2019 Conference



Board engagement workshop at the AE&L conference

Board engagement workshop at the AE&L conference

WE HAVE JOINED FORCES WITH THE VA-DOE AND VALRC! This year the Virginia Literacy Foundation is joining the Virginia Department of Education Office of Adult Education and Literacy and the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center in offering a conference for program staff, instructors, and volunteers of Adult Education (ABE/ASE/HSE/ESOL), ISAEP, CBLOs/VLF, WIOA state & local agency partners, workforce development partners, DOC/Corrections & Institutions.) UPDATE (as of July 11, 2019)


Ginger Hilleary at 2019 AE&L/VLF Conference

Ginger Hillary, VLF Conference Organizer and Regional Program Manager


  • HOTEL RESERVATIONS! – the conference hotel is no longer available at state rate. Scroll below to find information about two adjacent hotels that still offer rooms at state rate.
  • CONFERENCE REGISTRATION DEADLINE – June 14th! Click on this link to register. Program staff and 2 staff from partners will be reimbursed. It is up to your program to help partners register. If you have questions, email vjsanbor@vcu.edu.
  • WORKSHOPS: scroll below to find a list of workshops of interest to CBLOs. Over 55 will be offered over two days and most will have relevance to your program staff.

2019-AE+LConferenceBlue Ridge Hotel

Date: July 10 – 12, 2019 at the Blue Ridge Hotel and Conference Center, Roanoke, VA

Theme: Access, Equity, Opportunity

Preconference Session: July 10, TESOL workshop:NEW! VA TESOL sponsored pre-conference: “Burnout, Trauma and Resiliency in the ESL Classroom” on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 from 8:30 AM-11:15 AM.  Limited space available. Select Attendee+TESOL pre-conference to register. Click on this link to register. https://cutt.ly/pytBP5

Keynote Speakers: (Click here for presenter details)

July 10, ACCESS:  Judy Mortrude, “Designing Access to Achieve Equity and Opportunity”

July 11, EQUITY: Ramona Taylor, “Challenging the Dawn”

July 12, OPPORTUNITY: Lynn McGregor, “Family Service Learning: A Model of Opportunity for Civic, Social, and Educational Engagement”

Invited Speakers: 

  • Anne Gibbons, Pressing Pause on Unconscious Bias
This workshop is designed for individuals, regardless of professional role, to learn about unconscious bias and how it impacts our work with clients as well as one another. Using real life examples, personal reflection and thought-provoking activities, participants will receive an overview in diversity awareness and bias reduction and learn basic skills for building a more inclusive environment in the workplace.  Outreach Programs Coordinator, Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities
  • Marty Finsterbusch, Hear the Voices of Adult Learners Who Have Gone Beyond
In this interactive workshop, Adult Learner Leaders will be sharing their years of experience within the context of the current national adult education perspective. Through a panel discussion, panelists and the audience will explore the ways adult learners themselves think about the long-term impact from both programs and practitioners. This workshop will also challenge participants to rethink how adult learners are engaged by the programs they participate in. Executive Director, VALUEUSA
  • Katie Brown, Making Federal Higher Education Policy Work for Today’s Student–What Will It Take?
In today’s economy, skills are more important than ever before—with approximately 80 percent of jobs requiring some form of postsecondary education or training beyond high school. To help meet the growing demand for skills, community college leaders and employers work together to make education and training for in-demand industries accessible for students of all ages and backgrounds. Despite the crucial role these partnerships play in building a skilled worker pipeline, our current federal policies—including the Higher Education Act (HEA)—are not designed to support them. As Congress looks to reauthorize the HEA for the first time in over a decade, now is a crucial time to advocate for policymakers to consider the benefits of investing in industry partnerships, supporting academic and training programs that lead to industry-recognized credentials and offering today’s students the support services they need to obtain in-demand skills., Senior Federal Policy Analyst, National Skills Coalition.
  • Dr. William Crowder, Building Bridges: Transition from Secondary CTE to the Workforce

In an effort to expose students to authentic learning experiences, students at the Advanced Career Education Center at Highland Springs participate in a variety of secondary CTE programs that prepare them for the next level, which could be enrolled, enlisted, and/or employed (Triple E’s). During his session, he will discuss the programs offered within his school as well as the business partnerships they have formed with employers to build long-lasting relationships with his students. In addition, he will talk about the integration of academics, specifically literacy, into their programs. Principal, Henrico County Public Schools.

  • Amy Dalismer, Designing Integrated and Contextualized Curriculum: Lesson Plans, Teaching Strategies, and Tools

IET is an innovative service approach that provides adult education and literacy activities concurrently and contextually with workforce preparation activities and workforce training to prepare adult students for career advancement. This hands-on workshop will provide adult educators with an overview of the research on contextualization, an opportunity to analyze IET lessons, and a chance to explore existing tools and resources for creating career-focused integrated curriculum. Senior Technical Assistance Consultant, American Institutes for Research.

Registration Fee: $40 (registration begins early April)

Conference Center Map:

Conference Center at the Blue Ridge and Conference Center

Join the VLF staff!! The VLF will host CBLO staff in the Boolean Directors suite between workshops and during breaks for an opportunity to rest or network. We will also answer questions during Think Tank sessions (so popular last year!) designed for CBLOs in Salon F at the end of the day! Then, it’s dinner on your own!

