New Career Pathways Page Filled With Helpful Resources!

Are you looking to implement a career pathways program within your organization?  Have you had trouble finding resources to help you with this process?

You’re in luck!  The Florida Literacy Coalition has recently updated its website to include a career pathways page.  This page includes relevant websites, helpful articles, training materials and curricula, and handouts and worksheets.

This easy layout is designed for your convenience and ensures easy navigation.  Have you visited the website lately?  Make sure you check it out!

Teaching English Through Spanish Literacy

Do you have Spanish speakers who:

1. want and need to learn English?

2. Have difficulty reading and writing in Spanish?

This often difficult to serve population wants and needs to learn English, but research and experience suggests that these skills can often be more readily acquired if learners have basic literacy skills in their native language.

Spanish Basic Literacy/ESOL Curriculum – “Lectura y Escritura en Español”

In response to a growing need in the field for a combined approach to teaching ESOL and Spanish literacy, Ruth Colvin, noted author and founder of Literacy Volunteers of America, has worked with an educational researcher to develop a curriculum serving the needs of Spanish-speaking students with minimal native language reading and writing skills. She will be facilitating a session on May 6th-7th at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary.

We invite you to join Ruth in field testing this exciting curriculum.

To register, go to and select Teaching English through Spanish Literacy under Literacy News or click here.

Join FATDEC Feb. 1, in Orlando!

You are cordially invited to join FATDEC’s next meeting to be held at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, February 1, at Mid Florida Tech in Orlando (2900 West Oak Ridge Road Orlando, Florida, 32809).

Come learn more about the online courses we offer adult students, who our members are, and how you can join, and get involved!  FATDEC would love to have you as a guest!

FATDEC, Florida Adult and Technical Distance Education Consortium, is a group of public schools, school districts, and community colleges who are working together to deliver curriculum in a web-based environment for adult education and career technical programs in Florida’s postsecondary public institutions.
Who can attend? Anyone involved in adult or career/technical education at a public educational organization – CBOs, this means you, too!!

Please email Kim Gates ( to RSVP and for additional information.

Where will FATDEC’s next meeting be?  At the Florida Literacy Conference in May! Hope to see you there.

Enriching Your Financial Literacy (Fin Lit) Library

As a result of the increasing need for financial literacy education among Florida’s population, the Florida Literacy Coalition (FLC) will be conducting a FREE webinar detailing important financial literacy resources beginning at 12 p.m. (Eastern), Thursday, Jan. 27!  This fun and educational training event will include access to online and hard-copy resources, helpful financial literacy articles, and a tour of the most important websites.  Literacy tutors/teachers looking to expand their literacy libraries will not be disappointed!  This training will enable you to provide/create a diverse curriculum for all your students.

Macario (Mac) Garcia, one of FLC’s AmeriCorps* VISTA members, will be presenting this virtual training.  During his time at FLC, he has focused on financial literacy and web-based learning, and is coordinating a statewide initiative to expand financial literacy in adult education programs.  His professional background includes social work, and educational and financial counseling.

You can participate from the comfort of your home or office!  All you need is internet access and speakers. This training is free, but registration is required.  After registering, a confirmation email will be sent to you with additional details.

Is your program currently offering financial literacy classes?  If so, share your successes and challenges with us in the comment box below. Or share any of your thoughts related to financial literacy!

Register Today for FLC’s Free Volunteer Literacy Tutor Symposiums

This month, FLC is presenting four volunteer literacy tutor symposiums highlightingtechniques and activities related to three facets of teaching literacy:

  1. Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences
  2. The Art of Teaching Speaking
  3. Teaching Writing

From Our Trainers

Roberta Reiss

“The Tutor Symposiums offered by FLC are some of the most energizing, productive events I have experienced in my role as a trainer.  We have the chance to focus on some of the best resources in our field.  It’s a real luxury to have an hour or two to explore and experience the theories and activities found in books that go beyond the typical core tutor materials.  There have been many times when I have gotten hold of a new resource, only to have it sit while other priorities took over my day.  This chance to come together with other tutors and discover the resource together is a great way to share.”

