Another great year for the Florida Literacy Conference! We had a fabulous turnout and several motivating speeches and sessions. The Conference started with keynote, Nelson Lauver. Nelson is the host of the American Storyteller Radio Journal and former Adult Learner. He told his story of how he learned that he had a learning disability and his ability to overcome it and work with it. We’re hoping to get a copy of the speech to post on our website in the future.
We had two and a half days filled with great sessions, but the most popular ones were the Adult Learner Experience and the Department of Education updates. In the Adult Learner Experience, members of the Adult Learner Committee spoke about their background and why they stayed in their literacy programs. Nelson was on the panel and a few students who were published in the Adult Learner Essay Book were able to read and share their story. Needless to say, everyone was moved.
On Thursday, FLC hosted it’s annual meeting. Executive Director, Greg Smith, provided an overview of the past year at our organization. He then opened the floor to adult learners who were there to read their essays. If you missed the meeting, you might be brought to tears from watching the video.
Jim Duffy was the closing keynote during the luncheon on Friday. Jim worked in broadcasting for 48 years and initiated a public service campaign on literacy. He incorporated the issue in programs and had television specials focused specifically on adults who could not read. Thousands of people joined literacy programs in their area as part of this campaign. The luncheon closed with the two drawings for a roundtrip ticket on Southwest Airlines. This year’s winners were Claire Valier and Paul Schaub!
What was your favorite part of Conference? Share it with us! Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Florida Blue and the Florida Literacy Coalition are pleased to continue the Florida Health Literacy Initiative, providing grants up to $5,000 to support health literacy in adult ESOL and family literacy programs.
Low health literacy costs between $106 to $236 billion a year in the form of longer hospital stays, emergency room visits, increased doctor visits, and increased medication, according to a recent report from the University of Connecticut. Adults with low literacy levels often fail to engage in early detection and preventive health care. They also have significant difficulties navigating the health care system and following their doctor’s treatment plans.
The Florida Health Literacy Initiative provides training, resources, and funding to assist Florida ESOL and family literacy programs to integrate health education into their instruction. The objective is to help students develop basic literacy and English language skills while gaining information to make informed choices regarding their health and nutrition.
Applicants must be nonprofit or government-based organizations providing adult ESOL and/or family literacy instruction in Florida. Services may be delivered via classes, small groups, and one-to-one tutoring.
Click here for the application and grant guidelines. Proposals must be received by March 19, 2013 by 5:00 pm.
A conference call will be conducted for prospective applicants on February 13, 2013 from 10 am to 11 am to provide an overview of the grant application and to answer questions. Participation is optional.
Dial-in Number: 1-800-930-8721
Access Code: 6577983
If you have any questions, please contact Maribeth Buie at 407-246-7110 ext. 209 or via email at email@example.com.
Attention directors, program managers, and board members!
The 10th annual Literacy Leadership Institute will take place at the Hilton Altamonte Springs. This is an exciting professional development opportunity designed for directors, program managers, and board members of non-profit and library based adult and family literacy organizations.The Leadership Institute will feature of variety of expert speakers from around Florida. The topics addressed include:
- The New GED Test Series
- Fund Development
- Learning Disabilities
- Board Development
- Volunteer Recruitment and Retention
- Social Media
On top of all these wonderful presenters, attendees can get up to $350 in travel expenses reimbursed (restrictions apply)! Don’t miss your chance to attend this training. Sign up by March 1 in order to guarantee your spot.
When: March 21-22, 2013
Where: Hilton Altamonte Springs. Make your reservations online by March 1 to take advantage of the $99 group rate!
More information on the Leadership Institute and the registration form can be found here. If you have any questions please contact Jessica Ward, Education & Training Coordinator, at (407) 246 – 7110 ext. 203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This training opportunity is made possible by Florida’s Adult and Family Literacy Resource Center and funded through a grant from the Florida Department of Education, Division of Career and Adult Education.
We look forward to seeing you in March!
Jessica Ward is the Education & Event Coordinator for the Florida Literacy Coalition. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Oregon State University. After graduating she was accepted into Teach For America, which placed her in Jacksonville, Florida to teach at a low-income school. While in Jacksonville, she taught middle school science for three years. She is currently pursuing her Master’s of Public Administration and a Nonprofit Management Certificate from the University of Central Florida. In her spare she enjoys cooking, reading, and being outdoors.
My name is John and I’ll be joining FLC this year as an AmeriCorps VISTA. I grew up on (not in) Long Island about an hour’s train ride from New York City. Prior to moving down to Florida, I graduated Stony Brook University with a B. A. in Music and in Spanish Language & Literature. While studying in school, I served as a volunteer adult literacy tutor on and off campus and worked with the New York Police & Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund as a Development Intern. As for my life outside of work, I enjoy riding bikes, reading books, and playing board games.
My joining the FLC team is in many ways a combination of my passions for literacy education and the nonprofit sector. In terms of my blog posts, I will mainly focus on financial, health, and digital literacy, providing you with relevant resources that you may use in your teaching. I will also be exploring other mediums of social media to share information with you! But I’ll have more on that in the coming weeks. As for now, I’m excited to begin my year at FLC and work with some of you in the future!
Career Pathways programs can train, educate, and transition students to the workforce or post-secondary education. Choosing a career and related education program can be an intimidating and overwhelming process for learners. Volunteers can play a vital role in helping adult learners identify and prepare for a family sustaining career that is right for them.
