Virginia Literacy Leadership Council Conference

March 15, 2010 at 9:00 AM | Posted in AmeriCorps | Leave a comment

Over the past week, I have spent time reflecting on the Virginia Literacy Leadership Council conference. The AmeriCorps members and several other staff traveled to Richmond to attend this two-day event at the end of February. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was very pleasantly surprised!

On the first day of the conference, Thursday, I attended a marvelous workshop titled, “Unleashing the potential of your volunteers!” It provided a great overview of how you can better utilize your volunteers. The presenter, Sally O’Dwyer, suggested identifying the skills and talents of your volunteers to make them feel more engaged and useful, as well as collaborating with them by creating committees and teams.


Friday, the second day, offered three fabulous sessions. The first was a tele-presentation by Dr. John Comings on Student Persistence in Adult Literacy. He presented his highly regarded research on student persistence and was then able to make it applicable to the audience — all via Skype! The material was fascinating and the creative use of technology was flawless. Things couldn’t have gone any smoother. The second session was “What’s in your toolkit”. It targeted instructors rather than administrators. I left the roundtable discussion with several new ideas for my classes. The third and final session was Learning Disability Challenges and Strategies. This was, by far, the most rewarding session in the two-day conference. Margaret Stout, the presenter, opened my eyes to what life might be like as a learning disabled adult. Not only was the material applicable to my classes and teaching, but it also reached me on a personal level. Several family members suffer from learning disabilities and have always had trouble with the issues she discussed. I look forward to sharing the information she presented with my family.

It was a refreshing two-day trip, a reminder of how much I respect the men and women that commit their lives literacy. I left the conference feeling energized and excited about the work that I and many others do.

~Minta Trivette, AmeriCorps Instructor

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