RI conference logo

Rhode Island Adult Educators' Conference, May 12, 2005

Dear Colleagues:

The third Rhode Island State Adult Education Conference will be held on Thursday, May 12, 2005 at the Radisson Airport Hotel in Warwick.

As before, we have brought together a range of voices and skills to this conference, validating our strong suspicion that area adult educators have much to share with and learn from one another. We look forward to your being part of this dynamic process. .

A workshop is a hands-on session, combining demonstration and allowing participants an opportunity to try out an approach or strategy to classroom learning or the like. A roundtable or panel can bring together speakers who combine perspectives on a particular topic in order to give participants a fuller sense of the topic being discussed, in all its complexity. A paper generally delivers information (summary of research, a report on a particular approach, trend or program), allows time for participant questions and usually provides supporting resources/handouts Morning sessions will run for one and a half hours, and afternoon sessions are one hour long (with two one-hour sessions extending through the afternoon).

To register for the conference, please contact LV-RI (861-0815), or email janet_isserlis@brown.edu if you need registration paperwork to facilitate reimbursement. The registration fee is $25 per person, and scholarships are available.

invitation to exhibitors

The Rhode Island Adult Education community is pleased to announce its upcoming statewide conference, to be held on Thursday, May 12, 2005. We are writing this to invite your participation, at which we hope our colleagues will have opportunities to network with one another, examine new materials and otherwise connect and broaden their networks.

In order to defray our costs, we are asking for a $50.00 per table fee for exhibit space _ which includes table space, but not internet connection. (If this can be arranged through the hotel hosting the site, we are glad to consider it, but will likely need to request an additional fee).

We would be grateful if you could let us know by March 15th if you plan to participate. Exhibit space will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. We look forward to hearing from you.

Additional teacher/tutor resources are also posted at Teacher, Tutor and Volunteer Worker Resources; additional information about other conferences online at Current Bulletin

conference program

Morning sessions: 9 - 10:30

workshop: 99 ways to work with a story: post-reading interactive games, activities, grammar exercises, and conversation opportunities.

Victoria Richter, Ph.D

In this workshop you will learn how to expand story-based teaching beyond traditional post-reading exercises and get "more bang for your book". The series "True Stories" by Longman Publishers will be used as a base for the workshop.

Victoria Richter, Ph.D., is a life long language instructor and learner. She believes in learning "on the right side of the brain" by bringing games, music, movement, and performance into her lessons. She is currently an ESOL instructor and coordinator for the Pawtucket School Department Adult Ed, a visiting scholar at Brown University, a volunteer consultant and event organizer at the Rochambeau library, as well as an independent artist and performer.

workshop: Using The Change Agent, Issue 19 to Promote Women's Literacy

Mev Miller, Ed.D.

Participants will explore practical ways of using The Change Agent, Issue 19, on women & literacy. This issue includes writings by students and teachers on a variety of women's issues. Through hands on activities, participants will have an opportunity to explore creative ways of using this publication in connection with supportive Internet-based resources.

Mev Miller, Ed.D. is the founder and coordinator of WE LEARN (Women Expanding / Literacy Education Action Resource Network). She is the co-editor of The Change Agent, Issue 19, Women & Literacy.

workshop: Strategies for involving adult learners

Bob Schoenberg

This workshop will present several strategies for involving adult learners in particular content ares and will also focus on promoting participation. A variety of strategies will be presented for participants to actually experience the strategies. Time will be allocated for discussion and questions and answers. Finally, participants will have the opportunity to collaborate with other participants to develop their own strategies and "test" them during the workshop. Specific Stategies include:
1. Name Tag Strategy
2. Either/Ors
3. Rank Order
4. Story Dialogue
5. Public Interview
6. Collaboration/problem solving

Bob Schoenberg teaches a variety of Adult Education Classes. He has been teaching adults for over 15 years and has created variety of courses and classes, including music and computer classes. Mr. Schoenberg is an online instructor for UMASSat Boston, teaching Critical Thinking where he created and developed the online graduate course in Critical Thinking. He is the creator of "Read Music in 3 Hours" and "Computers for Seniors." His online course, Critical Thinking is offered through Umass at Boston.

Workforce Shortages in the New England Area [workplace education strand]

Ms. Darlene Lepore - Regional Vice President, Adecco Employment Services

Presentation of the impact of using the latest statistics and information found in a report entitled "Impending Crisis - What's Coming...What to Do" by Strategic Futurist Roger E. Herman who is internationally recognized as a prominent leader in the fields of forecasting and workforce stability.

Morning sessions:10:45 - 12:15

workshop: Integrating Health Instruction into ESOL Curriculum

Michele Rajotte, Nancy Fritz and Baha Sadr

Instructors at The Genesis Center integrate health instruction into all of the day ESOL classes on a regular basis. This instruction is accomplished by using health topics as the content base for various ESOL activities. In this workshop, instructors from The Genesis Center will present activities that have been successful in their classes with adult learners from beginner to intermediate levels. These will include pair and group work, jigsaw activities, reading and discussion work. An outline of the proposed workshop is below:

1. Explanation of the need for increased health literacy in this country

2. A description of the health program at The Genesis Center-- The health program includes health instruction in all of the day classes, workshops by speakers from the community who come to Genesis to give presentations, and a Health Coordinator who can make referrals for students with health problems. We will provide a list of speakers from the community who are willing to come to speak to adult education classes.

