Save the Dates! The 2015 Conference is scheduled for February 26 & 27

logobookonly This year’s VLF Conference will be held on February 26 and 27 at the Sheraton Park South in Richmond for Virginia’s nonprofit literacy organizations. Last year’s conference was bigger than ever, and this year we plan to provide enough workshop rooms to accommodate that growth. Registration will start officially in November.

Until then, we will provide regular updates on this blog! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions.

Ginger Hilleary and Mary Cragun, Conference Chairs
Victoire Sanborn, Literacy Specialist,VLF

Email: vjsanbor@vcu.edu

Don’t miss!

Opening speaker, Dr. Anita Prince, who will facilitate an exciting 2-hour workshop demonstrating contextualized instruction. Workshops on

  • student recruitment and retention,
  • a demonstration of videos that explicitly teach low level students how to create a microsoft document or excell spreadsheet,  
  • a Q&A session with Virginia’s GED administrator and training for GED teachers available through VALRC,
  • a successful approach to teaching multi-level learners (from the very lowest literacy level on up) using professional staff and tutors,
  • how Goodwill’s job training and education programs and adult literacy organizations can find ways to collaborate with each other to benefit their students,
  • using apps and mobile devices to help students practice the skills they learned in the classroom,
  • finding facts and statistics to use in grants and regional presentations, and
  • how an E.D. and Board Chair can work positively on their communication skills to strengthen their programs.

7th Nancy Jiranek Award Winner: Ginger Hilleary

g_hillearyCongratulations, Ginger Hilleary, for receiving the 7th Nancy Jiranek Award for Outstanding Executive Director. In addition, without your support, the VLLC Conference would never have gotten off the ground.

Click here for the entire script of the award.

Ginger Hilleary (right) and Mary Cragun when the announcement of the Nancy Jiranek Award was made. Lower left: Jeannie Baliles and Ginger.

Ginger Hilleary (right) and Mary Cragun when the announcement of the Nancy Jiranek Award was made. Lower left: Jeannie Baliles and Ginger. Photos taken by Katie Bratisax

2014 VLLC Conference, February 27th and 28th

This year’s theme is: Partnerships and Strategies for Building Capacity

Look for more information in the coming weeks as we update  information. Registration information sits at this link: Click here.

Registration table

Signing in at the registration table

New Features this year

Pay by PayPal!

When using the Virginia Literacy Foundation’s PayPal account, please follow the instructions on the lower left hand corner of the registration form:  Click here.

Important! After paying by PayPal, send an email to vjsanbor@vcu.edu to let us know the names of your program, the number of staff you paid for and their names, and if you are attending one or both days. (To calculate registration costs, see sidebar.)

Tour Historic Richmond via a Trolley! (Thursday, 6-9 PM)

We are still working on the exciting details for this 3-hour tour on Thursday night. On Thursday evening, come join us for a lovely trolley ride and tour of Historic Richmond. Our trolley will pick us up at the hotel at 6:00 pm and provide a guided tour of many of Richmond’s sites including Shockoe Bottom, Church Hill, Capitol Square, Monument Avenue and The Fan. A gourmet packaged dinner is provided, with wine and beer available for purchase.  We are also planning a “mystery stop” so that we can experience the true “flavor” of our state capitol.

Cost of this three hour tour is $23 before February 27 and $25 day of tour.  Seating is on a first come, first served basis.  Payment for this tour is separate from your conference registration. The check should be made payable to: Vicky Sanborn. Note: the cost of the ticket is non-refundable!

richmond trolley

_________________________

Workshops and Speakers

Friday’s Keynote Speaker: Miriam Burt, Center for Applied Linguistics, will Focus on ESL and the Workplace

Miriam Burt

Miriam Burt

Miriam Burt from the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), she is Content Specialist for Adult Education projects and provides technical assistance in the form of trainings and research-to-practice publications to people, programs, and institutions working with adults learning English in the United States and overseas in refugee camps, community colleges, adult education programs, workplaces, universities, business schools, and workplaces. She is a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the Adult English Language Learner (ELL) electronic community of practice (CoP) of the Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS), funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Adult and Vocational Education (OVAE). She is the author of several briefs on preparing adult English language learners for success at the workplace. Miriam’s workshop is entitled:

Her workshop topic is:

Integrating Workforce Preparation with Language Instruction

Educators working with adults learning English know the importance of preparing students to be successful in the workforce. They seek ways to ensure that foreign-born adults will be successful both in gaining English proficiency and in entering and advancing at the workplace. Using evidence-based resources, the workshop will focus on content and Language skills needed to enhance employability and advancement in the workforce.

Her keynote speech will be on:

Seven Things I Wish I’d Known in 1975.

