Assisting Immigrant Communities from Undocumented to Citizenship

LEARN is coordinating a one-day training presented by ICIRR (Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights) called “Assisting Immigrant Communities from Undocumented to Citizenship” on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at Oak Park Library (834 Lake St, Oak Park).
Below is a tentative agenda and a description of the training modules. There will be one hour for lunch, and we can provide a list of nearby places to eat for those who do not bring a lunch. If you are interested in attending, please email
9:00 a.m. Refreshments and Sign-in
9:15 a.m. Module 1: Background & Introduction to Community Navigators (CN)
Community navigators (or promotores) are community members who receive specialized training to provide quality immigration information for their communities in an empowering and effective way. Community navigators are also liaisons between their community, legal service providers, social service organizations, and government representatives. They are often advocates, educators, mentors, and interpreters in their communities working in organizations, schools, libraries etc.
9:25 a.m. Group Activity: Immigration Timeline
9:40 a.m. Module 2: Immigration 101
Learn basic immigration law concepts (e.g. types of status, family-based immigration, etc.), discuss primary avenues for seeking legal status affirmatively, and understand what we mean when we talk about the “broken immigration system.”
10:45  a.m. Break
10:55 a.m. Module 9: Naturalization 101
Learn the basics of naturalization eligibility and how to prepare community members for their pathway from legal permanent residency to citizenship.
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Module 5: Avoiding Unauthorized Practice of Law & Identifying Legal Help
Ensure that CNs understand the “bright lines” that demarcate practicing law and that CN’s are
equipped with simple, practical, and effective strategies to respond to communities’ hunger to know where they stand legally. Provide strategies on when and how to make legal referrals; and, provide strategies on when and how to report fraud.
1:45 p.m. Break
2:00 p.m. Module 10: Know Your Rights
During this presentation, participants will learn what to do and not to do in case of an immigration raid, what are their basic rights with immigration -regardless of legal status- and how to share the information learned to others. Issues: DACA, Detention, Consulate, Islamophobia, Hate Crimes, FSN/KYR Cards.
4:15 p.m. Post-assessment & Evaluation
4:30 p.m. End of Training
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LEARN Presentation at ILA, Tuesday, Oct. 18 from 3-4 p.m.

Jean Demas and Joe Popowitch will speak at the Illinois Library Association Annual Conference at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont on Tuesday, Oct. 18, from 3-4 p.m. in Room 40-41.

Besides giving an overview of LEARN and the networking opportunities it provides, the session will include lists and examples of recommended resources, website links, apps, marketing checklists, publishers lists, and promotional materials to spread the word about your Literacy/ESL services.

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LEARN Workshop Oct. 5, 2016, at Schaumburg Library

LEARN will Host an ESL Workshop at Schaumburg Library, 130 S. Roselle Rd., on October 5, 2016, funded by a RAILS Networking CE grant. The workshop, called “Serving the Literacy/ESL User,” will include four one-hour presentations, plus an overview of our updated recommended resources list.

9:00 Welcome & Refreshments
Helen Stewart (Schaumburg Library) and Jean Demas (Lisle Library)

9:15 WorkNet, JobLink, and Beyond: Resources for Work Readiness and Employment
by Laurie Martin (professional development specialist at the Adult Learning Resource Center)

10:15 Break

10:30 Reaching to Non-native English Speakers in Your Community
by Laurie Martin

11:30 Recommended Resources and Overview of Chicago’s Digital Learn

12:00 Lunch

12:45 Community Partnerships and Other Trends in ESL and Adult Literacy
by Kristin Lahurd (literacy officer, American Library Association)

1:45 Break

2:00 How to Keep Literacy Alive During Tough Economic Times
by Beth Paoli (literacy consultant, Illinois State Library)

To register, email Joe Popowitch at

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TESOL Graduate Certificate Program at Northeastern

Dana Horstein coordinates the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Graduate Certificate Program at Northeastern Illinois University, which is geared at preparing individuals to teaching adult English language learners.  Many ESL volunteers, such as those that participate in library programs, are quite committed and would like further training on how to better serve the learners with whom they work.  The TESOL Graduate Certificate would serve this purpose and it seems like it may be the right level of commitment for volunteers since it offers significantly more training than a workshop, but not nearly the commitment of a full degree program.

The TESOL Graduate Certificate Program provides practical skills and knowledge to individuals who wish to teach adult English language learners.  It prepares individuals to create lessons, develop materials, and assess English language learners, while also providing a theoretical background for instruction.  The Certificate consists of 6 courses (18 credits), including a 60-hour practicum.  It is designed to be completed in 1 year.  Individuals who wish to pursue further study can transfer all of the course credits into the M.A. TESOL Program (36 credits).  For further information, please see the website at

Dana Horstein, Coordinator, TESOL Graduate Certificate Program

Northeastern Illinois University
5500 N. St. Louis Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625

TESOL Graduate Certificate Program Website and Video:
TESOL Facebook Page:
Northeastern Illinois University Website:

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LEARN Will Host an ESL Workshop at Schaumburg Library on October 5, 2016

LEARN will Host an ESL Workshop at Schaumburg Library, 130 S. Roselle Rd., on October 5, 2016, funded by a RAILS Networking CE grant. The workshop, called “Serving the Literacy/ESL User,” will include four one-hour presentations, plus an overview of our updated recommended resources list.

