April 22, 2017

The Conference Center at Mercer County College

Click here to see materials from this year's conference. 


To register for this year's conference online, read the workshop descriptions below and then fill out the conference registration form on the registration page. When you submit the form you will be taken to the payment page.

To register for the conference by mail and pay by check, click here to download the PDF version of the registration.

Because our workshops fill up quickly, we ask that you pick two per session. If you have any questions, please call us at (732) 906-5456.

To read about this year's conference presenters visit our bio page.


Registration fees

  • $55.00 - Tutors, Trainers, Staff and Board Members of Literacy NJ affiliated programs (after 3/31 $65)
  • $100.00 - Non members 
  • $30.00 - Students

Conference Schedule


Building the NextGen Workforce
Richard Negrin, Senior Counsel/Obermayer, Rebmann, Maxwell & Hippel, LLP

Literacy for Life 2017 Workshops

_______________________Session One 9:15 - 10:45________________________________

HR Toolkit for Nonprofits  

This informative workshop will review state and Federal law as it applies to the specific concerns and circumstances of non-profit organizations. Get ready to take notes, bring your questions, and enjoy Denise Keyser's passionate and humorous presentation style

Denise Keyser, Ballard Spahr 

Target Audience: Board Members & Program Directors


ACLU-NJ: Outlook on Immigrant Rights and Discrimination Issues 

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is the leading national organization dedicated to defending and extending civil liberties for all people in this country. The ACLU accomplishes its mission through litigation, public policy advocacy, and community outreach. As of late, the ACLU has garnered national attention for its legal challenges to new and emerging threats to immigrant and refugee rights. This workshop will: provide an overview of current legal issues facing immigrants, visitors, and refugees; explore the rights we all have, regardless of immigration status; and explain the work the ACLU is doing to protect such rights moving forward.

Alexi Velez, ACLU-NJ 

General Audience 

Student Poster Session 

Celebrate the accomplishments of the adult learners from our programs by joining us in this informal poster sharing session. Walk around and enjoy the student learning exhibits. Speak to the learners themselves and find out what they are currently working on and achieving in their tutoring sessions, classes, and personal learning endeavors.

General Audience


Mindfulness Tools for Tutoring 

Integrating mindfulness-based activities and practices into your tutoring sessions can help adult learners create better focus and ease their anxiety toward learning situations. Join us to learn how to successfully implement mindfulness into your tutoring practice to make learning experiences more meaningful and effective for students and their tutors.

Matt Ford, Literacy NJ Gloucester 

Target Audience: Tutors, Teachers, & Trainers 

Digital Movie-making in the Adult Education Classroom

Advances in digital technology now allow people to easily make their own digital movies and share them with others. These movies can be simply for enjoyment, to document learning, or to engage in advocacy. In addition to increasing their confidence with technology, creating these stories provides chances for students to develop their writing and language skills. This session will begin with a demonstration of sample of videos made in the classroom and a short discussion of how to structure classroom activities to maximize learning. Participants will then create a short video together.

Erik Jacobson, Montclair State University 

Target Audience: Tutors, Teachers, & Trainers

Online English Conversation Groups

What to find out how to supplement tutoring hours despite the geographic and time constraints of your students and tutors? In this workshop, we'll talk about using free online tools for small group tutoring and will give you access to an 8 week job preparation curriculum that utilizes the resources available through the NJ Department of Labor's Career Connections website. We'll also discuss ways to map LNJ's Health Literacy curriculum activities to an online learning format.

Betsy Allen, UC Davis Extension 

Target Audience: ESOL Tutors, Teachers and Trainers


Preparing for the US Citizenship Test

This workshop is an opportunity to share strategies and what works with a diverse group of students who are preparing for their U.S. Citizenship test. Participants will see examples and engage in hands-on activities and classroom best practices to develop effective teaching styles and enhance the opportunity to maximize your efforts and create positive results for your adult learners.

Daniel Koelhoffer & Jeanmarie Kantor, Literacy Volunteers of Monmouth County 

Target Audience: ESOL Tutors, Teachers and Trainers

Phonological Awareness for Reading Success

Learn about the importance of phonological skills for beginning ESL/ reading success. Through this interactive workshop, participants will understand the difference between phonological and phonemic awareness and become familiar with activities to help students develop these skills for successful reading.

Fay Crooks, Literacy NJ Gloucester

Target Audience: ESOL Tutors, Teachers, Trainers

______________________Session Two 11:00 - 12:30______________________________

Using Social Media to Drive Change

Today’s rapidly evolving social media hold enormous potential for social change. The ability to navigate a social vision, however, is no small task. This workshop will address how nonprofits can use the latest social networking applications to enhance organizational capacity and, ultimately, drive social change by advancing their organizational mission.

Allison Turner, West Chester University

Target Audience: Board Members, Program Directors, Staff 

Naturalization 101

This introductory session highlights the naturalization eligibility and filing requirements and provides insight into the naturalization interview and oath ceremony. The session will include helpful customer service self-help tools, as well tips for individuals seeking legal immigration assistance.

Kelly Ayala, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services—Newark District

General Audience


Steps to Success

Find out how adult literacy and English language learners are achieving their life goals one step at a time. Listen to the stories of these adult students and their tutors and discuss goal setting strategies to use on your own path to success.

