Adult Education and Family Literacy Week


Adult Education and Family Literacy Week resources are brought to you in partnership with:


National Adult and Family Literacy Week September 24-29, 2018

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Dear Members,

Adult Education and Family Literacy Week is this week, and we wanted to encourage you to join your fellow adult educators from around the country as we celebrate this important week! Coming together as a field makes such a difference and will help us elevate the important work that each of us are engaged in!

As you are likely aware, COABE and many state leaders, along with some students, will be in Washington D.C. for COABE's fifth Capitol Hill Day. They will be meeting with legislators as well as the newly appointed Assistant Secretary Stump. We hope to have over 100 appointments with legislators thanking them for the additional $60 million in the WIOA budget. We hope you will join us in this important effort. Here are a few ways YOU can engage:

  1. Check out COABE's Educate and Elevate campaign site HERE for resources including a sample proclamation, fact sheets, and so much more!

  2. Contact your legislator and encourage your fellow educators and students to contact their legislator(s) as well. COABE has made it super easy to do this via their quick fire software. You can contact your mayor, governor, state, and federal legislators with 3 quick clicks! Click HERE.

  3. Tag COABE on social media and/or upload pictures of your activities to the COABE App!

  4. New this year, COABE is offering a national level award entitled Local Advocate of the Year, and will be tracking efforts in the field. Get involved, and you just might win this competitive, national level award ($2,000 plus expenses paid to COABE 2019 in New Orleans, LA in March 2019)!

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the benefits available to all COABE members:

  • COABE Conference 2019: Members receive a registration discount to theCOABE Conference 2019 in New Orleans, March 31-April 3, 2019. Join more than 2,000 conferees and enjoy numerous networking opportunities with your peers in adult education and around the country. Registration for the 2019 COABE Conference will open on December 1, 2018. NOTE: The Call for Proposals is out, with proposals due by October 15th.

  • Virtual Conference 2018: COABE will hold its fall virtual conference on Thursday, October 25, 2018, and Friday, October 26, 2018. Collaborate with your colleagues from around the country in the virtual world. If your state has purchased a pass, you can attend for free and hear from national level expert presenters from the comfort of your laptop! Register for the virtual conferenceHERE.

  • COABE Journal: Members can download the latest edition HERE of the COABE Journal which has been very popular due to the Career Pathways focus and the quality of the articles that are written by national level experts as well as local administrators. You can purchase a hard copy as well (members save $35).

  • Employment Bulletin Board: COABE's nationwide bulletin board was created to assist our members in finding or posting employment opportunities.

  • Adult Educator Resources: The repository of best practices created by and for members contains many national conference presentations.

  • National Institute for Literacy Scholarships: NIFL endowed $20,000 in gift funds to COABE for members that wish to attend our conferences. One $1,000 award is granted annually.

  • VIP Vendor Partners: COABE partners with leading adult education vendors to provide our members with special opportunities and substantial discounts.

  • Conference Mini Grants: With generous funding provided by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, COABE will award fifty mini grants to defray conference registration costs to attend the national conference.

  • Awards, Incentive Grants, and Scholarships: Prestigious, competitive awards valued at $2,000-$10,000 are given at the COABE Conference. Incentive grants and scholarships are also available.

  • Webinars: Members receive FREE access to more than 50 webinars annually that help bring professional development beyond the brick and mortar of the national conference. These educational webinars are delivered on trending topics by the top presenters at our national conference.

If you have questions about national Adult Education and Family Literacy Week or would like to discuss member benefits, please reach out to us.

Contact with questions.

 Polly Smith (right), COABE Public Policy Chair, and Alaska Governor Walker at a local event at the Alaska Literacy Program.

Polly Smith (right), COABE Public Policy Chair, and Alaska Governor Walker at a local event at the Alaska Literacy Program.

The intent of a nationally recognized week of concentrated events, activities, and media is to bring recognition to the field of adult and family literacy. It is our opportunity to highlight the value of the work we do and the people we serve. It gives us a reason to showcase our programs with policy and decision makers. We get to advocate!

At the national level you can join us for COABE on Capitol Hill Day, September 27. We are encouraging teams of an adult education provider and a student to join. If you are interested, please click here.