Laurie Martin, professional development specialist at the Adult Learning Resource Center in Arlington Heights will do two one-hour presentations: one on how to help ESL patrons with resources on job training and finding jobs that fit their skills and educational levels, and one on marketing and outreach strategies.
1) WorkNet, JobLink and Beyond: Resources for Work Readiness and Employment.
2) Reaching to Non-native English Speakers in Your Community.

Kristin Lahurd, Literacy and Diversity Officer, American Library Association will do a one-hour presentation on how libraries can be a conduit between local programs and potential ESL learners/library patrons integrated with how to build community partnerships and support. She will also discuss current trends in adult literacy and ESL programming.
3) Connecting ESL Learners to Local Literacy Programs and Building Community Literacy Partnerships.

Beth Paoli, Literacy Consultant, Illinois State Library, will present a workshop on how libraries and literacy programs can keep literacy alive during tough economic times through using grant resources, support services, partnership groups and other ideas for creative funding.
4) How to Keep Literacy Alive During Tough Economic Times.

Tentative Agenda
9:00 Welcome (Refreshments)
9:15 Job Training Resources for Immigrants (Laurie Martin)
10:15 Break
10:30 Marketing and Outreach for ESL (Laurie Martin)
11:30 Recommended Resources
12:00 Lunch
12:45 Partnering with Local Programs and Trends in ESL (Kristin Lahurd)
1:45 Break
2:00 Keeping Literacy Alive During Tough Economic Times (Beth Paoli)

Lunch Options
Attendees may bring their own lunch or opt to pay. Lunches include sandwich, chips, fruit and a cookie (plus two bottles of water). Visit to view sandwich choices. Then send your choice with a payment by check for $13 payable to “Schaumburg Township District Library” mailed to Helen Stewart c/o Schaumburg Township District Library, 130 S. Roselle Rd. Schaumburg, IL 60193 by September 30.

To register, email Joe Popowitch at and indicate if you will be paying for lunch or bringing your own. You should receive a confirmation email within three days.

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On the Road to Literacy Conference

Jean Demas and Joe Popowitch will be doing a presentation about LEARN at the “On the Road to Literacy Conference” hosted by Literacy Volunteers of Illinois. The 25th annual conference will take place at the University of Illinois at Chicago; Education, Theater, Music & Social Work Building; 1040 W. Harrison Street, Chicago, Illinois  60607 .

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Spring 2016 LEARN Meeting Agenda

The Spring 2016 LEARN Meeting will be at Glenside Public Library District, 25 E. Fullerton Ave. in Glendale Heights on Tuesday, April 5, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Below is the agenda for the meeting. LEARN created a recommended resources list for a workshop in 2010. We are looking to update that list for a workshop this fall. Please take a few minutes to look at the list and make any recommendations for additions or deletions to the list. We may include a section for Internet sites, too.

Update of Recommended Resources List
Discuss ESL Workshop to be Held in the Fall
Tour of the Glenside Library

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Fall 2015 LEARN Meeting

The Fall LEARN Meeting will be at Schaumburg Library on  Tuesday, Sept. 29 from 1-4 p.m. The first hour will be a luncheon to celebrate the upcoming retirement of Pat Barch, and also a time for networking.


1:00 Retirement Celebration for Pat Barch
2:00 Introductions
2:20 Discussion of Creating Committees for LEARN
2:45 Possibility of Hosting an ESL Workshop
3:00 Break
3:15 Resource Sharing

The past few meetings have been packed full of presentations. The fall meeting will offer much more time for asking questions, networking, and recommending resources. Please bring an item to recommend: a book, CD, DVD, brochure, website, classification system, idea, etc.

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Agenda for Spring 2015 LEARN Meeting

The Spring 2015 LEARN Meeting will be at Skokie Public Library on Tuesday, April 7, from 2-4 p.m. Below is the agenda. Our two main topics of discussion are ESL Conversation Groups and ESL Labs.

During the recommended resources portion of the meeting, instead of opening it up to any type of recommendation, we were hoping to focus on ESL readers (books for ESL learners to read). So, please share your thoughts on any ESL readers in your collection that you would like to recommend.

We have added a brief 15-minute intermission into the meeting for refreshments and networking.

2:00 Introductions
2:15 ESL Conversation Groups: What Works and What Doesn’t: Carol Garcia (Literacy DuPage)
2:45 Update on National Literacy Directory
2:55 Refreshment Break & Networking
3:10 Presentation on Literacy/ESL Labs: Pat Barch (Schaumburg Library) and Katalin Zsupan (Arlington Heights Library)
3:40 Recommended Resources: Spotlight on ESL Readers

Thank you.

Joe Popowitch
Indian Prairie Library
630-887-8760 ext. 240


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Spring 2015 LEARN Meeting at Skokie

The Spring 2015 LEARN Meeting will be at Skokie Public Library on Tuesday, April 7, from 2-4 p.m. The agenda has not been set, so if you have suggestions or any topics you would like to discuss, please let me know at

Thank you.

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