how the teacher is teaching the subject or is it the way the student is learning the material despite how the teacher is teaching the material? This presentation will provide information regarding how to identify the best way to teach the content to the students for the highest probability for success in the classroom thus resulting in success on the job.

Okie Wolfe

Survival of the Fittest

This mini workshop will discuss how one organization not only survived but tripled in size andfunding during lean times. Thinking outside the box with creative fundraising, innovative programming and effective management of volunteers will allow your program to survive and thrive in times of scarce resources.

Joan Peterson & Fiona Van Gheem

Teaching Adults with Learning Disabilities - and Amazing Apps To Help!

This interactive session begins with an introduction to instructional strategies to use with adult students who have learning disabilities. Participants will have the opportunity to practice each strategy during the session, and it includes both individual and small group strategies. The instructional strategy practice is followed by an overview of new and amazing free/cheap apps that adult students with learning disabilities can use to improve their learning, practice basic skills, improve organization, and provide access to alternative methods of information processing.

Patricia White & Klaus Neu

Teaching Basic Literacy to Hispanics

Learn how to use a free curriculum to teach how to read and write to illiterate Hispanics in their native language. Help create a foundation that will allow adult learners to transition to ESL classes.

Yolanda Medina

Teaching ESL Citizenship Classes

Have you ever had a student inquire about taking a citizenship class? Have you ever thought about teaching citizenship but not known where to start? Come to this session and learn how to structure a citizenship class and present the material in an organized, interesting way so students can grasp the basics, pass the test, and become proud new US citizens.

Harriet Withers & Ashley VonderBecke

Technology Integration for Enriched Learning

This presentation will provide an overview of why and how technology is used to enhance instruction learning in the Waubonsee Community College Adult Education Program. Workshop participants will participate in discussions and hands on activities that demonstrate how technology is integrated through a variety of methods to support student learning.

Nancy Horton

The CAPITAL Project: Mobile Applications for Improving Literacy in Adult Learners

CAPITAL (Comprehension and Pronunciation Instructional Tools for Adult Learners) is a project focused on creating a set of free educational mobile applications to help low-literacy adults gain and improve their reading skills. The goal of these applications is to automaticallycreate practice exercises customized to an individual learner’s skill level, adhering to principles from the science of learning such as frequent and optimally-spaced exercises, immediate feedback, and repetition as needed to develop long-term memory. The various exercises generated by the CAPITAL software are designed to improve literacy skills at all levels, from basic phonemic awareness to complex passage comprehension. The CAPITAL software leverages instructor input to generate these exercises, ensuring consistency of content between classroom learning and extracurricular practice. This unique system allows for the creation of a wide variety of exercises with minimal instructor effort while also prioritizing instructor approval of all generated materials and allowing instructors to track their students’ progress. User tests with adult learners from project partners in the Washington, D.C. area suggest that the current software is learnable, consistent, and intuitive enough to be used by low-literacy users with minimal outside guidance as a meaningful and effective adult educational tool.

Jennifer Hill, Rahul Simha, & Katie Stasaski

The Importance of Grade Level Completion History of Adult Literacy Students

Does grade level completion history make a difference with adult literacy students? Participants in this study included 86 adult, native English speakers who read between the 3rd and 5th grade levels. This study compared the two highest educational level groupings (5th-8th; 12th-14th) on reading skills, employment, voter registration status, as well as constructs for reading pleasure, reading self-perception, and reading practices. Results indicated very few statistical differences between the two groups. These findings indicate that with adults who have difficulty reading, higher educational attainment levels do not necessarily imply greater skills, reading pleasure, reading self-perception, reading practices and voting status.

Christine Dunagin Miller & Daphne Greenberg

The Integrated Teaching of ELL and Computers to Adults

The central goal of English language learning (ELL) instruction is to provide students with the language skills they need to integrate into society and perform important social functions, and skilled instructors provide opportunities for students to learn language skills relevant for real-world situations. It is impossible, however, to be integrated into today’s society without having some familiarity with computers and the basic software we use in a variety of everyday situations. This workshop will explore the method of Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL), which allows the instructor to integrate language learning with the acquisition of computer skills in the classroom. The workshop will provide theoretical background on how both ELL and computer instruction work together to promote acculturation, will examine some of the strengths and weaknesses of CALL, and will provide instructors with practical tips and resources on how to incorporate CALL into their classrooms.

Gisella Aitken-Shadle

The Marginalization Experiences of Low-Income, Female Adult Literacy Learners

Adult illiteracy constitutes a crisis in the U.S. society that has been historically ignored. The purpose of this qualitative life history-focused dissertation study is to explore the lives of low- income, female adult literacy learners, and to understand the challenges and barriers that they have encountered in their lives. Situating literacy as the nucleus of this study, the educational matriculation of these women will be examined in conjunction with the life struggles that such women encounter as they attempt to move beyond the confines of illiteracy and poverty. This study also examines how specific public policies and practices have impacted their personal and educational goals. By investigating the intersections between female adult literacy learners’ matriculation through adult basic education programs and the barriers that hinder such women from becoming upwardly mobile and self-sufficient, the goal is to gain a more in-depth understanding of how structural barriers and institutional policies and practices impact their educational pursuits. Emergent themes from this ongoing study include institutional and gender barriers, unmet child care needs, family poverty, and lack of support services. By giving voice to the women, this study may contribute to a deeper understanding of the conditions that give rise to, and perpetuate, illiteracy.