At the state level, invite your district representatives to your program. Include those from the districts where your students live.

At the local level invite your assemblyperson, the mayor, judges, and other people with whom you and your students might interact at the policy or decision making level.  At the program level honor your students, volunteers, and staff with special recognition through an event or a thank you.

Include the media and let the invitees know you have asked the media to come.

For all levels use the Educate and Elevate contact button here to easily send your invitation and material about your program and activities to your representatives at all levels. Use the Educate and Elevate toolkit for press releases, facts, and talking points. In your invitation tell the guest what you would like them to do. It is always a good idea to give them an assignment - talk to the students about an issue, meet with the citizenship classes and practice the interview questions, read a book or story. Prepare your students for the meeting. Include who is coming, why, what will you want to tell them? Always follow up with a thank you. You can watch our short webinar on the value of local level outreach here.

Additionally, we have launched a new award for advocacy, aimed at recognizing advocacy at the local level. The winner will receive a $2,000 stipend plus registration paid to attend COABE 2019! More details will be shared in our September update. 

Contact with questions.



As part of the Educate & Elevate Campaign, COABE and NAEPDC are proud to support the National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week (AEFL Week) which is taking place September 24-29, 2018! AEFL Week is an opportunity to come together as a field to celebrate adult education and raise our visibility with legislators, funders, and the community at large. There are a number of tools from the Educate & Elevate Campaign that have been developed to assist you and your state in your outreach efforts.   

With our Educate & Elevate Toolkit you can:

  • Contact your mayor, governor, state legislator, and elected officials, all with one email through our software (HERE). This super easy to use system, supported through a partnership with Aztec Software, enables you to efficiently send a message in just 5 minutes to legislators letting them know that adult education matters.

  • Issue a proclamation in honor of Adult Education and Family Literacy Week.

  • Arrange or conduct a site visit with a legislator. Access user friendly tools to support your efforts (HERE).

  • Join the dedicated social media channels on Twitter and Facebook and campaign hashtags #educate&elevate and #AEFLWeek to support National Adult Education & Family Literacy Week in September 2018.

  • Along with the above tools, we have developed editable customized letters that you can send to your mayor (HERE) and your governor (HERE) to advocate for support of adult education.

  • Get on the COABE App, generously sponsored by Aztec Software, and share about what you are doing to promote Educate & Elevate and the Adult Education and Family Literacy Week. The COABE App provides an excellent opportunity to network with other advocates across the country while enabling you to following the progress of our Capitol Hill Day efforts.

This week, thanks to a generous partnership with Aztec Software, COABE will hold its fourth Capitol Hill Day which will take place during Adult Education and Family Literacy Week on September 26, 2018. State association leaders, state directors, and adult learners from nearly all fifty states will come together to meet with legislators and their staff to advocate for investing in adult education.

 Get involved! Be a part of the solution! 

Adult Education and Family Literacy Week resources are brought to you in partnership with:


Advocates around the country are marking Adult and Family Literacy Week with events and activities that celebrate the achievements of adult learners and the contributions of adult educators.

National Skills Coalition is joining in the celebration with a brand-new fact sheet highlighting the critical role of adult education in helping workers prepare for middle-skill jobs. Such jobs require more than a high school education, but not a four-year degree.

More than 24 million US workers lack key foundational skills in reading, math, or spoken English, and would benefit from adult education to help them build the skills needed to pursue occupational training and compete for these jobs. 

Adult education models such as Integrated Education and Training (IET) have a proven track record in helping adult learners acquire key skills, earn secondary and postsecondary credentials, and obtain middle-skill employment.

The fact sheet highlights four federal policies that can support the implementation of adult education program models such as IET, and provides examples of states that are capitalizing on these policies to do just that.

Among the examples highlighted is the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, which provides support for low-income families, including through the provision of education and training to help adults find employment and move off of public benefits.

Advocates interested in how TANF can help support skill-building opportunities can review the nationally recognized Arkansas Career Pathways Initiative, which provides a broad range of support to assist low-income individuals in obtaining in-demand credentials and employment.

See more examples of support for adult learners’ skill-building activities in NSC’s Adult Education and Middle-Skill Jobs fact sheet.

Thank you to National Skills Coalition, our National Partner