—Roberta Reiss, ProLiteracy America Certified Trainer & Lead Symposium Faciltator

“As a presenting trainer this year, I’m excited about the materials we will be using.  The Multiple Intelligences theory of “How am I Smart?” will be sure to stimulate discussion.  It will be fun to try some lesson plans and discover our MI.  The information contained in The Art of Teaching Speaking is so useful for those tutors trying to help ESOL learners speak English that is relevant to their goals and situations.  Encouraging our learners to speak can be difficult at times, so getting ideas and resources for stimulating conversation will be invaluable.

Some tutors may be asking why we are focusing a section on Writing, but we’ll find out why it is essential to teach writing as well as reading, and get useful tools for doing so.”

–Olive Burkard, ProLiteracy America Certified Trainer, presenting in Ocala and Orlando

Training dates and locations:

  1. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Jan. 8, Frances T. Bourne Jacaranda Library, Venice, FLTHIS TRAINING IS FULL
  2. 1-5 p.m., Jan. 15, Leon County Public Library, Tallahassee, FL
  3. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Jan. 27, Rasmussen College- Ocala Campus, Ocala, FL
  4. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Jan. 31, Adult Literacy League of Central Florida, Orlando, FL

Each training will be led by a ProLiteracy America Certified Trainer and is free to attend, but registration is required as seating is limited. 

Please contact Yari Payne at FLC with any questions – (407) 246-7110 ext. 203 or

These trainings are collaborative learning events brought to you by the Florida Adult Literacy Resource Center, a program of the Florida Literacy Coalition.  These workshops are made possible through the support of the Florida Department of Education, Division of Career and Adult Education

Career Pathways for Florida’s Adult Education and Literacy Programs

Career pathways is the wave of the future for Florida’s adult education and literacy programs.  In early November, ACE of Florida, the Florida Department of Education and other partners broadcasted a webcast about building career pathways for Florida’s adult students.  This is a link to the recorded webinar – it’s about 3 hours long, and gives viewers a clear picture of where the industry is headed with this initiative and how adult education and literacy programs can participate.

To help launch this initiative, each Regional Training Council (RTC) is conducting Career Pathways workshops.  Each workshop is on the January 2011 calendar on the Florida TechNet site and is free to attend.

This is the quick breakdown of offerings – each session will cover the same information, so you just need to attend one.

  • 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m., Monday, Jan. 10, at Northwest Florida State College (Niceville, Fla.) Register
  • 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 11, at Tallahassee Community College (Tallahassee, Fla.) Register
  • 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 12, at Florida State College Jacksonville (Jacksonville, Fla.) Register
  • 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Friday, Jan. 14, at Mid Florida Tech (Orlando, Fla.) Register
  • 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18, at Hillsborough Instructional Services Center (Tampa, Fla.) Register
  • 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 19, at Lee County Public Education Center (Fort Myers, Fla.) Register
  • 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 20, at Lindsey Hopkins Tech (Miami, Fla.) Register
  • 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Friday, Jan. 21, at Fulton-Holland Ed. Services Center (West Palm Beach, Fla.) Register

Workshop overview:  An adult career pathway is a systemic framework that connects adult education programs, work, and postsecondary education. Each step in a career pathway is designed to prepare the student for the next level of work and education. Adult Career Pathways includes the guidance, remediation, curricula, and other support elements required to enable career limited adults to enter the workforce and progress in rewarding careers.

Purpose: This workshop will lead participants through practical strategies to analyze and develop the components of an adult career pathways system.

The workshop includes topics such as:
• Adult Education and Florida’s Economic Development
• Steps in Designing Adult Education Career Pathways
• Career Pathways Maps
• Student Recruitment, Orientation, and Placement
• Contextualized Curriculum and Instruction
• Career Development
• Data Collection and Analysis for ACPs

Does your program already offer career pathways/transition programs for students?  If so, tell us about them in the comment section below.  If not, what do you feel the challenges are?  Did you watch the webcast earlier this month – if so, what were your thoughts?