On April 30, 1975, Saigon fell to the Viet Cong forces. Shortly thereafter, Vietnamese and other South East Asian refugees began arriving in the United States. It was during this time that Miriam Burt began her teaching career working with adult s learning English.  In her keynote, she talks about what she has learned about working with adult English language learners in the nearly 40 years since that time.

_________________________

Thursday’s Opening Speaker: Danielle Aaronson will focus on Values Based Leadership

Aaronson

Danielle Aaronson

Danielle Elizabeth Aaronson is a Leadership Development Partner at Luck Companies, an organization committed to igniting human potential through Values Based Leadership. VBL is a philosophy and model that encourages employees to live, work, and lead in alignment with their personal core values, principles, beliefs, and purpose to in turn, ignite the extraordinary potential of those around them.

Aaronson graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Leadership and Psychology degree. She began teaching leadership directly after college and two years later moved to Richmond, VA to provide outreach and engagement opportunities to young professionals in the city through a National Non-Profit. Her passion for developing people and representing positive change drove her to seek a career at a company that cares deeply about their people and challenges them to exceed expectations in creative and healthy ways. Aaronson joined the Luck Companies team in 2012.

_________________________

Focus on GED 2014

Jason Guard,  Sales Representative at Essential Education and Adult Education and Blended Learning Specialist, will present a workshop on

The impact of the 2014 GED test on ABE and Literacy Instruction. 

Jason Guard with his GED mug

Jason Guard with his GED mug

The new GED test is so full of ambitious changes, many GED teachers are worried and scrambling.  But the biggest impact may be felt at the ABE/literacy level as many of the instructional responsibilities trickle down.  Together, we will detail the new GED’s ramifications for CBLOs and make plans to respond to the biggest challenges of 2014.

About Jason Guard: Jason spent over a decade working at the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center as a GED and Distance Education Specialist, where he managed the state-wide GED Helpline and the eLearnVA program. He got his start in adult ed teaching 16-17 year old ISAEP students to pass the GED test.  Currently, he works for Essential Education promoting innovative learning tools and teaching techniques across the mid-Atlantic region.  Jason lives in Richmond, Virginia. Serving our state’s learners and teachers is his number one priority.

In addition to Jason’s workshops, Jeffrey Elmore, the GED Specialist at the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center, will answer your questions about GED 2014 and training during roundtable discussions.

_________________________

Focus on Grant Writing

Chris Johnston

Chris Johnston

SMART Grant Writing: Developing Goals and Objectives will focus on the use of data in justifying need and the development of goals and measurable objectives to address that need.

Chris Johnston has been writing grants for the City of Richmond for over ten years where he currently serves as the city’s organizational Grant Coordinator. As part of this role, Chris provides grant-related guidance, editing, writing, and general technical assistance as needed, among other things. He has written simple small grants and lengthy complicated proposals that have received awards ranging from under $5,000 to over $1 million, with subject matter as diverse as multicultural harmony, fire rescue, and slum and blight abatement. Chris received a BA in Geography from the University of Minnesota and a MA in Geography from Miami University (Ohio). A native of Minneapolis, Chris now proudly considers the Richmond area as his home town.

_________________________

Focus on ESL

kilpatrick

Wendy Kilpatrick

Where the Action Is!  From low to high skill levels, at registrations and exit interviews, have you discovered that ESOL students still grasp for the right verb?  Do they remain stymied by the main verbs in questions and still don’t clearly state negative answers? Discover ways to tailor your lesson plans according to your own student needs and curriculum, through graphic organizers and interviews. Elicit verbs from student work and life situations, incorporate them into lesson plans, and use them for teaching tenses, all four grammar skills and survival language skills consistently throughout your sessions.  Your students will come away with a verb vocabulary “loaded for” the workplace and community. By tailoring your lessons with these methods, you will also be able to maintain the 60/40% student/teacher participation ratio.

Wendy Kilpatrick holds a Masters of Art in Teaching English as a Second Language from Georgetown University.  She has been teaching ESL for thirty years, from business schools in Manhattan to villages in Thailand to elementary schools and colleges in Northern Virginia, and it has been just great fun.

Lesson Planning for Low Beginning Adult ESOL

Munoz

Xavier Muñoz

Participants will act as students in a 45-minute language learning experience conducted entirely in another language. Program administrators, support staff, and instructors will benefit from the workshop’s primary aim to create an affective change in attitude toward language learning and teaching. With the language learning experience as the workshop’s centerpiece, participants also will discuss effective practices in life-skills lesson planning for low beginning adult ESOL classes.

Xavier Muñoz has been teaching English to adult immigrants as an AmeriCorps member with the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia (LCNV) since September 2012. He has a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University and will start an MA in TESOL or Applied Linguistics program in Fall 2014. He found an interest in adult literacy and ESOL education while volunteering as a literacy tutor with I CAN! Community Education Coalition in Tampa. Looking ahead, he hopes to build on his AmeriCorps experience by continuing to contribute to the field of adult education. He takes to heart LCNV’s mission of empowering adults “to participate more fully and confidently in their communities” and in their lives.

