Thursday, February 03, 2011

Workshop Trainers: VLLC 2011 Conference, February 24 & 25

Mark Emblidge and Jeannie Baliles from the VLF, Steve Clementi, Verizon (and award recipient) and Carol Holmquist, President of the VLLC, at the 2010 awards breakfast.

Workshop Titles and the Bios of the workshop presenters:

Using Technology to Support Struggling Learners
Dr. Heidi Silver-Pacuilla: A senior research analyst at AIR, Dr. Silver-Pacuilla brings over twenty years of experience in literacy work with learners of all ages. She has personal experience at every level of adult education programming and has published scholarly work in adult pedagogy, disability services, integration of technology into basic skills learning, and service delivery systems. Since joining AIR in 2004, she has been extensively involved in several of AIR’s adult education projects, specifically managing knowledge development and production of web-based tools in the Teaching Excellence in Adult Education (TEAL) Center and the reports to the National Institute for Literacy, Investigating the Language and Literacy Skills Required for Independent Online Learning (2008) and Literacy, Employment and Youth with Learning Disabilities: Aligning Workforce Development Policies and Programs (co-author, 2010). She provides training and technical assistance on a variety of projects addressing the needs of struggling students through innovative uses of technology and develops practitioner friendly materials for a variety of print and web-based outlets. She serves as the 2010-2011 President of the National Coalition for Literacy.

Interview Portion of the Citizenship Exam
Gloria Williams-Brevard is a Community Relations Officer within the Office of Communications, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Ms. Williams-Brevard’s works out of the Washington District Office, District #7, that has jurisdiction over the state of Virginia and Washington, DC. Her major areas of responsibility are those areas not covered by the Norfolk field office. As a Community Relations Officer, Ms. Williams-Brevard builds collaborative relationships with various stakeholders and conducts outreach presentations to familiarize the community with USCIS initiatives and products and services. Her 20-year USCIS tenure has included supervisory and management experience in the Records, Information and Administrative areas. Ms. Williams-Brevard holds an A.A in Legal Support Sciences and a B.A. in Business Administration from Southeastern University.

Strategic Planning to Improve Program Performance
Annette Loschert: Annette Loschert ‘s professional experience includes corporate marketing and events planning, positions in academic administration as business and alumni publications editor, director of career services, and assistant dean of admissions at the graduate business level, and 12 years of experience in adult literacy as tutor, board member, and Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers of Roanoke Valley from 2003-2010. She currently serves as a non-profit consultant, facilitator and trainer. Annette holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and an MBA in management from Pace University. She serves as a mentor to new program managers for the VA Department of Education, Office of Adult Education and Literacy, and provides strategic planning workshops to community-based literacy organizations through the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Literacy Foundation, the Virginia Board of Education Advisory Committee on Adult Education and Literacy, and a past Vice President of the VLLC.

Keeping Track of Tutor Hours
Ken Campanelli During his first year in retirement, Mr. Campanellivolunteered his services to several organizations, eventually tutoring ESL Learners at Rita Welsh Literacy Center which today is known as Literacy for Life. In 2007, he taught computer classes for Literacy for Life, and in 2008 joined the staff on a part time basis to manage the organizations 30 plus computers, along with creating various data reports on an as needed basis. A spin off of this activity includes a program he designed called “Easy Hours” (EZHours). With Easy Hours, tutors can easily and quickly register each meeting for themselves and their learners each time they meet. Many other features are available with the program, such as messaging. Best of all this access database is easy to manage and run reports. Monthly summary information is consolidated for input into State and government database reporting. Ken’s educational background includes: Associate Degree in Liberal Arts: Cuyahoga Community College, Parma Ohio Bachelor Degree in Business Administration: University of Akron, Akron Ohio Masters Degree: Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, Ohio.

How the GED Essay is Scored: Strategies for GED Instruction
Hillary Major is the Publications and Communications Specialist at VALRC. She edits a variety of Resource Center print and online publications, including the Progress newsletter. She also helped develop and deliver trainings and resources related to writing instruction, outreach, and technology use. In addition, she served as technical facilitator for many of VALRC’s online courses, helping to make sure the online learning experience runs as smoothly as possible.Hillary has taught a number of workshops in Strategies for GED Instruction for VALRC. Hillary was born and raised in Virginia but spent three years in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she taught English composition and creative writing while working on a Master of Fine Arts in poetry. She also holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in creative writing from Hollins University in Roanoke, VA.

In my free time, I can usually be found with a book in hand. I also enjoy writing, playing and listening to music, and watching movies.

