SAVE the DATE for our next conference! March 3 & 4, 2016

The next VLF Conference will be held on March 3rd & 4th, 2016 at the Four Points by Sheraton on Midlothian Turnpike in Richmond. Mark your calendars and plan to join us for two days of workshops and networking!

See you then.

Awards Ceremony and Wrap-Up, Friday Afternoon

Despite the snow, over 80% of registrants attended this year’s conference. While there was some glitches – not all the hotel staff could drive in during the early morning to have the rooms ready by 3 PM, the energy was upbeat. More importantly, only two presenters could not make it and we canceled only one workshop! This year’s award winners were:

The Paul M. Angell Family Foundation for Outstanding Support of Adult Literacy Programs in Virginia. Accepting the award was Elsa Angell, former Executive Director of the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia and current Virginia Literacy Foundation board member.

Elsa Angell (l) and Jeannie Baliles

Elsa Angell (l) and Jeannie Baliles

Ellen Moore Osborne from LV of Charlottesville/Albemarle was the recipient of the Nancy Jiranek Award for Outstanding Executive Director of a Nonprofit Adult Literacy Program in Virginia

Ellen Moore Osborne accepts the Nancy Jiranek Award from Jeannie Baliles

Ellen Moore Osborne accepts the Nancy Jiranek Award from Jeannie Baliles

Keynote speaker Sharon Taylor, the Director of Academic Advising for the College of Business and teaches Professional Enhancement and Career Development, spoke about a strength-based approach to career development using Appreciative Inquiry. This approach, which focuses on students’ strengths, talents, skills, and abilities helps them discover who they are, where they are going, and how they are going to get there.

Sharon Taylor talks about appreciative inquiry.

Sharon Taylor talks about appreciative inquiry.

After lunch, participants stayed for round table discussions:

Kate Daly and Patti Donnelly discuss pre-PluggedInVA, a Career Pathways program for low level literate adults

Kate Daly and Patti Donnelly discuss pre-PluggedInVA, a Career Pathways program for low level literate adults

Jeffrey Elmore and Michael Nusbaum answer questions about GED 2014.

Jeffrey Elmore and Michael Nusbaum answer questions about GED 2014.

Barbara Gibson (l), manager of the VALRC, listens in as Hillary Major discusses College and Career Readiness Standards and exactly how the standards can be applied to our lowest level adult learners.

Barbara Gibson (l), manager of the VALRC, listens in as Hillary Major discusses College and Career Readiness Standards and exactly how the standards can be applied to our lowest level adult learners.

The READ Center describes how and why the organization created a Student Help book. From left to right:

Three READ Center staff describe how and why the organization created a Student Help book. From left to right: Valerie Harper, Katie Simmons, and Valerie Miller.

Detail of the student help book (on the left), as opposed to densely worded script on the right.

Detail of the student help book (on the left), as opposed to densely worded script on the right.

Friday Morning

The roads are passable. The sun is up and the skies are clear. Come on down!

Leslie Mazeska, ED, Loudoun County, and Suzi Smith, conference treasurer, eating dinner (left-overs from lunch, which the hotel graciously served us.)

Leslie Mazeska, ED, Loudoun County, and Suzi Smith, conference treasurer, eating dinner (left-overs from lunch, which the hotel graciously served us.)

Dinner on Thursday: From right to left: Ginger Hilleary, conference chair, Dr. Don Finn, presenter, Page Stirrup, VALRC support, and Annette Loschert, VLF Consultant.

Dinner on Thursday: From right to left: Ginger Hilleary, conference chair, Dr. Don Finn, presenter, Page Stirrup, VALRC support, and Annette Loschert, VLF Consultant.

Thursday Afternoon

Hi All, It is in the mid-30’s in Richmond, and as you can see from this image, snow has melted on the streets and in parking lots. Today’s participants arrived from Nottoway County, the Eastern Shore (yes!), Loudoun County, Louisa County and the Northern Neck. More fantastic workshops are scheduled for tomorrow.

 Hotel parking lot. Our main streets are clear. The snow is melting.

Hotel parking lot. Main streets are clear. The snow is still melting.

Opening Workshop: Finding Flight 370 with Anita Prince

Over 40 participants attended the opening workshop facilitated by Anita Prince. They used rulers, maps, and protractors to find Flight 370. During the lesson, participants learned social studies, geography, vocabulary, and math, and practiced reading news articles and doing a word search.

Today, Thursday

Parking lot conditions at 10:30 AM. The roads are clear.

Parking lot conditions at 10:30 AM at the hotel resemble the side streets. Main roads are clear.

View from the hotel.

View from the hotel.

 

Snow conditions: Midlothian Turnpike is clear and traffic is moving smoothly down the corridor. We can see the cars travel from the Moorefield Suite and all seems good. Temperatures at 9:00 AM have risen to 33 degree, and plowed streets are wet.

Midlothian Turnpike at 7:00 AM

Midlothian Turnpike at 7:00 AM

The situation is different on sideroads and we ask you to proceed with caution. We cannot reimburse registration fees, which have paid for the food and workshop rooms. Final estimates were given to the hotel on Monday, and final nonrefundable deposit payments have been made. For those who do not feel comfortable driving today, please consider coming on Friday, when road conditions will be much better.

View from the hotel. View from the hotel.[/caption

Snow is tapering at 8:33 AM, and will be gone by 10:00 AM.

Round Table Discussions

SNOW UPDATE: This map shows predicted snowfall. Snow event will leave Richmond around 1 PM on Thursday.

Snow prediction 9:00 PM Wednesday

Snow prediction 9:00 PM Wednesday

roundtableThis year, we will offer 5 Round Table Discussions, each lasting 45 minutes. Roundtables are scheduled from 2:00 – 2:45 p.m. & repeated from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. on Friday. Some people opt to stay for both sessions, which is perfectly acceptable.

1. GED, Open Q&A session with Michael Nusbaum, Virginia’s GED Administrator, OAEL VADOE, and Jeffrey Elmore, Training Coordination Specialist, VALRC. (GED)

GED 2014 changes have greatly impacted how programs help students prepare for the new GED test. Come with your questions and have them answered by two experts in the field.

2. Why and How we Developed a READ Help Book for Students with Katie Simmons, Leslie Harper, and Valerie Miller, READ Center instructors (ALL)

READ Center staff created a community resource book for their low level adult literacy learners. Come take a peek and learn how and why the staff developed this popular student resource.

3. The SAMR Model, a framework for technology integration with Victoire Sanborn, Literacy Specialist at VALRC (TECH)

How is USING technology in instruction different from INTEGRATING technology in instruction. This roundtable will discuss the four main stages in a framework that is easy to understand and use.

4. How College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) apply to nonprofit literacy programs to benefit the lowest level adult literacy learners with Hillary Major, Publications and Communications Specialist, VALRC (ALL)

One assumption that many nonprofit staff and administrator make is that the College and Career Readiness Standards are too advanced for students who are taught in nonprofit literacy programs. Find out how the CCRS have taken into account the lowest level literacy learners, and how they can be applied to low level literacy instruction.

5. How PluggedinVA, a workforce and Career Pathways program, can beneft the lowest level adult learners with Patti Donnelly, Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, and Kate Daly Rolander, Workforce Instructional Specialist, VALRC.

PluggedInVa is a hot topic these days. Join this lively discussion to see how or if this innovative Career Pathways program can benefit the lowest level literacy students as pre-PluggedInVA