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,, 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!

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

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!

Learning Disabilities

Unlike physical ailments, learning disabilities often go undetected because they are hard to see and many people do not understand the signs. They also differ from person to person, so two people can have the same disability, but different challenges. Learning disabilities can affect a someone’s listening, speaking, reading, writing and/or mathematics skills. As many as 1 out of 5 people in the United States has a learning disability. It is estimated that 27% of children with learning disabilities drop out of high school, creating a need to address learning disabilities in adult learners. This fall, Florida Literacy Coalition is hosting a series of professional development workshops focused on Learning Disabilities. Here are a few words from one of our facilitators, Roberta Reiss.

Roberta Reiss

“Over the years I have worked with hundreds of capable and well-trained literacy tutors.  One refrain I heard quite often was, “I can’t help you with an adult learner with learning disabilities.  I just don’t have the expertise.”  It turns out that working with a learner with a reading or writing disability involves easy comprehension strategies that are just “good teaching”.  The FLC’s upcoming events on Learning to Achieve, a program based on the latest research, are designed to help volunteer tutors understand Learning Disabilities, learn about the legal protection offered those who have these disabilities, and examine teaching strategies that have proven success.  Of course, no one is expected to diagnose a disability or offer legal advice, but the program lays a great foundation for understanding the rights of adult learners with LD and seeing why the strategies work.  I hope you can attend one of the several sessions held around the state, and would love to see you at one of mine!

In the meantime, here are a couple of interesting websites to take a look at:

Hopefully you will be able to join us this fall at one of the statewide workshops. Click here for a full listing of locations and program descriptions.

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.

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!

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.

FLC Issues Call For Presenters

It’s that time again!!

The Florida Literacy Coalition is now accepting conference session proposals for the 27th Annual Florida Literacy Conference: Open Books Open Minds, which will be held May 4-6, 2011, at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary (in Lake Mary, Fla.).

This is the perfect opportunity to share your wisdom, techniques, research and promising practices in adult and family literacy with other professionals from across the state and beyond (we have teachers come from as far as Canada – cool, eh!?).

The deadline to submit your proposed session is Thursday, Dec. 16.  Proposed sessions will be selected based on the information you provide.  Since we try to offer new sessions each year, please note that if you have previously presented your proposed session, it should still be relevant, timely and updated with fresh material.

Submitting a proposal is easy!  Simply click here and fill out the online form.  Once you have submitted your proposal, you will be given the option to receive an email copy for your records.  *Remember: the information you provide (as it appears on the form) will be used in the final conference program.

FLC will confirm receipt of your proposal submission within 3 business days, and will provide final notification on the status of your proposed workshop by Friday, January 28, 2011.

Any questions regarding conference proposals can be sent to

We thank you for your support, and your enthusiasm for professional development and continued education.  We are looking forward to another stellar conference and the advancement of adult education, literacy and family literacy throughout Florida.