The Five R's of Volunteer Management
Pam Adams has worked for Literacy Volunteers of Roanoke Valley for 3 ½ years. She began her full-time employment there as program coordinator for both the BL and ESOL programs. LVRV then hired Betsy Hale (her co-trainer in this conference) to take over the reins of the BL program. Pam now works full-time as the ESOL Program Coordinator. Pam graduated from Bluefield College with a BS in Organizational Management and Development. She currently attends Hollins University where she is scheduled to graduate in May, 2012 with her MALS – Master of Arts in Liberal Studies with an Interdisciplinary Studies concentration. Pam designed her personalized program of study to include courses in culture, curriculum writing, diversity, non-profit management, leadership, and multicultural communication. She is writing her thesis to support her research based ESOL tutor training she designed. Her professional background includes business ownership, at-risk youth case management, and magnet school program coordination.

ESOL Writing
Tanya Conover is an English Instructor and EL/Civics Coordinator at Prince William County Public Schools Adult Education ESOL Program. She graduated from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, with a BS in Middle School Education, and earned her Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Virginia. For 8 years she taught Middle School in Bath and Fairfax County Schools, Virginia, as well as EFL in Bogotá, Colombia. Tanya also home schooled her own 2 children for nine years. For 6 years Tanya has worked as an instructor for the Prince William County Public Schools Adult Education ESOL Program. Her duties have included Adult ESOL Instructor at all language levels at many sites, including the PWC Detention Center. Currently, her roles include ESOL Multi-level Instructor and PWCS Adult Education Program Liaison at the Prince William Workforce Center. Since 2008, Tanya has also served as PWCS Adult Education ESOL Program English Literacy/Civics Grant Coordinator. Initiatives have included creation of Our Voices, Our Lives, Our Community multi-level process writing curriculum with teacher training for professional development and implementation of the curriculum. Additionally, Tanya serves as editor of the PWCS Adult ESOL student publication entitled Our Voices. Using authentic texts from Our Voices, Tanya created a PWCS Adult ESOL reading curriculum entitled Our Voices Are Not Silent. Many of these resources are now available online.

Using Program Data To Tell Your Story
Virginia (Ginger) Hilleary has served as the Executive Director at Literacy Volunteers of Fauquier County since 2005. Ms. Hilleary earned her B.S. in International Relations from Georgetown University and certification in Early Childhood Development from George Mason University. Prior to her position at LVFC, Ms. Hilleary served as the Executive Director of the Fauquier Chapter of the American Red Cross (including service at the Pentagon during 9-11), Director of St. John Catholic Church Religious Education and Director of Warrenton United Methodist Preschool. Ms. Hilleary is president of the Board of Directors of the Workplace (One-stop Career Resource Center) and Head Start (received Volunteer Award 2005). She has presented workshops at the Proliteracy Worldwide Conference (2006); Adult English Literacy Providers of Northern Virginia 2005, 2006; TALTT Conference (2008); LVFC Conference (local conference) 2004, 2005, 2006, and has served on the VLLC Board of Directors and as Conference Chair for The VLLC Conference for the past two years.

LD Strategies for Tutors and Teachers of Struggling Learners
Lauren Ellington is the Learning Disabilities Specialist, Online Training Specialist, and ERO System Administrator at the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center. She has been at the Resource Center for the past six years. During that time, she has focused her work on providing training to Virginia adult literacy educators on how to successfully and effectively work with adult who struggle with learning due to learning disabilities, both diagnosed and undiagnosed. Before coming to the Resource Center, Ms. Ellington was a teacher in Virginia's K-12 system for eight years.

Hogar Immigrant Services' Information for Personal Empowerment (IPE) Speaker Series
Brooke Hammond Pérez is a Manager of Education Services at Hogar Immigrant Services in Falls Church, VA. She coordinates ESOL classes and workshops for the immigrant community in Northern Virginia. Brooke has a MA in International Development, with a concentration in NGOs and Civil Society, from the University of Pittsburgh. She focused much of her graduate education on development efforts to immigrant and other socially marginalized groups. She has extensive teaching experience working for the Education Department of Madrid, as well as teaching ESOL to elementary and high school students at both public and private schools in Spain. Brooke also has volunteered to teach ESOL at various non-profit organizations in the United States and Spain.

From Compass to College
Ruby Tassi has tutored the NOVA COMPASS class from fall 2008 through fall, 2010 and has just started the spring class. Ms.Tassi retired in 2005 as a school Librarian from Prince William County schools, and worked for 14 years at Hylton High School, Woodbridge, VA (1991-2005) and13 years at Woodbridge Middle School, Woodbridge, VA (1978-1991). In 1991 she the degree of Master of Arts in Education, Major: Curriculum and Instruction, from VA. Tech., Blacksburg, VA; a Bachelor of Arts in Education in 1967, (Major: School Librarianship, and finished her last elective class to while her husband was in Vietnam), and also attended San Jose State University, San Jose, CA and Stockton College, Stockton, CA (Community College). She was married in 1960 and started traveling.

