June 2020 | Professional Development and Literacy Resources
In this Issue:
  • Summer Reading Programs Move Online
  • Welcome to Our Newest Board Members
  • Meet Lindsay Hyland from Literacy Council of Green County
  • Member Spotlight: Literacy Council of Green County
  • Regional Meeting Webinars Now Available
  • COABE Virtual National Conference
  • Adult Education Forum on Capitol Hill's COVID-19 Response
  • Public Policy Update
Wisconsin Literacy News
Summer Reading Programs Move Online
Public libraries across the state are offering online summer reading programs to combat summer slide (the concept that children lose gains in reading and math over the summer while not in school).

Parents and caregivers have additional worry this summer since school buildings were closed this spring.

Anna Bierer, Northeast Regional Literacy Consultant, shares her own experience enrolling her 2 elementary children in their local library’s program.

Welcome to Our Newest Board Members
Welcome Christine Buentello
Vice President of Wealth Services for Town Bank
“Through the last few years of working with Wisconsin Literacy, I’ve learned that literacy is an imperative fundamental skill that is taken for granted by many and desperately needs to be brought to the forefront for everyone.

Without literacy, the basics of a happy and successful life are extremely difficult if not impossible.”

Christine Buentello is a Vice President of Wealth Services for Town Bank, a Wintrust Community Bank. Christine has been in banking and finance for 18 years and thrives on educating and providing her clients with exceptional personalized service. Christine holds a B.A. degree from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and is a life-long Madison area resident. Along with her husband Mike, twin 7 year old sons, and their beloved dogs, Christine enjoys being active in the outdoors.

Christine joined the Finance Committee in January of 2019 and her passion for learning more about the amazing works of Wisconsin Literacy and Wisconsin Health Literacy has grown exponentially since. Christine joined the Board of Directors as Treasurer in June of 2020.
Welcome Aaron McCann
Attorney, Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.
“Working towards the goal of universal literacy means working to level a playing field that most people don’t realize needs leveling.” 

Aaron McCann is an attorney at Godfrey & Kahn, S.C., where his practice is focused on representing and advising businesses on employment, labor, and workplace health and safety issues. Aaron first developed an interest in adult literacy issues while volunteering as a literacy tutor in Washington, D.C., which has long struggled with disproportionately high rates of adult illiteracy. Aaron is proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marquette University Law School. He currently resides in De Pere with his wife, Emily, and their three sons.
Welcome Melinda Orebaugh,
Director, Library & Patient Education Services and GetWellNetwork
"Literacy is an essential life skill. I have experienced firsthand the benefits of literacy tutoring."

As a health sciences librarian, Melinda was an early adopter and instructor of health literacy. Melinda leads Library and Patient Education Services for Gundersen Health System and is responsible for numerous health literacy initiatives. She also serves on the board of the Health Care Education Association.
Success Stories
Meet Lindsay Hyland from Literacy Council of Green County
For 22 years, Lindsay Hyland has been an integral part of the Literacy Council of Green County.

She shared her many skills with hundreds of learners and beyond to others connected to the Spanish speaking community in Monroe, Wisconsin.

As a tutor and mentor, she offers her knowledge freely, with humility.

Member Spotlight: Literacy Council of Green County
"We do more than teach English," says Ellen Hossman, Executive Director of Literacy Council of Green County. "We encourage community building. . . most of our tutors become part of their learner's families."

Along with one-to-one and small group instruction, learners and tutors at the Council share each other's culture and each other's lives.

Professional Development
Regional Meeting Webinars Now Available
Missed the Southwest/South Central Regional Meeting?

You can access these professional development webinars online.
COABE Virtual National Conference
This conference will be held in partnership with our Maryland affiliate, the Maryland Association for Adult, Community, and Continuing Education (MAACCE).

Eight days of national level presenters, keynote speakers, networking sessions, and an amazing new virtual exhibit hall await you!

Plus you can now bring a guest, free of charge! Click here to let them know who will be your lucky guest if you're already registered! Please view the COABE Conference FAQ for more info.

Visit the COABE National Conference page for more details.
Adult Education Forum on Capitol Hill's COVID-19 Response
Date: Thursday, June 4, 2020
Time: 3:00 pm EST
Featuring: 
  • Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, Senior Fellow, National Skills Coalition
  • Sharon Bonney, Chief Executive Officer, Coalition on Adult Basic Education
  • Deborah Kennedy, President, National Coalition for Literacy
  • Katie Spiker, Director of Government Affairs, National Skills Coalition

Things are changing fast on Capitol Hill. In March, Congress passed a major $2 trillion Covid relief package in March known as the CARES Act. Next, the House passed an even bigger bill, known as the HEROES Act -- but the Senate is working on their own bills and timeline. What does all this mean for adult education? How can adult educators weigh in with federal policymakers and their states to advocate for dedicated funding? How does adult educators' expertise in digital literacy and online learning fit into these conversations? Join us for a frank conversation with federal policy experts about what's happening in Washington and how YOU can take action. Bring your stories and your questions!
Advocacy News
Public Policy Update
House Democrats introduced their version of the next COVID-19 relief package, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act on Tuesday, May 12.

The HEROES Act is a $3 trillion bill that includes a $90 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) through the U.S. Department of Education, which awards grants to governors to support educational needs. The bill did not include the $1 billion appropriation for adult education, adult education is an eligible use of funds through the SFSF. In allowing this use of funds, the bill calls out adult education needs and recognizes the additional cost of moving programs to virtual instruction.

The HEROES Act is not a final COVID-19 relief bill, and we must leverage the opportunity ahead to press for additional funding for adult education to be included in relief packages in the future.

In terms of the regular appropriations process, the Senate aims to mark up most of its fiscal year 2021 bills in June. The House could start marking up bills shortly as well, pending a vote allowing for virtual markups. As you know, appropriations timelines typically get delayed. We will keep you updated as we learn more on this front. Please note that the final appropriations bills will likely not be determined until after the election.
Thank You
Please send news you want to share to  info@wisconsinliteracy.org so we can include it in the July 2020 e-news.

Thank you for your support!

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