Student Ambassador Training Testimonial

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“Please be informed that during the 2019 COABE conference I participated in the Ambassador Training Program. As a former G.E.D. Student, I found the presentation heartwarming and inspiring. After receiving my G.E.D. I attended hundreds of training sessions and was in college for seventeen years working on an associates degree, a bachelors degree, and a masters degree, but I have never taken a class that had as much relevant and potentially society changing information as Ambassador Training. The strategies recommended are detailed and practical. I left the room where the presentation was given with a renewed sense of optimism regarding the effectiveness of adult education. I would like to congratulate everyone associated with developing this program, and I must also thank the presenters Laura Porfirio and Diane Jackson. I am amazed at how well they presented this compelling information. The rest is up to us!”

Chief Charles A. Teale, Sr. (ret.)

Our VIP Vendor for April 2019 is Gemma Open Door for Literacy


To open the door of literacy for adults and young adults so they may transform their lives, their families, and their communities.

Gemma Open Door’s purpose is to help ensure that, in a digital age characterized by inequality in access to education, adults and young adults learn to read and enjoy reading. We adhere to UNESCO’s declaration that literacy is a fundamental human right.

Welcome to the 2019 COABE Conference

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Make the Most of Your Time at the 2019 COABE Conference in New Orleans!

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COABE Conference 2019 will be the best year yet! To help spread the word or your participation at #COABE19, we’ve put together this toolkit, complete with resources, samples, and tips. Whether you are a speaker, a sponsor, an exhibitor, or a participant, it maximizes your social media footprint. Don’t forget to follow COABE on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on everything leading up to the main event.


Don’t Miss Our General Sessions

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We have some exciting keynote speakers planned for this year's General Sessions. Monday's Award Ceremony will feature Denine Torr of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the sponsor of our prestigious, national-level awards We will also welcome Grammy-Winner Irma Thomas and singer/songwriter Baylee Sullivan.

On Tuesday we'll hear from Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Scott Stump, Tim Lawrence, Executive Director of SkillsUSA, Dr. Monty Sullivan, President of the Louisiana Community and Technical College, and Jason Rainey, General Manager for the NAPA Autocare Program.

Josh Davies, Chief Executive Officer of The Center for Work Ethic Development, will close out the conference on Wednesday. Read more about our speakers on the COABE App and website HERE. All general sessions will be held in the Acadia/Mardi Gras Ballroom from 9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. You won't want to miss these special sessions!


Take the Google/COABE Survey and Win a Gift Card

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Do you want the chance to help influence Google's digital literacy curriculum, Applied Digital Skills? This survey is designed to help Google develop the best possible free curricular lessons for you and your students.

If you complete the survey, your name will be entered for a chance to win a $500 gift card for COABE 2020.

COABE Journal Special Edition: Prison Literacy

This Prison Literacy edition of The COABE Journal highlights programs, approaches, and professionals who work with adults currently serving or who have served time in correctional settings. These contributions are intended to generate ideas for effectively providing quality and relevant learning opportunities to those who are “behind the walls” and help them improve their experiences once they transition to life “outside the walls.”

The pieces featured in this themed edition constructively contribute to the discussion as COABE continues its mission: to inspire educators so adults succeed and communities thrive. It is my hope that as you read these contributions, you will experience a transformation in your views of the incarcerated and the programs, practices, and policies that effectively serve these adult learners.

The Adult Literacy XPRIZE Community Competition

Make an Impact and WIN BIG!

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Download the Learning Upgrade Literacy App

Starting on April 1, 2019, participating teams of the Adult Literacy XPRIZE Communities Competition can start enrolling learners. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide that will walk you through the on-boarding process.



You will need to enter our community's Referral Code of 1177 in order to count as one of our team’s download.

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Share Your Applied Digital Skills Story


Are you using Google’s free, online digital literacy curriculum for adults? Applied Digital Skills uses video-based and project-based lessons to walk students through projects like making a resume, applying for a job, or making a business plan from start to finish. It uses free G Suite that you can access right from your Gmail account. 

Submit your story of how you’re using the curriculum with adult learners for a chance to be featured at COABE’s national conference.

Learn more about Google’s Applied Digital Skills:

  • Come to Google’s booth at COABE’S national conference (March 31-April 3) to talk to Google employees

  • Bookmark and attend Google’s digital literacy session on April 1, 201911:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Balcony M at the national conference

  • Check out the website

URGENT: Take Action Today Against Proposed Budget Cuts



The administration just released its FY 2020 budget proposal, which seeks to cut domestic spending 5% below FY 2019. However, the proposed cuts are not made evenly across the board, as the administration is seeking increases for some programs – including $8.6 billion to complete the southern border wall, while making draconian cuts to other programming.