Thinking Outside the Box: Reading and Writing Strategies for Challenging Learners
Margaret Stout has been a tutor for Literacy Volunteers of America - Prince William for four years. She has her Master's in Special Education and has been teaching for 7 years. Currently, she is an Autism Resource Specialist working with students in grades K through 12 for Prince William County Schools. When she is not working or tutoring she is enjoying time with her husband, son, and Great Dane. Her LD workshop at last year’s VLLC conference was so popular that she was invited to return for the second year.

Using Facts and Stats to Make a Case for Your Program
Victoire Gerkens Sanborn has been the literacy specialist at the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center since April of 2000. She has facilitated workshops in grant writing, strategic planning, train the trainer, board development, marketing and outreach, tutor training, technology training, and reading comprehension strategies. She has also worked as the Community Relations Director at The READ Center, volunteered as a tutor and trainer, and exhibited and sold her watercolors when she lived in Charlottesville. She attended the College of Notre Dame of MD, the Maryland Institute of Art, and Boston University, and received a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management and a certificate from the Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program at Virginia Commonwealth University. When she is not immersed in the field of adult education and literacy, Ms. Sanborn blogs about Jane Austen.

Other Workshops:
  • Branding Your Program (Facilitator, Victoire Sanborn)
  • Networking Tables:
Advocacy - Patti Donnelly, Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
ESOL Speaking Ideas – Elise Bruml, Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
Administrative and Staff Development – Annette Loschert, Trainer, VALRC
Director Round Table – Kim Sells, Literacy Volunteers of Prince William County
Basic Methods for Low Literacy Tutoring – Leslie Harper, The READ Center
Gathering Data and Reporting it – Carolyn Zong, VALIT Database Manager, VLF

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Registration for the 2011 VLLC Conference and Conference Information

This conference, sponsored by the Virginia Literacy Foundation (VLF), is the only statewide conference in Virginia expressly designed for teachers, program managers and administrators of nonprivate community-based literacy organizations. Workshops will deal with issues of concern for nonprofit programs in the areas of management and teaching the low level basic literacy and ESOL student. Organized by the Virginia Literacy Leadership Council (VLLC), a project of the VLF, this conference will promote best practices, networking, and capacity-building in all areas of concern to CBLOs.
Dr. John Comings, Key Note speaker in 2010

Where: Sheraton Park South, Richmond (Please click on link.) Registration information sits at the bottom of this post.

When: February 24 & 25, 2011

Who: All administrators, program managers, and teachers of community-based literacy (CBLO) programs.Volunteer tutors are welcome to attend. Adult Basic Education programs not funded by the VLF

Rate Schedule:

  • $60 registration fee per person before Jan 21, 2011 (CBLOs)
  • $70 between Jan 22 and February 23 (CBLOs)
  • $80 day of registration for CBLOs and for ABE programs not funded by the VLF or non-Virginia programs, regardless of date of registration.
  • $35 for one day for CBLOs – preregistration before February 23. Lunch is $8.00 extra
  • $40 for one day on the day of the conference. Lunch is $8.00 extra. This rate applies to CBLOs and ABE programs not funded by the VLF or non-Virginia programs, regardless of date of registration.
Registration: Scroll down this post