3. Presentation of 5 or 6 ESOL activities with a health focus - These will be activities that have been used successfully with learners. Handouts will be provided. Participants will be able to use the activities in their own classes.

Michele Rajotte has been teaching ESOL at The Genesis Center for 9 years. She currently teaches an Intermediate level class. Michele also taught in Turkey from 1998-1999 under the Fulbright Program and has taught summer programs for EFL students. Michele has an M.A. degree from Rhode Island College.

Nancy Fritz is the Adult Education Director at the Genesis Center. She previously taught ESOL at several levels at Genesis and other RI adult education programs. Nancy has an M.A. in ESL/Cross Cultural Studies from Brown University. Baha Sadr has been an ESL & Citizenship instructor since 1989, Coordinator of the Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program and the Minority Health Promotion Center at the International Institute of Rhode Island, Since 2000.

panel: Promising Practices in Family Literacy from Maine and Massachusetts

Barbara Krol-Sinclair and Julia Walkling, and Silja Kallenbach, Moderator

This interactive panel will highlight promising practices in supporting parents' English literacy and love of reading from two programs in Maine and Massachusetts. Each practice is innovative and presents an interesting model that can be adapted for other settings. New Books, New Readers, a program of the Maine Humanities Council is a book discussion group for adults who are new readers or who are not in the habit of reading. Participation helps new readers who are parents to connect in new ways with their children by developing critical thinking skills through discussion of themes in children's literature and by improving their own reading skills and comprehension. The Intergenerational Literacy Project from Chelsea, MA uses research-based strategies to support parents in reading with their children, in engaging their children in read-aloud activities, and in using storybook reading techniques that support children's understanding of the book and of text structure, and build a repertoire of stories. Both programs are featured in a compilation of promising practices from adult and family literacy programs supported by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Participants will receive write-ups of the practices.

Barbara Krol-Sinclair is Director of the Intergenerational Literacy Project, a collaboration of Boston University and the Chelsea, MA Public Schools. Her publications include What Should We Expect of Family Literacy? And Family Literacy: From Theory to Practice.

Julia Walkling is Director of New Books, New Readers, a statewide program of the Maine Humanities Council. She holds degrees in Linguistics from Radcliffe College. She has developed and implemented public humanities programs in Maine and New England since 1983.

workshop: The External Diploma Program (edpRI) - A Competency-Based Alternative to the GED for Adults

Donna Chambers

In presenting this interactive workshop, participants will learn that the External Diploma Program (edpRI) is a viable alternative to the GED. It is especially appropriate for people who need a high school credential, but whom English is not their first language, adults with learning disabilities, or people who just need to demonstrate high school level skills at their own pace in a non-testing environment. A brief history of EDP will be presented and a video will be shown that gives an overview of the program's process. Workshop participants will become familiar with the EDP materials and learn how EDP is especially appropriate for workplace education since the competencies closely correlate with SCANS and credentials the skills that employers want. Participants will also become familiar with ways that the EDP compliments the four purposes of Equipped for the Future and meets the needs of the Workforce Investment Act.

Participants will:
Become familiar with the EDP process and materials.
Learn how EDP can meet the needs of adult learners who are seeking a high school credential.
Learn how the EDP competencies complement WIA, EFF and SCANS
Learn the necessary steps to bring EDP to your location.

Donna Chambers has twenty years experience in the External Diploma Program working or Fairfax County, Virginia and American Council on Education as Lead National Trainer as well as technical advisor on the USDOE/ACE EDP Grant. Donna has recently returned to live in Rhode Island and is working with Project RIRAL in rejuvenating the External Diploma Program for RI adult education programs.

panel: Training Workers for the Hot Industries in RI [workplace education strand]

Ms. Jenifer Giroux, Program Director of Rhode Island College Outreach Program

Brief overview of Rhode Island College's Outreach Programs, the training programs and services we offer and why we offer them (market demands, demonstrated performance,employer requests, etc.) , including discussion of: addressing and overcoming barriers , internships and job placement services, a look at employment from the perspective of the student, Job Developers, and Employers, and panel discussion with our Training Coordinator, Job Developer, and an employer who has hired our graduates.

lunch 12:15-1:15

Afternoon sessions: 1:15 - 2:15

informational session: "Demystifying CCRI"

Leslie Gell and John Whitman

As an open enrollment college, CCRI does not impose admission criteria for general admission to the college. But what happens to a student who isn't academically prepared to be successful? This session will present information on CCRI's new student success initiatives including academic placement testing for all matriculating students , developmental courses in reading, writing and math, and student success centers on each of our campuses. The presenter will share sample syllabi and have copies of the text books that are currently being used in the developmental courses to give adult educators a better understanding of what their students can expect when they get to CCRI.

