St. Petersburg: A City for Art Lovers

Made up of five different arts districts, downtown St. Petersburg is a mecca of restaurants, boutiques, art, and music for all visitors to enjoy.  After your conference sessions are over for the day, enjoy the nightlife and the sights that are found throughout the downtown districts.

Central Arts District st. pete district - central arts

Encompassing the 300-700 blocks of Central Avenue, you can easily enjoy a full day getting to know the city’s art hub. Lovers of art will enjoy the murals and street art seen all over the district and foodies will find restaurants to rave about. Live music can be heard at the many restaurants that line the streets like Acropolis Green Taverna, La V, and Cycle Brewing. Some of the must-sees include the Morean Arts Center, Morean Glass Studio & Hot Shop (which offers glassblowing demonstrations four times daily for a fee of $8.95), and the Florida CraftArt Gallery. For those of you who want a more hands-on approach, check out the Morean Glass Studio’s Glass Experiences for the chance to create your own piece of glass art.  Don’t forget to take the trolley for a fun experience or drive.

Grand Central District st. pete district - grand central

Formed in 2001, Grand Central District is recognized as a Florida Main Street Community. Their goal is to revitalize the community through an eclectic mix of historic preservation and economic development. Purchase some books at Haslam’s Book Store, the largest new & used book store in Florida. Don’t worry about being hungry after your conference sessions are over: with multiple cuisine options in Grand Central District like Casita Taqueria, Punky’s Bar&Grill, Pom Pom’s Teahouse and Sandwicheria, or (swah-rey), you’ll be sure to find something that pleases your taste buds.

The Edge District st. pete district - the edge

As another Florida Main Street Community, The Edge District claims its sense of vibrancy from its pubs, clubs, galleries, and restaurants. Stop by Green Bench Brewing Company and enjoy the tasting room, where you can try over 15 different varieties as you take in the uniqueness of the décor. Continue out into their Beer Garden where the landscaped seating and covered patio provide a great place to enjoy the lawn games, food trucks, and live music on the weekends. Explore The Edge District and take painting classes, visit boutiques, and discover hand-crafted beauty products and jewelry.

Warehouse Arts District st. pete district - warehouse

The Warehouse Arts District started as an industrial zone, and because of its large spaces, artists love using this area to complete larger-scale projects. Come visit the Duncan McClellan Gallery or the Train Station Center for Clay. If you’re looking for a great way to tour the district after your conference sessions, take advantage of the WADA (Warehouse Arts District Associations) Walks. With two Walks to choose from, these self-guided tours take you through a few of the Districts must-see places.

  • WADA Walk One takes you to the Duncan McClellan Gallery and St. Pete Hot Glass Workshop, Zen Glass Studio and Gallery, Charlie Parker Pottery, The Venture Compound, and Funktionhouse, Urban Lumber & Furnishings.
  • WADA Walk Two takes you along 22nd Street South to visit Carrie Jadus Fine and Portraiture, MGA Sculpture Studio, Dazzio Art Experience, Morean Center for Clay, The Clay Center of St. Petersburg, and From Mayan Hands/New World Imports.

Peruse the Where to Visit page for the list of WADA Walk addresses along with other galleries and studios not included in either Walk list.

Waterfront Arts District st. pete district - waterfront arts

Don’t miss out on exploring the Waterfront Arts District! This district boast numerous museums such as the Dali Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Chihuly Collection, and more. The Hilton Hotel where the conference is being held is also located in this district, so attendees won’t have far to travel to visit the sights that the Waterfront Arts District has to offer. Spend your free time enjoying the nightlife, visiting museums, or simply taking a walk or watching a movie.

No matter which districts you are able to visit, downtown St. Petersburg has beauty to offer at every turn.

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Sunken Gardens

Located about 10 minutes from the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront hotel where the 32nd  Annual Florida Literacy Coalition conference is being held, Sunken Gardens is a great and easy stop to unwind for a couple of hours.

The Gardens

Pay a visit to St. Petersburg’s historic Sunken Gardens. Over 100 years old, Sunken Gardens is St. Petersburg’s oldest living museum. These lush gardens cover four acres and are a treasured piece of the city.

sunken gardens Prepare to enter a place of tranquility once you step foot in this tropical paradise. Enjoy strolling among 50,000 plants (over 500 species) and relax with the sight and sounds of birds as you explore the winding paths. With a rock garden, waterfalls, and a wishing well, Sunken Gardens is a pleasurable activity for the off-hours during your conference stay.

