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Synergy and Strength at #NCFL18

12th October, 2018

As a first-time conference attendee, I had the opportunity to experience the 2018 Families Learning Conference and left inspired and energized upon my return. Being around other family literacy educators and advocates that desire to continually increase their effectiveness and share was a breath of fresh air. In fact, meeting new professionals was perhaps one of my favorite aspects of the conference, because I enjoyed learning about their experiences, success stories, and challenges, and was able to contribute my own ideas.

Certainly, the highlight of the conference was an inspirational story by student speaker, LeDelvin Walker, who shared the personal challenges she overcame during her childhood, and as a single-parent female in order to attain her G.E.D. She additionally spoke about her academic struggles and the strength that it takes to ask for help when needed.

I also enjoyed the workshops that focused on leveraging mobile-learning tools in order to improve adult learner student recruitment, access, impact, and service. Several conference presenters discussed how almost 40 million adults in the United States alone, lack basic English literacy, yet only 5% have access to educational services. Therefore, mobile learning tools are increasingly being utilized in order to allow millions of low-skilled adults the ability to acquire literacy skills and job skills on any mobile device. By leveraging mobile learning tool options, this provides a solution in improving student recruitment and persistence efforts, due to universal accessibility, personalized learning options, real-world learning relevance, and a self-directed pace in meeting the needs of the adult learner of the 21st century.

Overall, the 2018 Families Learning Conference was an enriching and worthwhile experience, and really highlighted for me the broad range of individuals and organizations who are committed in making success in family literacy a reality. I definitely gained a lot from my experience and feel more prepared to continue my work, having gained more insights about the field. I enjoyed speaking with individuals from various professional disciplines and look forward to the synergy that is sure to come from some of those conversations!