Moderator: Sable Lomax, Literacy NJ - West Hudson

Panelists include Phouc Pham, Literacy NJ Burlington & Donna Sturm and Carolina Mancilla, LV-Somerset

General Audience 


Game Jam for Literacy and Life

The objective of this workshop is to engage in a game jam using games and gamification tools that adult educators can use in their practice. Attendees will be guided in exploring learning technologies relevant for facilitating key literacies (e.g. English, Math, Digital, Health, Financial) among adult learners.

Mamta Shah & Tamara Galoyan, Drexel University

Target Audience: Tutors, Teachers, & Trainers

Career Connections for Adult Learners

In this session we'll explore the NJ Department of Labor's web resources at the Career Connections website. Participants will get a broad overview of the website layout, types of information available, and hands-on experience with applying NJ career resources to their adult learners' personal employment and job-readiness goals.

Dawn Gelsi-Collins 

Target Audience: Tutors, Teachers, and Trainers


Strategies for New Readers

This workshop will provide discussion and demonstration of instructional strategies to help students gain a deeper understanding and engagement with text. Participants will practice a series of strategies that foster comprehension, including techniques to use before, during, and after reading.

Perrine Robinson-Geller, Literacy NJ 

Target Audience: Tutors, Teachers, and Trainers

Best Practices for English Language Conversation Groups

Are you new to leading a conversation group or just a need a refresher to invigorate your own classes? In this session, you will learn some concepts to keep in mind as you facilitate conversation groups and immerse yourself in hands-on activities to use with your students. Breathe new life into your groups with these ideas.

Ronda Brown, Literacy NJ Gloucester 

Target Audience: ESOL Tutors, Teachers, & Trainers


Empowering the Adult ESL Learner

Learn more about the psychological challenges adult ESOL students face in society when overcoming a language barrier as well as techniques that motivate and empower them to face their challenges with confidence!

Maria Palma, Robins' Nest

Target Audience: ESOL Tutors, Teachers, & Trainers

_______________________Session Three 2:45 -4:15__________________________________

Fundraising from Individual Donors 

This session will help participants improve their individual donor program, including identifying prospects that are a good match with your organization, cultivating  relationships with prospects and donors, and discussing how board members can best engage in individual donor development.

Marie Zieger, Support Center for Nonprofit Management 

Target Audience: Board Members & Program Directors


Upwardly Global's Job Seeker Training Program

Upwardly Global's free Job Seeker Training Program provides a series of online courses that cover essential skills for U.S. job search including but not limited to: how to build a U.S. standard professional resume and cover letter, networking and interviewing skills. Learn how your students can be matched with an UpGlo job advisor and have access to networking opportunities with potential employers. Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to connect your high-skilled student to career possibilities.

Dina Jaffrey, Upwardly Global 

General Audience 

Earning Digital Skills Certification

Need to learn more about computers and the internet but don't know where to start? Find out how to earn Microsoft's digital literacy certificate. Explore the lessons and get hands-on practice during this session. By the end of this workshop, you will have completed some of the lessons and have a better understanding of how to earn this certification on your own, at your own pace. No computer experience necessary.

Susan Sodon, LV-Monmouth County 

General Audience 


Student Roundtable 

Come meet fellow students from around the state. Everyone will have a chance to share their success stories and challenges. We will talk about ways that students can take leadership roles into their local literacy programs.

Saranda Karpuzi, Literacy NJ Gloucester

Target Audience: Adult Learners

Overcoming the Fear Factor in Writing

Getting students to “buy-in” to the writing process can sometimes seem nearly impossible. This workshop will explore several specific techniques aimed at helping students learn how to brainstorm, organize and revise their writing, which are the first three steps in the writing process. Participants will manipulate different kinds of graphic organizers they can use to get students to brainstorm effectively, create grids to put the brainstormed information into some kind of order, and finally ask the kinds of questions that will help students clarify unexpressed, but necessary information. If time allows, participants will also explore activities that will get students moving while developing their active vocabulary.

Catherine Mitch, Literacy NJ Mercer 

Target Audience: Tutors, Teachers, and Trainers


Reading Groups for Everyone

Learn how veteran teacher and reading group instructor, Esther Dean, manages a biweekly reading group of 15+ students of varying reading abilities. See examples from her sessions and learn activities that will help you include many different learners into one classroom, while allowing students to learn at their own pace.

Esther Dean, Literacy NJ Burlington & Matt Ford, Literacy NJ Gloucester 

Target Audience: Tutors, Teachers, & Trainers

Activities for Beginning English Learners

Learn how to successfully facilitate group activities for beginning English language learners. You'll come away from this session with lesson ideas you'll be able to immediately apply to your tutoring sessions and small groups to initiate participation, reinforce learning concepts, and create a welcoming atmosphere for your adult learners.

Joyce Wright-McAdoo, Literacy NJ Gloucester

Target Audience: ESOL Tutors, Teachers & Trainers

Cross Cultural Communication Panel

Literacy tutoring involves learning about the culture and social norms of our students and ourselves. Come listen to the stories of literacy tutors and and adult learners on how they learned to navigate the road to mutual cultural understanding together. There will be an opportunity at the end to ask questions and share your own stories and experiences.

Moderator: Jackie Simon, Literacy NJ-Middlesex

Panelists include Alex Yiadom and Faleeha Hassan, Literacy NJ Gloucester; Kathy England and Esengel Artis, LV- Somerset County; Annie Huang, Literacy NJ-Middlesex 

Target Audience: Tutors, Teachers & Trainers


Or click here to download the form as a pdf.


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