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2019 Families Learning Conference Reflections

20th November, 2019

I was fortunate to attend the Families Learning Conference this year in Louisville, KY through the Innovation Grant from the National Literacy Directory. This was my first time attending this conference and the atmosphere was so uplifting especially, when I was in a room full of empowering leaders who have changed people's lives. The presenters and keynote speakers, many of whom brought me to tears and laughter, were very motivating and powerful. The workshops were informative and related well with my program. CAP Services' Hmong UPLIFT program is the only culturally-specific program serving Hmong families in Portage County, Wisconsin, using a two-generation model that includes adult, early childhood/elementary and parenting education, along with PACT Time®.

One thing I took away from the conference is that I am not alone and that there are other people and organizations that are out there to support us or give us the appropriate resources we need. Our programs may be in different cities, states, or organizations but we all share a similar mission: to enhance family literacy. I met a lot of people and talked to many of the organizations who had a booth display at the conference and gained a lot of resources and tools for my program. Funding is always a big challenge and I was able to learn new ways of partnering and collaborating, such as working with the school district through Title I programs. Finally, I was able to learn different techniques and approaches for creating meaningful PACT Time® and engaging families. I got a lot of great ideas from the ESOL Family Game Night workshop!

I am grateful for the opportunity to attend this year's Families Learning Conference, and I hope to be able to join the conference in the near future. It was an empowering experience for me, and I hope to use this knowledge to better my program and community. Thanks!

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