Leslie Gell is the Director of Adult Education/Literacy Services at CCRI, and teaches as an adjunct faculty member in the English Department. John Whitman is Assistant Dean for Student Success, CCRI

Using Language as a Tool to Develop Leaders, Build Community, and Effect Change

Olivia Geiger, Juan Carlos Beteta, and Dina Lopez, English for Action

English for Action creates participatory education programs for Latino families in Olneyville, Providence. In our ESOL programs, we make special efforts to provide learners with opportunities to develop as active participants and leaders inside the classroom, in their communities, and in the political system.

This workshop will introduce you to the methods that we use at English for Action in order to integrate English language learning with leadership development, civic participation and community building. We will introduce you to our program design as well as specific ESOL activities we use. You will leave the workshop with activities you can try in your own classroom, as well as a good understanding of the challenges and rewards of a participatory approach to ESOL.

English for Action was established in 2001 with the mission of linking language learning with leadership development, community building and social change. English for Action is located in the neighborhood of Olneyville and offers adult ESOL classes, family literacy, women's leadership, and children's arts education courses to Latino immigrant families. Olivia Geiger and Juan Carlos Beteta have been with the organization since 2002. Olivia was first a teacher is now the ESOL Program Coordinator. Juan Carlos has been a learner in EFA classes and is now on staff working on the ESOL programming as well. Dina Lopez was the founder of English for Action's VozMujer program, and is currently a curriculum consultant for English for Action. Ms. Lopez is pursuing a MasterŐs in Adult Education at Fordham University in New York.

workshop: Stirring the Pot

The Governor's Task Force on Adult Literacy

Carol Altreuter, Cindy Shawn, Donna Chambers and members of the Task Force

For the past year and a half, the Governor's Task Force on Adult Literacy has been working to redefine and develop an integrated, quality system of adult basic education in Rhode Island. The Task Force's Professional Development Work Group has a goal of designing and implementing a statewide PD System that will serve every adult educator in RI, support a culture of professionalism, and result in a more qualified workforce.

What support do you need to participate in ongoing professional development? Participate in hands-on activities and discussions with members of the Professional Development Work Group. Identify necessary elements to be included in a statewide PD System. Why is this important? To make training opportunities accessible to and useful for adult educators in Rhode Island. Learn more about the progress made on developing a system for adult education in the past year, contribute to the discussion on topics including new teacher orientation, professional development and standards developmernt. Let your voice be heard. Help us stir the pot!

Carol Altreuter entered the field of adult education 21 years ago in Philadelphia, PA. Currently, she is the Reading Specialist at the Washington County Adult Learning Center, Inc., and enjoys the challenges and rewards of working with adults in a variety of contexts - ABE, GED, EDP, and Distance Learning. Cindy Shawn has been teaching ESOL at the Genesis Center for the last five years. She is also currently a Student Support Counselor at Washington County Adult Learning Center. Cindy has A Master Degree from The University of Rhode Island. Donna Chambers is working with Project RIRAL in rejuvenating the External Diploma Program for RI adult education programs.

please note: This session will be offered at 1:15 and again at 2:30

Employer Relations - Forging a Successful Partnership [workplace education strand]

Lynn Watterson, SPHR, President, Human Resource Management Association of Rhode Island and Employer Liaison, Workplace Literacy, CCRI

In this session, participants will learn effective approaches to developing and maintaining relationships with their business partners. Recent research of the differing attitudes of business executives and community based leaders will be explored. We will discuss practical tips and techniques for both program managers and instructors.

As Employer Liaison for Workplace Literacy programs at CCRI, Lynn works with employers to coordinate worksite based basic skills and ESL classes. She has 25 years experience in human resource management including positions with Cranston Print Works Company and Cingular Wireless. Lynn holds an MBA from Bryant University and is certified by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Afternoon sessions: 2:30 - 3:30

workshop: Stirring the Pot: The Governor's Task Force on Adult Literacy - session repeated, see 1:15, above

Preparing Students for the Math GED

Betsy Beach

This workshop explores how to engage students in learning mathematics. It includes how to teach and what to teach in order to enhance student success on the math GED test. This is a hands on workshop that includes a sharing session for each participant's success stories.

Betsy Beach holds a BA Urban Education Brown University and works at West Bay Community Action Program

Saying it right, saying it at all

Janet Isserlis

ESOL and ABE learners (and practitioners) sometimes hesitate to partiicipate in discussions or to attempt writing assignments because of a fear of making a mistake, or "saying it wrong." This workshop will focus on ways of eliciting oral and written responses to a variety of prompts and ways of integrating this work into ongoing curriculua.

Janet Isserlis is project director of Literacy Resources/RI. She has worked with adult learners and practitioners in Rhode Island and western Canada since 1980.

Trends and Needs in the Health Care Industry [workplace education strand]

Dr. Michael Paruta - Director of Workforce Development at Women and Infants Hospital

Presentation of the latest data collected for our state regarding workforce training and hiring needs for now, and the near future. How the RI Healthcare Industry is working towards shaping the training needs to face the crisis of this industry's labor shortage

For additional information, please contact LR/RI.

updated May 11, 2005

2004 conference

2003 conference

LR/RI home