History

Sunken Gardens was originally a lake that George Turner purchased, drained, and turned into a tropical garden so captivating that by the 1920’s, he was able to turn it into a business. Turner’s family continued the tradition for three generations until the city of St. Petersburg came together to purchase the garden as a way of continuing and honoring George Turner’s original vision.

Today, the Gardens are a cultural and educational center in St. Petersburg, offering workshops and weekly events for people of all ages to enjoy. Visit the Sunken Gardens’s website  for detailed information about events.

 

Hourssunken gardens map

Monday – Saturday 10 am – 4:30 pm
Sunday noon – 4:30 pm

Last admission is sold at 4pm daily.

Admission: 

  • $10 Adults
  • $8 Seniors (62+)
  • $4 Children (2-11)

 

St. Petersburg: Home of the 32nd Annual Florida Literacy Conference

Registration is in full swing for the 32nd Annual Florida Literacy Conference which will be held at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront Hotel  from May 4th-6th. Be sure to register now to enjoy our early bird pricing.* With hotel amenities and the many attractions St. Petersburg has to offer, everyone is sure to have an enjoyable experience during their stay.

hiltonsp1

Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront • 333 1st St S • St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Conveniently located about 25 minutes from the Clearwater International Airport, the Hilton boasts plenty of amenities.  Daily parking will be available for $6. Guests of the conference can enjoy a discounted room rate of $116 available for stays anytime from May 2nd through 9th. This room offer is only available until April 11th. Reserve your room today!

The Hilton Bayfront is located in the center of many attractions. Keep reading for a brief overview of what St. Petersburg has to offer.

*valid until March 5th

Dali Museum

dali museumGo and experience the results of a collaboration turned friendship between two of the 20th century’s world-renowned artists: Salvador Dali and Walt Disney. Disney and Dali: Architects of the Imagination is an exhibit that displays the world shared by these two giants of imagination.* It will take you through paintings, story sketches, photographs, audio, and more that detail the friendship and professional relationship these two cultivated. Also be sure to explore the rest of the museum during this family friendly activity.

*runs January – June

Museum of Fine Arts

Florida-St-Petersburg-Museum-Fine-Arts-Front-FacadeLocated only half a mile from the hotel, the Contemplating Character Exhibit at the museum is just one of the exhibits that will be available for viewing at the Museum of Fine Arts. Go and explore the Neoclassicist, Romanticist, and Realist art styles of the 18th and 19th centuries in an exhibit that features 150 rare portrait drawings and oil sketches of artists, their loved ones, and famous figures. It even includes portraits of George Washington and author Oscar Wilde.

Dining

If you’re looking for a meal between your conference sessions or a nice drink to end the day, Tangerine restaurant and the Dali Bar are conveniently located in the hotel.  If you’re exploring the area around the hotel and get hungry, choose from multiple restaurants such as Gratzzi Italian Grille, Z Grille, Meze 119, or Crowley’s Downtown.

                Be sure to check back for future spotlights on attractions!

 

Select Conference Sessions to be Live-Streamed from Google+ and YouTube

With the 29th annual Florida Literacy Conference just around the corner, we’d like to round off our pre-Conference blogs with a Live-streaming schedule for those of you at home. This year FLC will be live-streaming some sessions onto both FLC’s Google+ Page and its YouTube channel via Google+’s Hangout on Air feature.

Unfortunately viewers of the live-stream will only view some of the larger conference sessions, but we encourage you to check these out. They will be informative, enjoyable, and even inspirational.  If you’d like to view a session that will be live-streamed, please follow the instructions below:

  1. First, create a Google+ profile or a YouTube account so that you may access FLC’s live-stream. Signing up for either is free. Please visit this link to sign up for Google+ if you already have a Google account, such as Gmail or YouTube,  or click here to create a Google account.
  2. Once you sign up, be sure to add the Florida Literacy Coalition’s Google+ Page to one of your Circles or subscribe to the fliteracy YouTube channel. Adding a person or page to a Google+ Circle is the equivalent of a Facebook friend.
  3. Lastly, at the time of the session which you’d like to attend virtually, visit FLC’s Google+ or YouTube and click the play button on the Hangout on Air video. You’ll begin to start viewing the event live!