We look forward to your comments and conversation.

Literacy Ambassador Program Highlights

Speeches, presentations and interviews, oh my!

The Florida Literacy Coalition (FLC) recently held it’s annual Literacy Ambassador Program in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla.  During this 1.5-day training, adult learners participated in activities relevant to preparing speeches, presentations and interviews.  Now, Florida has 9 new Literacy Ambassadors that will be working hard to promote the importance of adult and family literacy!

Established Literacy Ambassadors Monica Nelson & Nelson Pino guided the adult learners through several lesson plans and tactics they can use to prepare for speaking engagements and media interviews.

Monica Baxley & Nelson Pino

Tammie Fields, WTSP Weekend Anchor

Tampa Bay’s Channel 10 TV anchor, Tammie Fields, visited the Ambassadors during their training and provided information on what it’s like to work with the media.  She also gave program representatives tips on gaining the attention of TV media professionals.  These tips included:

  • Send information to the media via email (using the “Contact Us” page of the website v. calling the newsroom)
  • Provide a hook – explain what makes your news/event important, timely and worth covering.  This can include an Ambassador’s peronal story/experience.
  • TV coverage requires video – it’s helpful if you have something (i.e. an event) that can be filmed or someone that is passionate about  your cause that can provide an interview with emotional appeal.  If going the interview route, offer to coordinate the interview for the reporter.

FLC couldn’t be more proud of the Literacy Ambassador class of 2010!  These students have accomplished amazing feats during their time in Central- and South Florida-based literacy and adult education programs.  We are excited these students are motivated to take on new leadership roles within their organizations and will be sharing their success stories, in their communities, to promote the adult literacy cause.

Literacy Ambassadors Class of 2010

Training Highlights from “Teaching with Cultural Differences in Mind: A Women’s Health Curriculum for Adult Learners”

Dr. Heide Castaneda

Dr. Heide Castañeda is an assistant professor at the University of South Florida, and many tutors, program managers, and health professionals were lucky to attend her virtual training: “Teaching with Cultural Differences in Mind: A Women’s Health Curriculum for Adult Learners.”

Below are some of the key points from the virtual training from Dr. Castañeda:

Health literacy is the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information needed to make appropriate health decisions. Low health literacy skills, however, are not limited to those with cultural differences. Almost nine out of ten adults in the US may lack the skills needed to manage their health and prevent disease!

My virtual training stressed the importance of cultural sensitivity in adult literacy classrooms. Cultural self-assessment is a vital component and by understanding your own cultural biases you can gauge the degree to which you effectively address the needs and preferences of culturally diverse groups—without this process, you may risk offending and/or confusing your adult learners.

Below are a few questions to ask yourself in order to heighten the awareness and sensitivity to the importance of cultural diversity.

Using this kind of “checklist” can improve your instruction in diverse classrooms:

  • I avoid imposing values that may conflict or be inconsistent with those of cultures or ethnic groups other than my own.
  • I understand that the perception of health, wellness, and preventative health services have different meanings to different cultural groups.
  • I screen books, movies, and other resources for negative cultural, ethnic, or racial stereotypes before using them.
  • I understand and accept that family is defined differently by different cultures (e.g. extended family, fictive kin, godparents).
  • I understand that age and life cycle factors must be considered in interaction with individuals and families.

Using the Women’s Health: A Special Addition to Staying Healthy curriculum, we then explored cultural differences in various health topics. Pregnancy and childbirth, for instance, are events of major significance that are heavily influenced by culture and tradition. For example, in the United States, birth is a highly medicalized process and many women value the use of technologies such as ultrasound and genetic testing, although this may not be the case for other cultures. In some cultures, women will even avoid even talking about the baby to avoid eliciting envy or bad luck.