_________________________

Focus on Learning Disabilities

Reading Strategies for Students with Learning Disabilities

Lauren Ellington

Lauren Ellington

In this session, participants will learn reading instruction strategies that can work with their students with either suspected or formally diagnosed learning disabilities. Participants will learn about the components of effective reading instruction and sample activities for them.

Lauren Ellington is the former Learning Disabilities Specialist for the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center. She is currently working in Henrico County Public Schools as a Reading and Math Interventionist. Ms. Ellington was also a Reading/English teacher in the Colonial Heights Public School System for six years. She is passionate about sharing a love of reading with students and helping them to unlock the mysteries of the written language.

_________________________

Focus on Partnerships and Increasing Capacity

Partnering for Program success

Laura Naylor

Laura Naylor

Workshop participants will use interactive group work and discussion to: a) address the implementation of a continuum of adult education that supports all levels of learners while also providing them with college and career ready skills, b) learn about maximizing resources within regions, and c) work towards the common goal of learner success. Presenters will share a collaborative regional partnership focusing on combining resources to better address the needs of students and improve program efficiency.

Laura has over 30 years of experience teaching languages, with 13 in the area of adult education. She is bilingual, Spanish/English, has worked extensively in South America, taught in the Virginia Public School system for 17 years, and has been with the Eastern Shore Literacy Council for 6 years. Her responsibilities have included developing programs and initiatives, writing curriculum, training tutors and trainers, and teaching, her greatest love!

Amy Shockley

Amy Shockley

Amy has 19 years of experience in education. Her career began as an early childhood special education teacher which is where she discovered her strength of building relationships with families. She then worked for five years in K-12 administration. Although Amy has been officially working in the area of Adult Education for just over a year, her experiences working with children and their families provided her with the knowledge and skills to make the transition to the VCCS as the Regional Program Manager for Adult Education at Eastern Shore Community College. Amy is from the Eastern Shore, but fully realizes that the best way to enjoy the Shore is to leave it occasionally.

_________________________

Focus on University Partnerships

Lisa Schick

Lisa Schick

Building Capacity Through University Partnerships. In this workshop, participants will engage in learning about the partnership, then working in groups to brainstorm potential partners, discuss strategies for engaging volunteers in civics education, and identify strategies to implement in their civics classrooms. Participants will leave the session with ideas for immediate implementation and for longer term goals for building capacity in local English Literacy Civics programs.

Ms. Lisa Schick, Program Manager for ESOL Career Development Academy at James Madison University and faculty member in the College of Education, along with Drs. Michelle Cude and Ashley Taylor-Jaffee, College of Education at JMU will describe their partnership bringing together Adult ELLs and Graduate level pre-service teachers. Schick, Cude and Taylor collaborate to implement a practical experience for pre-service secondary social studies teachers in the fall semester each year. Graduate students gain experience delivering civics content, working with ELLS, and gaining understandings of diverse learners.

Michelle Cude is an associate professor in the Secondary Education Department. She teaches courses in Social Studies education and supervises practica and student teaching.

Ashley Taylor is an assistant professor in the Secondary Education Department. She teaches courses in Social Studies education and supervises practica and student teaching.

_________________________

Focus on National Organizations

Informational Session with Focus on Naturalization and U.S. Citizenship

logo

Frank Reffel is a Senior Immigration Services Officer with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). He has worked in Immigration Law for eleven years and is considered a Subject Matter Expert. Prior to becoming an Immigration Officer, Reffel was a Customs and Border Protection officer at JFK International Airport with CBP Field Operations. Mr. Reffel also served in the U.S. Army. His expertise is in admissibility, eligibility for adjustments of status, naturalization, excludability, removability and waivers with specialization in non-confrontational interview techniques.

Introduction to Finding Nonprofit Funders 

fc_logoThis session provides an introduction to the Foundation Center’s comprehensive online database, Foundation Directory Online Professional. Learn how to create customized searches to develop targeted lists of foundations that will match your organization’s funding needs.

Beverly Mitchell, reference librarian at Richmond Public Library, has been a Foundation Center’s Funding Information Network participant since 1996.

_________________________

Focus on Round Table Discussions

Amie Whittemore

Amie Whittemore

Tutor Recruitment & Retention, with Amie Whittemore, Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/ Albemarle

In this roundtable discussion, Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville/ Albemarle (LVCA) will share the secrets of how we recruited and retained over 100 tutors in 2013. Find out how to make the most of your local media to increase the most valuable resource we have – our tutors. We’ll also discuss strategies for keeping tutors committed to your program once you’ve recruited them.