2013 Florida Literacy Conference Live-Streaming Schedule

Wednesday, May 8:

  • 9:30-11:00 a.m.- Opening General Session

Thursday, May 9:

  • 3:15-4:30 p.m.-Exploring Social Media with FLC
  • 6:30-8:30 p.m.-Florida Literacy Awards Banquet

Friday, May 10:

  • 11:30a.m.-1:00p.m.-Closing General Session & Luncheon

Call for Guest Bloggers

Attention conference attendees:

Don’t just come to the 2013 Florida Literacy Conference; share your thoughts, impressions, and take-aways with your and FLC’s community! Whether you’re coming to the 2013 Florida Literacy Conference to attend sessions, exhibit products and services, or present your own, FLC is inviting guest bloggers to help contribute content before, during, and/or after the event.

You might want to consider becoming a guest blogger if:

  • you enjoy writing/ are a writer
  • you have previous experience blogging OR have always wanted to try it
  • you like to share your thoughts with others whom share your passion for literacy
  • you need to put aside that half-finished novel you’ve been working on

You might not want to consider becoming a guest blogger if:

  • you’re not attending the conference
  • you have cyberphobia, or the fear of computers
  • you didn’t read this blog entry

By now you’re probably wondering how to go about fulfilling this desire to blog, so here’s how to get started: Simply write an email expressing your interest to blog during the Florida Literacy Conference to John Sanchez, sanchezj@floridaliteracy.org, by Monday, April 29th. After receiving your email, you will be asked several questions about your previous experience, when you’d prefer to blog, and how often you’d prefer to contribute, etc.

We welcome any and all attendees to take advantage of this opportunity, especially because the more you collect your thoughts during the conference, the more likely you’ll be able to recollect what you learned after you’ve returned home. When you think about it that way, blogging is not only a great way to share what you’ve learned; it’s also the teach-back method at work!

Financial Literacy Track Preview: Denise Smalls- Income or Wealth?

How many of you are working for income or wealth?  What is the difference?  Income is today and wealth is tomorrow.  One of the ways to accumulate wealth is to start saving for a retirement fund.  Are you currently saving for retirement?  If so, are you saving enough to retire comfortably?

According to the Retirement Confidence Survey, only 66% of workers have saved money for retirement.  These numbers go down significantly for workers who make less than $35,000/year (24%).  A number of people live for today and handle tomorrow when it gets here.  However, these are the same individuals who do not have enough money to pay for both medical and housing expenses.  Are you depending on Social Security to help you with tomorrow?  What happens if social security changes the way it provides funds in the future?  Could this change reduce the amount of money you will need to live on tomorrow?  Let’s say that Social Security does not change and you will receive the same amount that a retiree is getting today, is that enough to live on?  Why don’t you go ask a couple of our seniors who are currently living on Social Security alone and find out how comfortable they are living?

Saving for retirement is a good first step but you have to do more.  You have to determine how much money you will need to save before you can retire. More than 50% of workers, according to the Retirement Confidence Survey, do not know how much money they will need to have to retire.  It is equally important to know if you are on the right track with your retirement goals.  How will you pay for medical expenses?  How will you pay for housing and food expenses?  Do you want to travel or visit your potential grandchildren?  Do you want to spend time playing golf, tennis or bingo?  Do you want to volunteer or work part time?  There are so many decisions that have to be made and while you can’t foresee the future you can definitely plan for it.

There are numerous calculators on the Internet that can help you make a determination on how much money is needed for retirement.  One such calculator is from CNN Money http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/retirementneed/retirementneed_plain.html and AARP also has a good retirement calculator http://www.aarp.org/work/retirement-planning/retirement_calculator/

For more information on retirement and other money management questions, feel free to come to the Money $ense classes where we speak about the above issues as well as how to build and/or fix credit, how to get a free credit report, how to create a spending plan and what are the advantages of using a financial institution.  The class schedule is located at http://www.goodwillcfl.org/services.php.  Go to the bottom of the page for financial programs and select Money $ense class schedule.

Are you working for income or wealth?  Why don’t you use the income you are making to achieve the wealth you want?  How do you accomplish this goal, come to the Money $ense class to find out.

Employee Benefit Research Institute. (2013). Preparing for Retirement in America.  2013 RCS Fact Sheet #3.  Retrieved from http://www.ebri.org/files/Final-FS.RCS-13.FS_3.Saving.FINAL.pdf

2013 Adult Learner Day

The Florida Literacy Coalition is pleased to invite adult education students in Florida to participate in this year’s Adult Learner Day on May 8, 2013 from 8:30- 5:00 pm.