Cultural differences extend into postpartum care, and in some traditions women are expected to stay secluded or confined to the home for a month after birth, avoid cold foods and washing their hair.  Cultural factors impact other dimensions of women’s lives, such as the intensity of menopausal symptoms, which has been shown to vary cross-culturally and between ethnic groups.

Cultural self-assessment should be an on-going process, going beyond the discussion of sensitive issues like pregnancy or menopause. We, as instructors, must be interested, open-minded, and respectful of all cultures and ask intellectually curious questions. We must not assume that members of a cultural group share the same beliefs, and we must be cognizant of our own cultural traditions in order to avoid passing judgment or suggesting that practices are harmful.

Did you miss the virtual training, and want to know more? Catch it in its entirety here.

Interested in ordering the Women’s Health curriculum? Check out the Florida Literacy website.

Health Literacy Partnerships Training Opportunity

On Tuesday, Nov. 9, the Florida Literacy Coalition‘s health literacy coordinator, Naomi Soto, will be at the Leon County Health Dept. in Tallahassee, facilitating a training for health literacy educators and health professionals about the power of partnerships in health literacy education.

Staying Healthy

The workshop will emphasize the importance of localized partnerships between libraries, community-based organizations and healthcare professionals.  The training will include an overview of the freely available Staying Healthy curriculum and its additions Women’s Health and Coping with Stress. The workshop will also highlight hands-on classroom activities and leave time for discussion and idea sharing. All participants will also receive a free copy of the Staying Healthy curriculum.

Two trainings will be offered (both trainings will cover the same information):

  1. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 9
  2. 3-6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 9

**Three CEUs will be offered for all nurses who attend! 

The Florida Department of Health Women’s Health Program will be giving away health materials for community-based organizations to use in their health literacy outreach efforts.  The materials offered will cover the following topics: Heart Disease, Breast Cancer, Teen Health and Development, Parenting Skills, HIV/AIDS, Mental Health and more.  All items will be given away on a first-come, first-serve basis.

There is no cost to attend this training opportunity, but registration is required.  So tell all of your friends about it!

Training Venue: Leon County Health Dept., 872 W. Orange Ave., Tallahassee, FL  32304.

Have questions?  Call Naomi Soto at FLC – (407) 246-7110 ext. 209, or send her an email: More information about FLC’s health literacy initiative is also available here.

This is a collaborative learning event brought to you by the Florida Literacy Coalition and the Florida Department of Health Women’s Health Program with space allowance from Leon County Health Department – Office if Minority Health.  This workshop was made possible through the generous support of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida.

Tutor/Teacher Virtual Training, Oct. 21, Focuses on Teaching Women’s Health

Teachers and tutors working with adult learners may often encounter diverse cultural practices and concepts. That’s why FLC has decided to offer this training.  It will introduce anthropological approaches to health and culture and explore ways teachers and tutors can be aware of and work with differences within the context of a women’s health curriculum.

The Florida Literacy Coalition recently developed Women’s Health, a Special Addition to Staying Healthy. Curriculum topics include female reproductive changes, pregnancy, breastfeeding, breast and reproductive cancers, and domestic abuse. And, all participants will receive a free student guide upon completion of the training evaluation.

Fee: Free. Please share this opportunity with your fellow tutors and teachers.

You can participate from the comfort of your own home or office. All you need is a computer with speakers and Internet access.

How it works: We will send you a web address (URL) when you register.  Approximately 5-10 minutes before the workshop is scheduled to begin, you simply go to that URL, enter your full name, and click “Login” for the session.

Heide Castaneda, PhD, MPH

Presenter:  Heide Castañeda, PhD, MPH is a medical anthropologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Florida. Her primary research interests include immigrant and refugee health, social inequality and medicine, and health policy.

To register for this free training opportunity, click here.

Contact Naomi Soto, Health Literacy Coordinator, with any questions.  She can be reached via email:, or via phone: (407) 246-7110 ext. 209.