Programs within the jurisdiction of the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee were particularly hard hit with HHS and Education programs each proposed to be cut by 12%, along with a 10% cut to DOL.

Unfortunately, the administration also proposed to cut adult education by $156 million (24%) in their FY 2020 budget request. The good news is that the administration’s budget proposal was dead even before arriving on Capitol Hill today and key Congressional Members in both parties have indicated that they would like to negotiate a two year deal to raise the overall discretionary spending levels (or “caps"). Republican Members are particularly interested in making significant new investments in defense programs, while Democrats are pressing for more overall funding for domestic programs.

Even if the administration’s budget proposal is not being taken seriously, it is a shot across the bow to adult education. We have been working for the past three months to educate Members of Congress about the importance of adult education funding in FY 2020 and this draconian proposal only reinforces the importance of our collective effort this year. Please find attached a copy of the department’s FY 2020 budget proposal for key education programs.


Deadlines Coming Soon-Submit a Program Request Today


Submit a Program Request Today!

Dear COABE Members,

Thank you to those who have already submitted FY 2020 program requests to your Congressional delegations.

Each Member has his/her own deadline for these requests by constituents, but many have set a deadline of either this Friday, March 8th or the following Friday, March 15th for submissions.

As a result, if you have not sent in a program request, please do so now. You can find our draft template for your email here.

After receiving your request, some offices will send a reply asking for you to submit a form they have developed in their office for this type of request. If you receive such a form, most of the information you need is contained in our template. Do the best you can to complete the remaining information. Don't be concerned if you can't answer all of the questions on their form; your Members of Congress will not reject your submission if it is incomplete. They are just trying to gain as much information as possible from you in examining which requests they intend to encourage the Appropriations Committee to support.

While there is not a deadline yet in the Senate for FY 2020 program requests, it will be coming up soon, so the sooner the better in submitting requests to your Senators.


2019 State Innovation Award Winner

Distance Learning in Adult Education: How We Built and Scaled a Fully Online Program

Delgado Community College was selected as the recipient of COABE'S prestigious national-level State Innovation of the Year Award. You can attend a special session by Joey Lehrman of Delgado Community College, entitled "Distance Learning in Adult Education: How We Built and Scaled a Fully Online Program." Download the app for more details!

State Innovator of the Year Session Abstract:

Distance learning and educational technologies are quickly changing the educational process for teachers and students alike. The promise of online learning is both real and challenging. In this presentation, we will share our experience building the first fully online adult education program in Louisiana with a view towards how to start small and get online now. We will also discuss trends that are shaping classrooms in the 21st century. Our eLearn distance learning program started in 2014 with a pilot cohort of one teacher and 30 students. We've since grown to a statewide initiative with over 1,000 students served by 40 teachers/coaches at eight partner community colleges. Participants will walk away with an overview of how we build and deliver the classes, how coaching supports the online experience, what the statewide partnership looks like, and lessons we've learned from the past 4 years to help teachers get started online now and administrators consider how to add fully online or hybrid elements to any adult education setting.

COABE & Learning Upgrade App Pilot

With the COABE/Learning Upgrade App Launch Competition, COABE members had exclusive access to a no-cost license for adult educators during fall of 2018! Last month we announced the winner of our COABE/Learning Upgrade App Launch Competition. COABE members accessed Learning Upgrade’s innovative ESL, ABE, and GEDⓇ/HiSETⓇ math courses! As a result, there are over 50 active pilot programs, with learners completing lessons all across the country!


Did you miss out on the Fall Launch Competition? You can still request a COABE Learning Upgrade App Pilot. Include “COABE” under Pilot Information. Note: Those who apply now will get a pilot good until April 30, 2019.

Learning Upgrade won the Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE. The mobile app features 960 CCRS-aligned lessons which learners can use on smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks, or computers to complete lessons anywhere and anytime.

COABE will be competing in the XPrize competition, which will launch at our 2019 National Conference on 4/1. Stay tuned for the exciting details.

Connect with Your New Representatives Today!


The new Congress is now well underway and has over 100 new Members --- nearly one quarter of the entire House of Representatives!

Along with such tremendous turnover, it is the first time in eight years that the Democrats have held the House majority. This dramatic shift in control requires a significant effort in promoting education to both new and returning members of Congress. Democrats and Republicans are now crafting their priorities for their new roles, and your voice is needed.

You can help ensure adult education is on the radar by connecting with your state’s delegation. Please click HERE to make your voice heard!


Save the Date: Minds That Move Us Career Pathway Festival

Adult Career Pathway Festival
August 6-8, 2019
Miami Hilton Downtown

Join us for the first-ever Minds That Move Us Adult Career Pathway Festival where ten teams from around the country will pitch innovative education and training models that create social equity and economic mobility for youth and adult learners for a chance to win $100k!