Dr. Heidi Silver Pacuilla is this year's Key Note Speaker

  • Heidi Silver Pacuila, Ph.D., senior research analyst, is the deputy director of NCTI funded by the Office of Special Education Programs and co-author of Breakthrough Learning through Inclusive Technology is this year's key note speaker. Her topic will be: Using Technology to Support Struggling Learners: "Learn how you can use technology to accelerate your students’ learning. When and for whom is it appropriate? How do you get up to speed? This presentation will review the research and experience behind the use of technology with adults with low literacy." Click here for her Biography
  • Lauren Ellington, LD and Distance Learning Specialist, VALRC – “LD Strategies for Tutors of Struggling Students”
  • This is a change: Hillary Major, Publications and Communications Specialist, Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center - “How the GED Essay is Scored: Strategies for GED Instruction”
  • Gloria Williams-Brevard, US Immigration Service USCIS, The Interview portion of the Citizenship Exam
  • Pam Adams, Program Coordinator, LV of Roanoke- “Volunteer Management for Busy Staff”
  • Margaret Stout, Masters in Education, Office of Special Ed Autism Specialist - “Thinking Outside the Box: Strategies for Reading and Writing for Challenging Learners
  • Brooke Hammond Pérez, Hogar Immigrant Service's Information for Personal Empowerment (IPE) speaker series
  • Ken Campanelli, Literacy For Life, CALL ManagerKeeping Track of Tutor Hours
  • Ginger Hilleary, LV of Fauquier, E.D. –Using Program Data to Tell Your Story
  • Tanya Conover, PWC Adult Education, Coordinator ESOL English Language/Civics – “ESOL Writing”
  • Annette Loschert, E.D., LV of RoanokeStrategic Planning to Improve Program Performance
  • Victoire Sanborn, Literacy Specialist, VALRC“Finding the Facts and Statistics You Need” & "Branding Your Program to Send a Consistent Outreach Message"
  • Ruby Tassi, Retired PWC Librarian/Adult Tutor – “COMPASS to College”
Jeannie Baliles, Virginia's former First Lady and Chairman of the Board, VLF

  • Basic Methods for Low Literacy Tutoring
  • ESOL Speaking Ideas
  • Gathering Data and Reporting It
  • Administration and Staff Development
  • Advocacy
  • Director's Round Table
Ginger Hilleary and Mary Cragun, Conference Organizers

9:00 Registration (open all day)
10:30 – 12:00 ALL: Opening Session 1 – LD Strategies for Tutors of Struggling Students -Lauren Ellington:
12:15 – 1:45 Buffett Lunch with Welcoming Remarks/VLLC Meeting
2:00 – 3:30 ABE: Strategies for GED Instruction
ESOL: The Interview Portion of the Citizenship Exam - Gloria Brevard-Williams
ADM: The 5 R's of Volunteer Management – Pam Adams
Conf Room: Branding Your Program to Send a Consistent Outreach Message–Victoire Sanborn
3:30 – 4:00 Check-in/Refreshments – Moorefield Suite
4:00 – 5:30 ABE: COMPASS to College – Ruby Tassi
ESOL: Hogar Immigrant Service's Information for Personal Empowerment (IPE) speaker series - Brooke Hammond Perez
ADM: Keeping Track of Tutor Hours – Ken Campanelli
5:30 – 7:00 Moorefield Suite – Wine and Cheese

8:00 – 9:30 Breakfast and Awards
9:30 – 10:30 Keynote Speaker: Heidi Silver-Pacuila. Among the topics our keynote speaker will discuss is applying best practice research from the special education literature to digital environments for students of all ages with disabilities.
10:30 – 11:00 Break and Check-out
11:00 – 12:30 Round Table Discussions - TBA after voting is over

ESOL Speaking Ideas
Basic Methods for Low Literacy Tutoring
Director Round Table
Informal Assessments for ABE and ESOL Learners
Administration and Staff Development
12:3 0 – 1:30 Lunch
1:30 – 3:00 ABE: Thinking Outside the Box: Reading and Writing Strategies for Challenged Learners – Margaret Stout
ESOL: ESOL Writing – Tanya Conover
ADM: Strategic Planning to Improve Program Performance – Annette Loschert
Conference Room: Using Facts and Statistics to Make a Case for Your Program –Victoire Sanborn
3:30 End of Conference

Our Hosts and Sponsors: the VLF Board and Staff:

Mark Emblidge, Ph.D., Executive Director, Virginia Literacy Foundation
Mark E. Emblidge, PhD., has been closely involved with a variety of state and national educational issues over the past twenty years. He is the founding director of the Foundation and also serves as Director of The Literacy Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University. In 1994, Emblidge was elected to the first elected school board in Richmond, Virginia, where he served for four terms and was elected three times to serve as chairman. In 1995, President Bill Clinton appointed Dr. Emblidge to the board of the National Institute for Literacy. He became the Institute's chair in 1998 and served in that position until the end of his term in 2002, when Virginia Governor Mark Warner appointed him to the Virginia State Board of Education. This was followed in 2004 with a four-year appointment to the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). In 2006, Governor Timothy Kaine re-appointed Dr. Emblidge to the State Board of Education, after which Emblidge was elected President by the members of the Board.

Jeannie P. Baliles, Virginia's former first lady and founder of the Virginia Literacy Foundation
Jeannie P. Baliles oversaw the founding of the Virginia Literacy Foundation in 1987 and has served as its chair ever since. It was Jeannie's vision to create a public-private partnership that would oversee and prevent overlapping services among all community-based literacy organizations throughout the state. The Foundation also partnered with the State Department of Education in the Virginia Literacy Initiative to encourage the spread of family and workplace literacy programs in the commonwealth.

