Twenty-five participants, representing 8 literacy organizations in Southwest Missouri, attended a two-day English Forward training hosted by Joplin NALA Read and presented by the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas.
NALA was selected to host the English Forward training system for 25 participants with at least one representative from each organization to receive additional online instruction to become a trainer. The English Forward Training-of-Trainers component ensures that regions, coalitions and programs using English Forward are able to sustain the training system as volunteers cycle in and out of classes and new programs are established. Programs and trainers are given the resources they need to successfully implement the English Forward Training System in their own communities.
The English Forward program was developed by the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas through a Dollar General Literacy grant and has been successfully piloted, proven, and replicated in several communities nationally. Joan Doner, Program Coordinator, Joplin NALA Read, reported, “We were selected to receive the English Forward program this year for just 16% of the actual cost because NALA is a past recipient of a Dollar General Literacy Grant and has a proven record for successful project completion resulting in sustainable programs. NALA received a grant from the Joplin Rotary Community Fund to cover our cost of the training so there was no charge to the participants.”
According to the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas, the goal of the English Forward training system is to help community programs overcome obstacles in providing quality, research-based English language instruction. The English Forward training system helps organizations at every level:
- Administrators receive technical assistance on ways to improve literacy capacity
- Trainers learn effective facilitation techniques and get access to the latest research in effective ESL instruction
- Instructors receive valuable classroom curriculum, resources and teaching tips.
All of this results in student-driven learning taught by instructors who are equipped with the latest tools to provide engaging instruction. Marj Boudreaux, Executive Director, Joplin NALA Read, commented, “We anticipate that the English Forward program will improve our outcomes. At the same time, because volunteer instructors will be virtually supported on an ongoing basis, this model will save our organization time, money and stress.”
We would also like to thank Immanuel Lutheran Church for furnishing the facility to hold the training and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Action Team for providing lunch each day.