2017 VLF Conference, March 2 & 3

About the Conference

This annual conference, sponsored by the Virginia Literacy Foundation (VLF), is the only statewide conference in Virginia expressly designed for the staff and volunteers of Virginia’s community-based adult literacy organizations. Staff and administrators of public adult education programs are also welcome to attend, but please note the change in the fees.

dr-brownOur Keynote Speaker

Jeffrey D. Brown, Director of Workforce Services, Governor’s Office, will speak at the Awards Luncheon, Friday, March 3

Mr. Brown brings broad experience in both the private and public sectors, particularly in the field of education and the workforce. He began his career as a naval aviator. He served in the administrations of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and worked as a congressional liaison officer for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. While in Washington, Mr. Brown gained expertise in personnel policy issues on Capitol Hill, and he left the Navy to develop education and workforce policy, including welfare reform. Mr. Brown was tapped by the governor of Virginia to direct welfare reform efforts in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and was later appointed Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI).

He served as a member of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and a member of the Board of Visitors for the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg. After serving with DOLI, he left the public sector to pursue his life-long aspiration of teaching English literature. He served briefly as head of the upper school at St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville before returning to Washington to serve as director for the 200-year-old U.S. House of Representatives’ Page Program. Mr. Brown also served on the faculty of the prestigious Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville and as Director of the Virginia Employment Commission Workforce Services Division. He currently serves in the Virginia Office of the Governor as Director of Workforce Services.

This year’s workshops focus on soft skills that will help adult learners to navigate civics institutions in their communities and their workplace environments. Listed below is the conference schedule:




Listed below are the workshop descriptions:

Introduction to PluggedInVirginia Pathways, a workplace curriculum designed for adults who read at the 0-5th grade levels.

Integrating Workforce Skills to New Immigrants will identify skills recognized by employers to help students obtain and retain employment. The workshop will also cover lesson planning, ways to identify gaps in workforce skills and methods to facilitate effective feedback.

Cookie Monster Rubric Protocol. In this workshop participants will explore the creation of rubrics that are helpful in measuring the progress of adults who read at the lowest literacy levels.

Basic Media Advocacy. This workshop will cover the different types of media, why it needs to be a critical component to any program, how to create a media plan, and simple steps to get started.

Strategies for implementing an ESOL program in a small community setting will focus on teaching strategies and implementation of an ESOL program in small community non-profit setting. An overview of the structure of the organization will be included as well as a description of a Family Mentoring program designed to help improve communication with between non-English speaking parents and their children’s schools.

Contextualized Science and Math Projects for the Adult Ed Classroom includes , practical, semi-hands-on, and fun classroom and group demonstrations of basic scientific concepts that all pre-GED students should know. This presentation (based on a 3-hour training) offers a look at how teachers may use science content to bring CCRS aligned mathematics, digital literacy, team work, and critical thinking together. Participants will be introduced to four science projects that expose students to the Scientific Method, a variety of inquiry processes, and ways to use digital tools to record, present, and interpret data. These activities are well suited to a multi-level, multi-interest classroom (even ESOL!!).

Speaking and Listening Strategies for ESOL Learners. Speaking and listening in context is the focus of this hands-on 90-minute workshop. We will practice strategies and discuss ideas to incorporate workforce readiness skills into everyday English language instruction at all skill levels, whether one-on-one or in a group instructional setting. Participants will leave with a ready-to-use toolkit for contextualizing communication activities and utilizing instruction in a variety of ways to develop professional soft skills in English language learners.

Panel Discussion on Developing Strong Working Boards. Building a board of directors is a tough job for any non-profit organization. Building a strong, well-composed board is an even a tougher job. This panel discussion will center on developing an active, well-functioning board that provides vision, guidance, and community contacts.

Turning volunteer tutors into capacity-building superheroes for your organization. Volunteer tutors are capacity building superheroes for organizations, but only if the organization knows how to harness their power for the greatest impact. This workshop will focus on how to support tutors through first contact, orientation, training, ongoing communication, and the all important recognition. Strategies will be shared for tutor training, communications, and evaluation.

Press Record: Video for the Multimedia Classroom. The purpose of this session will be to familiarize participants with the basic processes for filming short videos for a multimedia classroom. This session will demonstrate the ease of filming with common technology, and will highlight the lack of technical expertise needed to create short films for educational purposes. Whether your goal is to create films for a digital classroom, or add multimedia components to a face-to-face class, this session is sure to provide interesting tools for instructors and curriculum specialists. Please bring your devices!

Student Retention.  Adult ESL programs face a unique set of challenges. Discipline and motivation are generally not a problem, unlike with younger students. For adult programs one of the major concerns is attendance. This workshop will address the many barriers facing adult learners, and strategies to help teachers, and administrators maintain student retention and increase outcomes.

Registration Information

Registration for the VLF Conference is now open! This year’s registration forms are online. Each individual attendee should fill and send in a registration form. If a program is paying for more than one person, please email the name of the organization and the number of people you are paying for by check or through PayPal. The link to registration form is: https://goo.gl/forms/iqiMsnR6eYudZoii1

For costs, please see the sidebar on this site.

Hotel room reimbursements for community-based literacy organizations only

The Virginia Literacy Foundation will underwrite the cost of a one-night stay at the Four Points Sheraton for CBLO staff and volunteers attending the full (2-day) conference. Single occupancy will be reimbursed at half rate, double occupancy will be reimbursed at the full room rate. CBLO’s will need to turn in a copy of their room bill at end of conference in order to receive reimbursement.

The VLF has reserved a block of rooms. You are responsible for making your own reservation. Please note this change: All rooms for each CBLO attending must be paid for with one credit card. Reimbursements will be sent to the card holder for all rooms within 14 days by the VLF.

We suggest that you do NOT call the 800 number. To guarantee your rooms at conference rate, contact (804) 323-1144 and refer to the VLF Conference or Virginia Literacy.

Non-CBLO’s attending the conference are responsible for their own accommodations. For additional information or questions, please contact Victoire Sanborn at vjsanbor@vcu.edu

Check-in time for rooms is at 3:00 PM. Check out time is at noon.

four points sheraton

Conference Rooms


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