Rooms are reserved at the Sheraton Park South. Participants must contact the hotel directly for reservations. Please mention the 2011 VLLC Conference when making your reservation to receive the conference rate (the hotel will accept VLLC Conference or VALRC).

Rooms costs for one night (February 24) will be reimbursed by the Virginia Literacy Foundation for those attending the VLLC conference who meet the following criteria:
  • Only CBLO staff or volunteers who attend the VLLC conference are eligible for room-reimbursement
  • Attendees are responsible for booking their rooms through the hotel
  • Full room reimbursement is based on double occupancy (two people per room). Single room occupancy will be reimbursed at half the room rate.
  • Please note this change: All rooms for each CBLO attending must be paid for with one credit card. Re-imbursement will be sent to the card holder for all rooms within 14 days.

For information or questions, please contact Ginger Hilleary or Mary Cragun (540) 349-8142 or or

Check-in time for rooms is at 3:00 PM. Check out time is at noon.
Call (804) 323-1144 for hotel reservations.

Rate Schedule:

  • $60 registration fee per person before Jan 21, 2011
  • $70 between Jan 22 and February 23
  • $80 day of registration and for ABE programs not funded by the VLF or non-Virginia programs, regardless of date of registration.
  • $35 for one day – preregistrationbefore February 23. Lunch is $8.00 extra
  • $40 for one day on the day of the conference and for ABE programs not funded by the VLF or non-Virginia programs, regardless of date of registration. Lunch is $8.00 extra

Reimbursements: Note: All registration fees are non-refundable. You will not be registered until we receive payment.

We accept checks only. Make checks payable to the Virginia Literacy Foundation. Click here for the conference form.

Click on the Above Image to Print out Full Sized Registration Form

Mark Emblidge and Mary Peacock attend the reception after the first day of the 2010 VLLC Conference. Watch the video below of Mark discussing Mary Peacock's role with the VLF.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Winner of the VLLC Award for Outstanding CBLO Support

Mark Emblidge, Executive Director, VLF; Jeannie Baliles, Chairman of the Board, VLF; Steve Clementi, Verizon; and Carol Holmquist, President of the VLLC.

What did you think of last year's conference? Click here to take the survey

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Steve Clementi Receives an Award from Verizon

Steve Clementi from Verizon, Virginia, accepts the 2010 award for Outstanding Supporter of Literacy in Virginia from Carol Holmquist, President of the Virginia Literacy Leadership Council, at the 2010 conference breakfast, February 26 in Richmond, Virginia

Friday, March 27, 2009

Poll and Comments About Next Year's Conference

We have placed two polls in the side bar below the logo for your input for next year's conference: workshop topics and workshop strands. Please check all that apply! If you would like to leave a comment, please click on the small word "comments" below this post. A field will open where you can type your comment. Click your mouse pointer inside that field and type your comments. Then click on the button next to "name" and type in your name or the name of your program. Then click on "publish comment."

Your comment will show up either with your name or the name of your program. You can choose anonymous and place your name in the body of the text. Once you get the hang of it, this will seem easy.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

VLLC 2009 Meeting Minutes - 2/26/2009

Virginia Literacy Leadership Counsel General Annual Meeting
February 26, 2009, 5:30 PM

Present: Amy White, Marcia Swain, Carolyn Cothram, Carolyn Meeks, Lynne Wheeler, Darlene Dockery, Anne Rollins, Marnie Montgomery, Candance Kroehl, Mary Burleson, Keborah Abbott, Carmelle Malerich, Jennifer Seip, Donna Webster, Frances Barber, Katie Beckman, Erin Finn, Kim Sells, Caroline Long, Jean Lee, Janet Booth, Barbara Monteith, Joan Peterson, Patricia Donnelly, Ginger Hilleary, Annette Loschert, Carol Holmquist. VLF staff: Vicky Sanborn.
  • The meeting was called to order by President Patti Donnelly. The Agenda is attached.
  • Brief introductions by all attendees followed.
  • Vicky Sanborn was asked to review the history of VLLC. The following points were made: The Virginia Literacy Leadership Council (VLLC) was instrumental in acquiring CBLO grant funds of $300,000 from the the VA DOE. The grant was to be used to provide leadership and organizational development for Community Based Literacy Organizations (CBLOs.) The VLLC member organizations were also instrumental in developing the VLF's Qual D Database and to support the work of professional development for CBLOs. VLLC meetings have been held at the statewide level and regionally as the need occurs.
Ms. Donnelly requested input from the membership present regarding the agenda question: “What does the Organization Mean for you” The following points were made from the floor.
  • VLLC should encourage the strengthening of best practices, organizational leadership development and advocacy for the needs of low level literacy adults.
  • An Annual Professional Development Conference is desirable.
  • Professional Development should have strands for both professional educators and volunteer tutors.
  • Professional Development should be available based on organizational size so that practices can be fully operational not just theoretical. Possible break-out sessions for new Director/Program Managers.
  • The subject of recruitment and retention are potential topics for future conferences.
  • A committee should be formed to plan for the next annual conference.
  • Communication throughout the year with the VLLC membership is desirable.
  • The VLLC Blog is one method for regular communication.
  • Shared resources such as posters would help all organizations.
  • Call for adult student stories for sharing.
  • Development of PSAs
  • Advocacy for literacy students and the CBLOs that serve them should fall within the scope of VLLC.
  • A committee should be formed to plan for advocacy issues.
  • A common slogan/theme may be desirable in advocacy. For example: Break the Cycle: Teach the parent reach the child.
  • Issues that require advocacy should be communicated to the VLLC membership.