Out of 70 scheduled workshops, these might be of particular interest to CBLOs: (a schedule will be listed online soon)

  1. ESL, IET – Betsy Hale, Refugee and Immigration, Catholic Charities
  2. What is a LESLLA Learner? Susan Watson, VALRC
  3. Community Job Fair to Increase Employer Engagement, Courtney Lord
  4. Mitigating Impact of Implicit Bias, Lisa Webb
  5. What? Fractions in a Reading Class? Janet Sodell,
  6. Children’s Literacy Activities to Increase Adult Literacy Skills, Cameron Wilson
  7. Improving Access & Opportunity for ELLs, Carole Bausell
  8. Beginning Level Learners and Soft Skills, MaryAnn Cunningham Florez
  9. Using Debate as a Tool for Teaching Soft Skills, Ginger Hilleary
  10. Building the Plane While You are Flying (Building Partnerships), Rachel Ambrose
  11. How to Get Jump Started in Today’s High Growth Career Pathways, Kate Kaegl
  12. Increasing Board Engagement, Jen Mora Zuniga
  13. Satisfaction Guaranteed: Let’s Keep Our Volunteers on the Job, Ellen Moore Osborne
  14. Building on ELL’s Funds of Knowledge, Xavier Munoz
  15. Working with “Those People,” Steven Reid
  16. Career Pathways for Individuals with Disabilities, Kate Daly
  17. Accessibility 101, Katie Bratisax
  18. Give Apps a Try, Maryann Peterson

The conference is for practitioners working in:

  • Basic Skills/Literacy: reading, writing, numeracy, family literacy, digital literacy
  • CBLO’s:  community engagement, programming, funding, partnerships
  • Correctional Education: best practices of Corrections & Institutions programs and partnerships
  • Disabilities:  accommodations, assistive technology, coding for adults
  • Distance Education:  policies, available offerings, XPrize, apps
  • Digital Literacy: evaluating/researching online sources, online communication & collaboration, digital culture & citizenship, online safety
  • ESOL/IELCE: instructing English language learners, programming, impactful resources
  • High School Equivalency (HSE) Preparation: instructional programming, success stories,
  • Integrated Education & Training: training services, model programs, partnerships, student spotlight, community engagement
  • ISAEP: instructional approaches, tips, frameworks, programming
  • NEDP: Diagnostic phase, Generalized Assessment, programming guidelines, best practices
  • Postsecondary Education: community colleges, programming, higher education, industry credentials
  • Productivity/Enrichment:  resources, toolkits, best practices
  • Program Administration: leadership, statewide programs, partnerships
  • Research/Reports: adult education, grants, funding, legislation, literacy
  • Standards Based Instruction: College and Career Readiness Standards, English Language Proficiency Standards, instructional strategies, program implications
  • WIOA/Partnerships: employment training, postsecondary education, employers, youth programs, social and support services
  • Workforce Development: community, employer relationships, sector strategies


  2. Essential Education
  3. GED Testing Service
  4. New Readers Press
  5. Paxen Publishing
  7. Burlington English
  8. National Geographic Learning
  9. VAACE

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION:  Click on the following link to enter C-vent to register for the conference and find directions to the hotel. https://cutt.ly/pytBP5.

If you encounter difficulty registering with C-vent, please contact Page Stirrup at VALRC. (1-800-237-0179 or pbstirrup@vcu.edu)

HOTEL RESERVATIONS: The Blue Ridge hotel no longer offers rooms at state rate. A 72-hour cancellation policy is in effect. Please call the hotel directly at 540-563-9300. 

Two other nearby hotels offer reservations at state rate with deadlines ($111 for the Roanoke area):

  1. Hyatt Place – $99:  http://roanoke.place.hyatt.com
  • Select dates of stay
  • Use dropdown next to Special Rates to select Corporate or Group Code
  • Enter “G-AELC”
  • Check Rates to select room type and confirm reservation

To call for reservation, #540-366-4700 (CODE: G-AELC)

Reservations must be made by Friday, June 21, 2019 for rate.

2. Marriott Courtyard – $111: Book your group rate here for 2019 Adult Education & Literacy Conference: #540-563-5002

Reservations must be made by Tuesday, June 11, 2019 for rate.

CONFERENCE REIMBURSEMENTS for the staff and volunteers of community-based literacy organizations. (Please write one check or pay via PayPal for all staff and volunteers in one program. Each registrant, however, should fill out a personal reimbursement form)

  • Double occupancy hotel room at state rate, fully reimbursed
  • Single occupancy hotel room, $50 per registered attendee
  • For presenters: Registration fee and single occupancy hotel room


Virginia Literacy Foundation:

  • VLF workshop proposals/Grants: Vic Sanborn: vjsanbor@vcu.edu
  • VLF reimbursements: Ginger Hilleary: lvf320 @gmail.com
  • Other VLF questions: Rita Layne: vlilv@earthlink.net

Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center:

  • Conference coordinator, all other workshop proposals, and hotel information: Katherine Hansen: kghansen@vcu.edu
  • Help with registering in C-vent for the conference: Page Stirrup: pbstirrup@vcu.edu

About the VLF and its mission, services, and partnerships: VLF information sheet

Click here to view the full VLF Information sheet