Kristen Barnes-Holiday

The Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment: A Collaborative Tool to Meet Community Needs

The Northstar Digital Literacy Project includes 8 online, self-guided modules measuring digital literacy skills, used by over 165 sponsor sites in 19 states. We will summarize the development process, demonstrate Northstar, examine how it works as a collaborative tool between organizations serving diverse clients, and present the non-profit business model used to sustain it.

Tom Cytron-Hysom & Eric Nesheim

The Role of Foundational Literacy in English Language Learner Outcomes: Key Learnings from Library-Based ELL Outreach Programs

Since 2008, The American Library Association’s Office for Literacy and Outreach Services and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation have provided small grants up to $15,000 to public libraries to build their print and digital ESL collections, increase computer access and provide GED, citizenship, and literacy instruction for English language learners (ELLs). Through the course of this initiative, participating libraries have indicated that foundational literacy is critical to successful outcomes for ELLs, as many patrons receiving services have low-level literacy in their original language. This 30-minute mini-session will feature reflections from ALA staff who have coordinated the program and share specific key learnings from the experiences of over 150 libraries across the country who have built foundational literacy into their ELL programs, as well as video testimonials from select participating libraries.

Kristin Lahurd

Tutor Training & Matching: Our More Meaningful New Approach

Literacy for Life has implemented a new tutor training approach in which tutor-learner pairs meet for the first time between the second and third tutor training sessions. At this session, tutor trainer Mary Lynch will describe the content, logistics, and advantages of our three- part tutor training series.

Mary Lynch

Tutoring in the Trenches: Lessons Re-Learned about Learning Challenges of Adult ELLs

Six core factors that affect learning for adult English language learners will be addressed in an inclusive discussion with attendees presented by a highly experienced expert in adult ESOL and learning challenges. Ways to address learning challenges caused by these factors will also be discussed and demonstrated. Handouts with references and resources will be provided.

Robin Lovrien (Schwarz)

Understanding & Communicating the Value of Adult Literacy

How can we convince business and government leaders to fund adult literacy? As educators, we see the value of our work in the lives of our students, but those who control public and private purse strings are looking for something more quantifiable than heartwarming stories. They want to know that their invested capital will yield real financial returns for their communities. This presentation will make the case for funding adult literacy in terms that business and political leaders understand. It will provide a framework that attendees can customize to fit their local circumstances along with links to useful on-line data sources.

Carol HasBrouck Browning & Lisa Hall

Universal Design for Learning in the Adult Education Classroom

In this workshop, participants will learn how Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles can be applied to an adult education classroom. Participants will receive hands-on practice in designing and implementing lessons that enable all adult learners to gain knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for learning.

Shalom Tazewell & Pam Young

Update on the Center for the Study of Adult Literacy

This National Research Center on Adult Literacy is in its third year of operation. In this session, participants will receive an update on activities and findings such as: results of a survey of practitioner use of texts in the classroom, assessment results of adult learners on reading related skills and attitudes, repository of web-based texts, and hybrid curriculum examples.

Daphne Greenberg

Using Creative Drama in the ESOL Classroom

Although they can read English fairly well and they know the grammar rules, many ESOL students are reluctant to use their knowledge of the English language in actual speaking situations. Using creative drama can give ESOL students these real-life situations and get them to practice the English language in a lively, fun, and non-threatening way.

Nita Leslie

Using our brains: research-based learning techniques in the classroom

Fire until you wire does not mean drill and kill. In this session you will learn simple and engaging techniques to improve student learning and memory.

Sarah Lynn

Winning Foundation Funding for Your Adult Education Program

In today's tight economy, few community-based adult education programs can afford to rely on government funding alone. Come learn about strategies to diversify funding sources so your program can have the financial stability to thrive. This mini-workshop will provide concrete steps for earning foundation grants.

Kate Hyzer

Working with Inmates - Our Story

Agencies interested in providing educational enrichment and intervention to inmates not yet calcified in the prison system are invited to learn how the Ulster Literacy Association funded, designed, implemented and currently manages a literacy-based life skills program for the women at our local County jail.

Casandra Beam

Writers Ready for the Next Step

Many students attain their GED while falling short of being ready for writing in college and technical schools. This workshop will provide you with information and activities aligned with the 2014 GED and current College and Career Readiness Standards.

Bob Daniels

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| New Readers Press International Programs Ruth J. Colvin Center ProLiteracy Education Network