Election of Officers elected by acclaimation

  • President Carol Holmquist
  • Vice President Ginger Hilleary
  • Treasurer Annette Loschert
  • Secretary Kim Sells

Call for any member to sign up for:

  • Conference Planning Committee
  • Communication Committee
  • Advocacy Committee

Ginger Hillary covered the process for hotel expense reimbursement.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:30 PM.

Submitted by Carol Holmquist , Secretary

Friday, March 13, 2009

Welcome to the Virginia Literacy Leadership Council Blog

This online site has been created for members of the Virginia Literacy Leadership Council. To contact groups or individuals, click on the name of the organization (in maroon). You will be directed to a site with contact information or information about that program or individual.

Membership to the VLLC is free for all Virginia's community-based literacy organizations. Contact Victoire Gerkens Sanborn at to add your organization's name to this list. Click on "comment" to make an online observation.

2010-2011 Officers and Contact Information

Janet Booth, Eastern Shore Literacy Council
Vice President
Kim Sells, Literacy Volunteers of Prince William County
Conference Chairs
Ginger Hilleary and Mary Cragun, Literacy Volunteers of Fauquier County
Joan Peterson, Literacy for Life
Legislative Liaison
Patricia Donnelly, Literacy Council of Northern Virginia

Member Organizations - Click on names to enter websites

Host Organization
Virginia Literacy Foundation
Mark Emblidge, Executive Director
Call: 804-237-8909

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

2009 VLLC Conference Update

Bring Your Check Books: Debbie Bluestein will set up a vendor display at the registration table Friday, February 27th. She will make certain New Reader's Press materials available at 50% discount. So, please bring your check books!

Check-in time for rooms is at 3:00 PM. Check out time is at noon.

Reimbursements: Please get a receipt from the hotel with a "0" balance. You will be reimbursed for:
  • 100% of a double occupancy room
  • 50% for a single occupancy room
  • No reimbursement for individuals who do not work for a community based literacy organization.
Directions to the Hotel: Click on this link to print out the directions.

Plan of Conference Workshop Rooms: Click on this link to print out the map of the hotel.

Conference Agenda and Workshop Room Assignments: Click on this link to print out the agenda.

Scroll down to the next post for more conference and presenter information.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

VLLC Meetings at Program Managers Meeting and ProLiteracy Conference, November

Because of scheduling conflicts of two important events for CBLOs, the Program Managers Meeting and the ProLiteracy Conference, the VLLC board decided to hold two VLLC meetings, one at each event. Below are the minutes of the ProLiteracy meeting, led by Patti Donnelly, president of the organization. The group came away wishing to continue meeting regularly. They also requested a day-long conference for all CBLOs to discuss training and program management issues. Please vote yes or no if you think that such an event is a good idea. The committee will be writing a grant proposal to the VLF to pay for a 1-day conference, overnight lodging, and travel (one reimbursement per program.)

Please vote in the poll to your right! (Note: The poll is closed)

Virginia Literacy Leadership Council

Minutes: November 8, 2007

At ProLiteracy Conference

(See post below for minutes of the VLLC Meeting at the Program Managers Meeting)

Present: Susan Clemens, Peninsula READS, Carolyn Cothran, VL Campbell CO, Patti Donnelly, LCNV; Nancy Fazzone, Rita Welsh Adult Literacy Program, Debra Hill, The READ Center; Carol Holmquist, The READ Center (Secretary); Belle Penara & Martha Picarello, LVNV; Vicky Sanborn, VALRC; Marcia Swain, CALL

Patti thanked everyone for attending and expressed appreciation to Vicky for her work on the QualD meeting just held in Richmond. Patti then opened the meeting with the following questions: The italicized answer to the questions represents a distillation of the opinions expressed.