The Festival will be an entertaining cross between Shark Tank and America’s Got Talent, in which teams will present to a panel of judges and an audience comprised of adult learners, employers, practitioners, policy makers, funders, friends, and family who will vote for and donate to their favorite idea. The Festival will also feature interactive workshops to help attendees launch, support, and/or replicate the ideas they’ve heard. So, don’t miss your chance to learn about promising practices that will advance the field of adult career pathway programming!

Our VIP Vendor for February 2019 is Grass Roots Press

Grass Roots Press has an international reputation for publishing high-quality resources for adult basic education and English as a Second Language communities.  Grass Roots Press carries over 500 books, DVDs, and software packages.  We publish assessment tools, workbooks, photostories, biographies, and literature -- publications that enhance adults' literacy skills.

Our biographies and photostories are available as eBooks from the following retailers: Kobo, Amazon, iBooks, Nook Books, OverDrive, and MyiLibrary.   You can also stock up on the Good Reads, Pathfinders and Anna Sweet titles for only $2.99 per eBook.

To enrich the teaching and learning experience, we provide FREE audiobooks, workbooks and reading guides.  We know that educators are stretched for time, so we will continue to supplement our books with free lesson plans. Just click on a cover image to access the free downloads. 

COABE and Skills USA

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Dear COABE Members,

I am delighted to share that our incoming president, Dr. Don Finn, and I had the pleasure of meeting with the leadership of SkillsUSA at their headquarters in Virginia to discuss a wonderful partnership with them!

We anticipate that this new partnership will yield a great return for the field of adult education and, most importantly, for our shared adult learners. You will have the opportunity to hear from their CEO, Tim Lawrence, at our general session at the COABE national conference on April 2, 2019. Be sure to stop by their booth and introduce yourself to their leadership!

We are also partnering with industry giant, Amazon, to provide access to well-paying jobs with good benefits and college tuition payment options for graduates of our adult education programs. If you missed the special webinar with Amazon detailing this new initiative, please contact our office for details (

In the meantime, stay tuned for more exciting updates that will highlight Title 1 and Title 2 national organizations working together for the good of the field.


Sharon Bonney
Executive Director

Tapping Frontline Workers

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As you know, frontline workers, or the workers who interact directly with customers and provide services in industries like retail, healthcare, food service, and hospitality, help make up the backbone of today's workforce. However, frontline workforce talent development presents numerous challenges:

  • Many frontline workers say the workforce development and job training programs available to them aren't relevant, and most workers don't have the capacity to complete these programs for degrees or certificates.

  • Adult education providers worry a lack of data and data analysis capacity inhibits staff from evaluating and improving their services.

  • Employers worry about the longevity of a company with high turnover rates, record low unemployment rates, and an absence of a talent pipeline.

Digital Promise just launched "Tapping Data for Frontline Talent Development" a new, interactive report that shares how the seamless and secure sharing of data is key to creating more effective learning and career pathways for frontline service workers.

Not only can data sharing help to improve programs and services, it can create more personalized interventions for education providers supporting frontline workers, and it can also improve talent pipelines for employers. The research included in this report was made possible through funding by the Walmart Foundation.

We Need YOUR Help to Support Adult Education!


While portions of the federal government may have just reopened, preparation for the FY 2020 funding cycle are already well underway.

As we mentioned in our last note, we need your help to send a “program letter” request to each member of the House of Representatives in which your adult education programs are located and to both of your Senators.

YOUR ASSISTANCE IS each year, program letters are sent by each member of Congress to the appropriations committee, and these letters highlight the federal programs that are a priority for funding to the member of Congress.

WE NEED YOUR HELP to encourage your members of Congress to make adult education one of their priorities for funding, and you can do so with only three clicks by using our “quick fire" Ignite software to send an email to all your legislators in the House and Senate.

You will find a draft letter of support on Ignite. Please tailor this letter by including relevant data and/or information on how your program is making an impact in your state.

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED the deadline in many Congressional offices for such input from constituents is creeping up fast – some offices begin closing constituent input as early as February 1st.


Flight Discount Information


Delta Air Lines is pleased to offer special discounts for Coalition on Adult Basic Education.

You may also call Delta Meeting Network® at 1.800.328.1111*
Monday–Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (CT) and refer to Meeting Event Code NY2L9 

*Please note there is not a service fee for reservations
booked and ticketed via our reservation 800 number.


United Air Lines is pleased to offer special discounts for Coalition on Adult Basic Education.

US 50 States & Canada Customers: Call United Reservations Meetings Desk at
800-426-1122 and provide the code ZGB7726535

Note: For all tickets issued through United Meetings Reservations Desk, there will be a booking service fee per ticket collected. This fee is subject to change without notice. Such service fee is nonrefundable and applies to all itineraries, one-way or round-trip.