upcoming trainings

Professional Development trainings are

FREE for Literacy Works Members and $15 for Non-Members

Non-Members can pay the fee through the registration form or mail in their payment

litworks reading group

April 29

5pm - 630pm CT

FREE for everyone

Join us for the last book of the fiscal year! 

In the fourth quarter, we pick a fiction book to discuss and this time we've chosen On Beauty by Zadie Smith. 

This books touches on so many important topics including the valuing (or devaluing) of life experience over academic credentials. In our work as adult educators, we might lean more towards academic expertise when we're looking for answers. However, it's also crucial that we look for experience as a valid form of expertise as well. This is especially true when we empower our participants to be community leaders and encourage our staff and volunteers to help us grow the knowledge base of adult education as a field. 

Find the book at your local library or order it from a local bookshop! 

We're excited to learn and discuss -- even if you haven't finished the books, we've love to learn and grow with you. 

teaching everyone at once: Insights into multi-level instruction

May 5

5pm - 7pm CT

$15 for non-members

Multi-level classrooms are such wonderful places of learning but they can be intimidating to new and experience instructors. If we take an ecological approach to learning and learn a few key tools, your multi-level class will quickly become your favorite! If you have ever taught in a multi-level setting or are about to start one, join us for the informative and interactive training! 

The techniques and strategies shared here are applicable to ESL and ABE classrooms as they focus on general multi-level instruction. Though, a little extra time will be spent on discussing ESL classes and multi-level language instruction in particular. 

We will discuss best practices, teaching  techniques, activities, and the great benefit of teaching adults in this way. This training is great for new or experienced adult educators - including teachers and volunteer tutors. 

Writing Words and Worlds: 
Using Narrative Writing for Expression and Action

May 12

3pm - 5pm CT

$15 for non-members

Personal narrative writing contributes to adult learners’ English language skills, fosters confidence in learners’ ability to communicate effectively, demonstrates the value of their lived experiences, and encourages reflection on those experiences —  which sometimes leads to taking action for personal or social change. 


In this workshop participants will write, read, and discuss  short narrative pieces  based on a prompt, as well as a poem incorporating figures of speech. Participants will engage in a series of narrative writing activities which exemplify the value of  writing, reading, and discussing stories based in personal experience, for adult literacy learners of most any level or background.  Writing and reading activities will be followed by discussion of the many ways to incorporate narrative writing into instruction — whether as a tutor or a teacher working with a larger class. We will also explore how narrative writing activities can be adapted for use with middle to upper level ESL and ABE students, and incorporated into a GED/HSE program of study. 

The library connection: how to align adult education programs and libraries

May 18

2pm - 4pm CT

$15 for non-members

You may have heard that working with libraries would be a great asset to your adult education program but you might know how to start. In this panel workshop, we'll hear from three Chicago Public Library librarians to learn more about services they offer and how you can partner for greater learner success. You'll learn concrete ways to connect with your local library and ways that doing so can boost your program's performance. 

This training is geared towards programming and managing staff as it will give  logistical insight into how to partner with libraries in your area - although tutors  and teachers are welcome to learn more as well. 

While we'll be hearing from Chicago-based librarians, this panel will offer general insight into library partnership which could spark some good ideas for organizations that are outside of Chicago. 

literacy ACtion project - spring 2021

May 25

5pm - 630pm CT

FREE for everyone

This project from Literacy Works aims to bring thought-provoking ideas that advance social justice principles from discussion to action. Each quarter, we'll focus on a new topic and provide resources for you to read, learn, discuss, and act. 

READ: We'll send you a copy of our latest action paper (coming out in early May)​

LEARN: Check out the resources and extended learning opportunities on the topic.

DISCUSS: Join us to discuss what you learned (that's this event!)

ACT: Take this information back to your organization and start new conversations

This quarter we're focusing on wages and working conditions for adult educators!

If you work in adult education you might have something to say about your working conditions and your wages and we think that conversation is overdue! Join us for our quarterly Literacy Action Project where we'll discuss the part-time positions and low wages and how they play a role in the current state of adult education. After our discussion there will an moment for commitment and information about future action steps you can take to further this conversation with your communities. 

You'll find current and past Literacy Action Project papers here. 

Participant Ownership: The power of Peer mentoring in adult education

May 26

1pm - 3pm CT

$15 for non-members

Looking for ways to support advanced learner engagement? Are you utilizing the full potential of the participants who have progressed out of your program? Peer mentoring is one excellent way to make your program more action-focused while also using advanced peer experience to support lower level participants.


Join us to learn more about the idea of peer mentoring and how it can fit into your adult education or workforce program. We'll learn about the current program at Erie Neighborhood House in Chicago and then discuss how you can start implementing these ideas at your organization. 

This training is aimed at coordinators and program managers as we'll be talking about programming logistics and planning. That said, everyone is welcome if they're interested in learning more about peer mentoring. 

Not sure if the organization you work or volunteer for is a member of Literacy Works?
Check out our full member list or email keighty@litworks.org and we can help.

641 W. Lake Street Chicago, IL 60661