  1. Have VLLC meeting been productive during the past year?

Yes, everyone agreed that the meetings have been very good at keeping CBLOs advised on legislative issues, aware of changes with the Department of Education and thoughtful about the impact of both small and large CBLOs on the adult education scene which includes our sister county and city adult education providers.

  1. Is the regional meeting strategy working?

There are pluses and minuses. The pluses include the availability of more CBLOs being able to attend meeting and the face to face opportunity to have program managers as well as Executive Directors or Board Chairs involved in discussions.

The minus for this year has been that each regional meeting was a different theme and therefore some content of a regional meeting was missed by those who did not attend. The group thought that some common agenda for each regional meeting in the future might solve this problem. The downside would be that the provider of that content would need to repeat the presentation several times.

  1. Should we have a theme for the coming year?

A list of interests emerged and includes:

    1. Working with your Board
    2. Fund Raising
    3. Literacy Content Standards
    4. Next stage in state advocacy
    5. Community collaboration (media, local advocacy, other service providers)
    6. Time Management
    7. Student Recruitment
    8. Best Program Practices
    9. Capacity building

  1. What is our mission for the next year?

This was not specifically discussed later in the meeting but there seemed a consensus that the mission of VLLC remains the same, “to strengthen non-profit adult literacy organizations in Virginia through leadership, training and support.”

  1. Should we plan for at least one statewide meeting?

The group discussed submitting a grant to VLF to cover the cost of a statewide meeting that could present a significant topic as well as updates on common threads of interest such as advocacy, legislative agenda, DOE, Literacy standards. Carol Holmquist agreed to submit a grant on behalf of the organization to VLF for a statewide meeting. Vicky Sanborn indicated that this might be a welcome next step from the Foundation’s point of view as they want to remain supportive of CBLOs but need to know what direction the membership want to take.

Please note: Preliminary discussions with Mark Emblidge indicate that the VLLC will be successful in applying for funds for such a project.

Minutes of VLLC Meeting at Program Managers Meeting

As a result of the VLLC meeting at the Program Managers meeting, Shannon Beasley and Thomas Suh held a training for DOE grant recipient programs in Northern Virginia on December 11th. Working closely with programs, the DOE will help QuAL D programs to create error free reports. If error free reports are submitted by all the programs for 3 months in a row, these programs can continue to use the import function on the VLF database. On its part, the VLF will fund the changes that are required to satisfy new DOE requirements.

Read Annette Loschert's minutes below:

VLLC Meeting

November 8, 2007

Managers’ Meeting

Virginia Crossings



In attendance:

Christine Antonucci, Tidewater Literacy,

Janet Booth, Eastern Shore Litercy Council,

Marilyn Breslow, Refugee & Immigration Services,

Kay DeSilva, Beacon - Bristow,

Ginger Hilleary, LV Fauquier County,

Annette Loschert, LV of Roanoke Valley,

Barbara Notar, Loudoun Literacy Council,

Wayne Shewmaker, Literacy Council N VA,

Donna Webster, LV New River Valley,

Annette chaired……..

  1. The VLLC description that appears on the website is good, just add brochure text re advocacy.

  1. We are being heard by the DOE. There is recognition of our programs. Patty Donnelly is a good leader – passionate, vocal, good representative. CBLOs were represented on Thursday afternoon’s panel discussion (Annette Loschert).

  1. The regional structure is working – meetings attached to other State meeting that we attend are effective.

  1. Patty was well supported by this group. Annette invited recommendations for leadership to be sent to Vicky.

  1. Patty’s clarification of the new VA DOE regulations was reviewed.

Additional comments by group.

    1. Ginger – there were only 6 pilots for use of database, but 18 programs were funded to use it by VLF.
    2. Ginger – errors – pre-existing student numbers are locked into the old system and they are being counted as duplicate records.
    3. We must use the first two pages of the registration form by January 1.
    4. Everyone is anxious to hear decisions regarding p. 3 and p. 4.

  1. Donna Webster suggested that we get some sort of “bonus points” for serving lower level learners.

  1. Ginger suggested that in the follow-up meeting with the DOE, the CBLOs should show strength by supportive attendance – perhaps officers and those living in the Richmond area.

  1. Kay urged CBLOs to contact school ABE programs to see if they are facing the same issues – how are they approaching? We are being held to the same standards though serving lower level learners. This is a comparison of apples to oranges.

  1. Kay also talked about Northern VA providing good professional development to CBLOs. Barb and Giners noted that the Tri-County Learning Conference in their area was effective.