Adult Learner Day is a unique initiative brings together approximately 70-90 adult learners from adult literacy programs throughout Florida. Students are invited to attend 5-6 special Adult Learner Day workshops providing information about a variety of life skill oriented topics. Adult learners are involved in planning and coordinating this event. The day always includes presentations by adult learners for their fellow students and adult educators.

This event is free for students and promises to include a few surprises along the way.

Here is a tentative schedule for workshops-

Adult Learner Experience: Why we stayed and what you can do with your students
Join members from the Adult Learner Committee in this interactive workshop as they discuss why they stayed with their literacy programs. This workshop will provide insight on how practitioners can increase student retention and recruitment. Be prepared to participate in this informative conversation!

Managing your money and planning for the future
Does the term finance scare you? Jaclyn Boland and FLC AmeriCorps* VISTA’s will help you get a better understanding of managing your money and creating a budget. After participating in this workshop, you will walk away with tools that will help you plan for your future.

Basic computer skills and the new GED Test
From the basics to the necessities, learn how to use a computer in ways that will help you succeed. This workshop will start with how to turn on a computer and end with copy and paste, and keyboarding.

Libraries open the door to learning
Learn how you can use the library and find information that will help you in your learning process. You will learn how to find information on things like citizenship and health literacy. All learners are welcome to this presentation.

Reading Strategies and Family Literacy
Reading to your child is a remarkable moment. This workshop will teach you reading strategies that will help you read a book to your child. Leave this workshop with a book to take home and practice tonight!

Sneak Peek at the Financial Literacy Track!

It’s surprising, sometimes frightening even, how little we really know about personal finance and money management, since most of us know close to nothing about sound practices beyond the basics.  In fact, most of what we do know is information that our friends and families have given us or that we have learned through our own research. Rarely does it come from any sort of formal education. When we consider how we can all benefit a bit more from a few lessons on financial literacy, it becomes clear just how important financial literacy is vital to an adult learners stability and progress.

The 29th Annual Florida Literacy Conference will hold over 60 sessions within 14 distinct tracks, including a first of its kind financial literacy track! For those interested in learning more about personal finance and sound money management, here’s a look at what the track has to offer so that you can set your conference schedule proactively.

Sessions include:

  • Financial Aid for the Nontraditional Student
    Did you know the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship can be awarded to GED students? This session covers avenues for funding higher education through federal, state, institutional, and local resources.
  • Money $ense
    How do you make sense out of money?  One of the ways is to look at your behavior, habits and past to determine why you use money in a certain way. This workshop explains how to educate your clients to understand and change their behavior.
  • Financial Literacy Resources for Adult Education
    There are many free resources for providing financial literacy in the Adult Education classroom. Receive sample brochures, website information  and the latest research/statistics for financial literacy.
  • Making Money Work for You
    This brief intro to financial literacy and consumer education is designed for teachers and tutors of ESOL and ABE students.  (Participants can also access this module via Florida TechNet’s “Moodle” trainings.)
  • Opening Doors to Home Ownership
    In this interactive session, we will share the Opening Doors to Home Ownership website designed for high school and adult learners.  The focus of this commercial-free website is to develop financial literacy through topics such as credit, budgeting, preparing for home ownership, and understanding mortgages.

Trying to imagine how adult learners manage financially, or rather how they don’t, can explain why learning even the most basic money management skills can greatly benefit the lives of our adult learners. Attend this track and bring back skills and practices your students that will immediately have an impact on their lives!

10th Annual Literacy Leadership Institute

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 wardj@floridaliteracy.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!

Conference Registration Special!

Buy 10 Get 1 FREE!

2013Logo_yl__border_300dpiAttention Florida Literacy Conference Registrants, we have a green light special for conference registrations!  Buy 10, get 1 free!

Yes!  It is true!  If you plan on sending ten (10) or more people from your organization to the Florida Literacy Conference, you will get one registration free!  Registrations must be sent together.  So, have one person collect all eleven (11) registrations, write a check for ten (10)!  Or, collect all twenty-two (22) registrations, and write a check for twenty (20)!

If you’re a real super saver, then don’t forget, early bird registration ends March 8!

For more information about the conference, go to http://www.floridaliteracy.org/floridaliteracyconference.html

Keep an eye out for the Conference brochure in your mail! If you did not get one and would like one, please email conference@floridaliteracy.org.