 

Jeffrey Elmore

Jeffrey Elmore

2014 GED Q & A with Jeffrey Elmore, GED Specialist at VALRC

2014 is here, and with the new year comes a complete overhaul of the GED test and a new atmosphere nationally regarding High School Equivalency options. These two 45-minute sessions will give participants the opportunity to ask questions and discuss details around changes to the GED test and the direction that ABE/GED instruction is going.

 

Brooke Pizzetti

Brooke Pizzetti

Alternative Goals for Lower-Level Learners with Brooke A. Pizzetti, Regional Program Manager, Rappahannock Community College

This discussion will consider how to address the need for alternative goals for lower-level adult learners. This will include ideas such as industry-specific certifications, digital badges, and the Career Readiness Certificate. Resources, assessments, challenges, partnerships and curricular models will be discussed. Sources: Microsoft learning, Virginia’s Educational Resource System Online, W!se, national Retail Foundation, NOTCI, Virginia Department of Education, VALRC.

 

Hillary Major

Hillary Major

Using Technology to Advance Student Writing, with Hillary Major, Publications Specialist at VALRC

At this roundtable, we’ll discuss how we can use digital tools to encourage student writing at all levels, from captioning a photo or illustration to commenting on online newspaper and magazine articles. We’ll talk about the instructional uses of blogs and comics and factors to consider when creating classroom blogs, wikis, or websites. We’ll share favorite links and ideas for activities to both decrease learners’ writing anxiety and develop their writing skills.

 

Mary Cragun

Mary Cragun

Ginger Hilleary

Ginger Hilleary

Easy, Simple, Organized Lessons (ESOL), with Ginger Hilleary, Executive Director, and Mary Cragun, Program Director at LV of Fauquier County

This round table discussion provides an answer to tutor complaints that “there isn’t enough time to prepare.” Using alternatives to traditional text, complete lessons based on monthly themes solve the problem of “what am I going to teach tonight?”

_________________________

The GED 2014, ESL Workplace Skills, Grant Writing, Partnering and Collaborations, and LD are just some of many reasons for attending this year’s conference!

To Register: Click here for the 2014 registration form!

To view the 2014 conference page, click here.

Twitter hashtag: #2014VLLC

Facebook: We will be placing information on VALRCs page. Click here.

Click on logo

Scan image below on your tablets or Smart phones

2014 guidebook scan

Random Pix from Last Year’s Conference!

What a fabulous conference, as attested by one and all! We’ll keep adding images!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

David Baldacci Talks About the Need for Adult Education and Literacy Services

David Baldacci spoke during the 2012 VLLC Conference awards luncheon about the need for literacy services in the 21st Century. This 15-minute video highlights his excellent speech on the topic. Video taken by Michael Frontiero, Public Relations Director with Virginia Commonwealth University.

Feel free to embed this video on your websites and social media accounts.

2012 VLLC Conference in Images – Getting Acquainted

Bill Crowder from Anthem was our opening speaker. His workshop was about networking and getting to know each other. His efforts started our two-day conference on a positive note!

These images show that we did! Click on individual photos to see details. Help us identify who’s in the images!

Nancy Jiranek, Literacy Champion, Dies

Each year during the VLLC Conference, the Nancy Jiranek Award for Outstanding Director in an Adult Literacy Program is given to an Executive Director who embodies all the qualities that Nancy Jiranek pioneered when she founded the Danville Reading Center in 2004. In honor of Mrs. Jiranek, her family donated a substantial amount of money to the Virginia Literacy Foundation in 2008 to award an E.D. deserving of the honor.  One week before her stroke, Mrs. Jiranek requested directions to the Sheraton Park South. She did not want to miss the ceremony! Nancy was able to attend 3 of the 5 ceremonies, and for that we are grateful.

Last year, Dr. Bill Jiranek, her son and Board member of the Virginia Literacy Foundation, spoke eloquently about his mother and her work on behalf of the adults who needed literacy services in the Danville region. Mrs. Jiranek’s determination and enthusiasm spread beyond the boundaries of her region, influencing directors statewide. What a legacy she has left us! Her absence will create a vacuum in our quest to address illiteracy in the Commonwealth, and her role will not easily be filled.

Thank you Nancy Jiranek for all you have done on behalf of a more literate Virginia and the adult students for whom you worked so eloquently and so hard. You will be missed by us all.

Carolyn Meeks, Lynchburg Literacy Council, after receiving the 5th annual Nancy Jiranek Award for Outstanding Executive Director

Nancy Jiranek Award Recipients:

  • 2012: Carolyn Meeks, Lynchburg Literacy Council
  • 2011: Kim Sells, Literacy Volunteers of Prince William County
  • 2010: Janet Booth and Linda Richardson, Eastern Shore Literacy Council
  • 2009: Annette Loschert, Literacy Volunteers of Roanoke Valley (Now Blue Ridge Literacy)
  • 2008: Patricia Donnelly, Literacy Council of Northern Virginia