  1. Kay and others felt we need to address how CBLOs are identified/contacted. Who are they? What is the criteria? What is the structure? Do we need by-laws, to pay dues, etc?

  1. Add Marilyn Breslow and other new managers to list.

  1. CASAS 100 hours of instruction agreed to be unrealistic. Further contact with CAL needs to take place regarding exceptions.

  1. Everyone was in shock regarding the statement that the DOE planned to create an assessment based on content standards.

  1. All agreed that the issues listed under the “Difficulties” section were excellent points.

Friday, October 19, 2007

VLLC Meeting Scheduled at ProLiteracy Conference in November

Dear Colleagues,

Please click here to read the minutes of the October 11 meeting in Williamsburg, and leave your comments if you would like to add your thoughts.

Another VLLC Committee meeting is scheduled Thursday, November 8th at the ProLiteracy Conference in Northern Virginia at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center. We will announce the exact location as soon as we receive the workshop schedules for the day, and hope you will be able to make it. This will be the fifth VLLC meeting for 2007 (see below), quite an achievement for a group that had met only twice the year before.
  • The READ Center, Richmond, February, led by Patti Donnelly, President
  • The Literacy Fair, Keysville, May, led by Annette Loschert, Vice President
  • VAILL Conference, Radford, July, led by Ginger Hilleary, Treasurer
  • VAACE/COABE Conference, Williamsburg, October, led by Patti Donnelly, President
  • ProLiteracy Conference, Northern Virginia, November, to be led by Patti Donnelly, President
The proposed agenda for discussion at the November meeting will include:
  • Purpose of the organization
  • Regional meetings
  • Future leadership of the organization

If you have any suggestions for discussion, please let us know so we can include them in the agenda.

(To make a comment, click on the underlined word "comments" and type in your thoughts. Click on anonymous, then click on "Publish your comment.")

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Next VLLC Meeting

Dear Colleagues,

The next VLLC meeting will be held from 5-6 pm on Thursday, October 11, 2007 at the COABE Conference in Crowne Plaza Williamsburg at Fort Magruder. Please look for the location of the meeting on the general announcement board at the conference. The meeting is scheduled after the workshops.

The purpose of this gathering will be to discuss advocacy issues and DOE Office of Adult Literacy issues for programs that received CBLO and EL Civics grants.

Patti Donnelly
President, VLLC
Executive Director, Literacy Council of Northern Virginia

Friday, July 06, 2007

Immigration Bill Killed

To all my colleagues in Adult Literacy and Language Education:

The immigration bill died in the U.S. Senate. That does not mean that the debate is over. Those of us who serve immigrant language learners should pay close attention to what is happening at the State level.

All of our Delegates to the State Legislature will be up for re-election this coming fall. Please be aware of where the candidates stand on issues of adult education and laws affecting our language learners. The summer is the time to get to know your legislators and candidates for local office. This is the time to promote your programs, the importance of the work we do and the value added to the economy with every student success story.

Please advance our agenda now and during the election, so we will not be faced with critical battles during next year's legislative session.

Many thanks,
Patricia Donnelly, Literacy Council of Northern Virginia

Patricia M. Donnelly
Executive Director
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
p) 703-237-0866
f) 703-237-2863

Thursday, June 14, 2007

CBLO Assurances

Email from Randy Stamper, June 12, 2007

This is to notify managers of community-based literacy organizations who plan to apply for funding from the Office of Adult Education and Literacy for fiscal year 2007-2008 that the assurances required with the funding application have been updated. The new assurances have been
posted on the Office of Adult Education and Literacy's Web site at the link below. Please complete and submit the new, one-page statement of assurances with your application for funding. Thank you.

Click here to view the update

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

CBLO DOE Grant Applications

Please note the changes in eligible funding levels. According to the chart, all literacy programs can apply for a DOE grant. However, this process is extremely competitive, and unless you can guarantee that your program will adhere to strict grant requirements and can demonstrate that it can realistically attain National Reporting System goals, I would suggest thinking carefully about applying.

Click here to find the CBLO grant application.

Grant application deadline is June 22, 2007.

NOTE ON Page 10: Programs that use the VLF database will be able to continue exporting information into the DOE web based system for one year. Next year, 2008-2009, this practice will not be allowed.

Second change: Be extremely careful in allocating funds for your budget. This year, every change in your budget will need to be approved first. The turn around time takes two weeks, and you are not guaranteed an approval. Programs purchasing equipment that is not specified in their grant, and for which they did not receive budget change approval, will not be reimbursed for this purchase.

I will post more about the RFP next week.