The Florida Literacy Coalition is pleased to make available a new three module online course to prepare volunteers to assist and support students in the process of exploring their education and career options. This three-module course provides a systematic guide with tools and resources for volunteers interested in doing this important work. The first module introduces the importance of the role of the volunteer and relationship building with the student. The second module delves deeper into Career Pathways and post-secondary planning for education or the workforce. The final module reviews various types of job search and interview strategies.
On December 12th, the Florida Literacy Coalition will be offering a webinar to introduce several ways to use volunteers to promote Career Pathways. This training we will discuss the Career Pathways modules, a sample position description, volunteer recruitment and retention, and developing partnerships. Register for this free webinar today!
2012-13 Florida Health Literacy Initiative Recipients
Florida Literacy Coalition is proud to partner with Florida Blue to make available targeted grants to promote health literacy. The goal is to provide health-education resources for local adult English for Speakers of Other Languages and family literacy programs so that students in these programs can make informed choices about their health and nutrition.
FLC is very proud of the projects that 2009, 2010 and 2011 grant programs have completed. Project-based learning is a power activity that engages and empowers students to utilize the information they learned in the classroom and apply it in a larger context.
During the 2011-2012 grant year:
New Beginnings (Flagler County Schools) coordinated with a local elementary school to plant, maintain, and harvest a vegetable garden. They used the fresh produce in healthy recipes and developed their own cookbook.
Students from Motivational Edge created and produced a rap regarding health knowledge and nutrition.
S.B. Idea developed a reference book about the health knowledge they learned and provided sample dialogues between providers and their patients.
Students from Florida State College at Jacksonville took favorite recipes, made healthy substitutions, and gathered to share them.
East and West Area Schools (Polk County Educational Foundation) created meal plans in small groups and included new healthy recipe options.
Here are some ideas you can do for a health literacy project at your organization!
- Host a health fair, block party, or community bazaar partnering with community organizations to provide Body Mass Index education, blood pressure screenings, cholesterol checks, diabetes information, nutrition guidelines, etc.
- Partner with an elementary school to grow a vegetable garden.
- Have students make favorite family recipes using healthy ingredients, and develop a recipe book. Host a food tasting; get students to develop daily/weekly healthy menus to post on YouTube.
- Invite the medical/safety community to present to the class: a doctor, a nurse, a dentist, a WIC representative, a diabetes specialist, a massage therapist, CPR affiliate, fire department, hospital.
- Partner with a local gym to offer free short-term memberships to students with the possibility of scholarship assistance later on; invite a Zumba/aerobics instructor to create a fun video to distribute.
Choosing a career and related credentialing program can be an intimidating and overwhelming process for learners. While most of Florida’s public sector adult education providers have made real strides in integrating career pathways into their programs, volunteers remain a largely untapped resource for many of them. Conversely, most of Florida’s community-based literacy organizations have a rich history in using volunteers, but may have questions on how to best support and guide students when it comes to this area.
The Florida Adult and Family Literacy Resource Center is pleased to announce the launch of a new online course to prepare volunteers to help adult learners explore their education and career options. This three-module course provides an instructional framework with tools and resources for volunteers interested in doing this important work.
A recently released study, Student Voices on the Higher Education Pathway: Preliminary Insights & Stakeholder Engagement Considerations, reported on the opinions of current and former community college students about the expectations for and experiences in college. The study found that students wanted more exposure to career possibilities so that they could make better-informed decisions. Students were aware that colleges often offer a wide range of services, but they report that finding the specific information or services they need often required going on a “wild goose chase”.
One identified key to success was having access to someone who could offer support and guidance that is accurate and tailored to students’ education and career goals A number of students described positive one-on-one experiences with teachers or other personnel who played an important role in helping them stay motivated and connected to opportunities and their education goals.
Working with local programs, volunteers can be a wonderful resource to help fulfill this role, often bringing to the table relevant life experiences and industry expertise. Most adult educators know how a little one-on-one guidance, support and encouragement can go a long way in helping learners to succeed.
The Volunteer Education and Career Advocate Course is freely available to all Florida adult education, literacy and family literacy programs. Technical assistance in implementing the course and developing local career pathways volunteer projects is also available from the Florida Literacy Coalition.
Special thanks to our Career Pathways Advisory Committee the Florida Department of Education, Division of Career and Adult Education and AmeriCorps VISTA for making this course possible.
Many of you already know me…I (Yari Payne, education and training coordinator) will be guiding you through our social media channels until our next AmeriCorps VISTA joins us.
I asked our newest staff to send me a picture that represents them. Here’s an inside view on how they think.
Meet our newest staff additions…
Jennifer Caldron, Referral Specialist, grew up in Southern California where she graduated from Cerritos College with an A.A. in Business. She has a passion for education and tries to teach her niece and nephews that school/learning can be fun! Jennifer enjoys spending time with friends and family and teaching her dog new tricks!
Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will. ~Vernon Howard
Camille Davidson, AmeriCorps VISTA, is currently a graduate student studying International Higher Education and Nonprofit Management. She has been involved and employed in the fields of special education, disability, ESOL, and higher education for the past 10 years. Camille completed her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education at the University of North Florida and her Master’s Degree in TESOL at the University of Miami.
The picture is from a trip to Paris in 2011. It was taken outside of the golden gates of Versailles (the original was torn down during the revolution). My attempt to replicate the perspective of an impoverished citizen looking in on the luxuries of the palace.
Being involved with FLC and having a family that is touched by illiteracy every day, I understand the struggles and concerns that the support system feels. I am thankful of all the community based organizations and the thousands of volunteers who are there to help.
That’s why I’ve made a commit to read to my little one every night. AND she loves books!
This is a great opportunity to send us feedback about what you want to read or learn about.