Raising Awareness During National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week

National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week will be celebrated September 26-October 1, 2016

National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week raises public awareness about the need and value of adult education and family literacy in order to leverage resources to support access to basic education programs for the 36 million U.S. adults with low literacy skills. Advocates across the country use this opportunity to elevate adult education and family literacy nationwide with policymakers, the media, and the community.

How to Participate

CHOOSING OUR FUTURE–A Story of Opportunity in America

Over the past forty years, interactions among powerful global economic forces, government policies, and business practices have generated a self-sustaining set of dynamics that have altered the workplace, the demands of everyday life, and our civic and social lives. These changes are stretching the distribution of opportunity, leading to increasing economic, social and political polarization. If the disparities we see were confined to this generation alone, it would be concerning enough. But there is evidence that the accumulation of advantage or disadvantage experienced by one generation is increasingly passed along to the next. Choosing Our Future: A Story of Opportunity in America analyzes the complex and self-reinforcing dynamics governing the distribution and intergenerational transmission of opportunity with the goal of advancing our national conversation about the increasing polarization of opportunity and, more importantly, why we must take action. 
Despite all of these disparities, additional education can lead to more opportunities and choices in potential positive outcomes. The mission at nonprofit Educational Testing Service (ETS) is to advance quality and equity in education for all people worldwide. The company strives to provide innovative and meaningful measurement solutions that improve teaching and learning, expand educational opportunities, and inform policy.
In 2014, ETS broke new ground in adult education with the HiSET® exam — an affordable, more accessible high school equivalency test option. Built on the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) college- and career-readiness standards, the HiSET exam gives out-of-school youth and adults an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and earn a state-issued high school equivalency credential. The exam features paper- and computer-based formats, in English and Spanish. Now the fastest-growing exam on the market it has been adopted in more than 25 states and jurisdictions.

For a copy of Choosing Our Future – A Story of Opportunity in America and to learn more about the ETS Opportunity Project, please visit: http://opportunityproject.ets.org/. For more information about the ETS HiSET® program please visit: http://hiset.ets.org/.  

Media Outreach Toolkit

Your successes and the strengths that adult basic education bring to individuals, families and communities is easily overlooked by the news media and elected officials. To help you be your program’s best advocate, COABE has assembled the following Media Outreach Toolkit. These tools and templates are designed to make it easier for you to to offer story ideas, submit “op-ed” opinion pieces, and garner editorial and columnist support. This COABE Media Outreach Toolkit will help you showcase students, staff and programs to to help policymakers and the public understand the value that you deliver every day.


The work of adult educators and your successes remain largely unsung - yet your stories are compelling, compassionate and highly relevant to the communities you serve. Take advantage of the slower pace of summer to prepare to showcase your programs, teachers and students to the news media in your area, for September's Adult Ed and Family Literacy Week and year-round. This webinar with the team that's led COABE's communications outreach will help you help you become an even more powerful voice for funding, strengthening and celebrating basic adult education in your community and state.

Featuring: Julie Anbender, Steve Hirsh, and Sharon Bonney


Capitol Hill DaySeptember 28, 2016

COABE has many new and exciting initiatives! One such initiative is COABE's hosting of the second Capitol Hill Day of 2016 on September 28, 2016. COABE believes that holding two days will enable someone from each association to attend and will impact our legislators in a more meaningful way.

With special thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, one board member representative from each of COABE's large group members will receive one FREE all-expense paid ticket to attend this event. We hope you will plan to join us as we raise the voice of adult education!

Please make your flight reservations and contact Sharon Bonney with your arrival/departure information to ensure your hotel reservations on the COABE master account are correct. Please contact our Executive Director, Sharon Bonney (sharonbonney@coabe.org) with this information.

As you prepare for Capitol Hill Day, feel free to gather student success stories, letters, and/or videos that can be sent to your legislator prior to the Capitol Hill visit. Legislators also appreciate solid quantitative data, so if you have access to that information, that would be helpful as well. Click here for instructions on contacting your legislator.

We hope you or a member of your board will plan to join us!